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Thursday Morning Business Brief

July 12, 2012, 5:55 AM

Thursday Morning Business Brief

Five losing sessions in a row. That's been the story of the Dow Industrials average. In Wednesday trading, it lost 49 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,605.

  • A fresh snapshot of the job market is due today. The Labor Department is to release new jobless claims today, among reports due.
  • Banks are increasingly placing homes with unpaid mortgages into a path toward foreclosure. RealtyTrac says the number of U.S. homes entering the foreclosure process for the first time increased for the second month in a row in June, as banks deal with a backlog of delinquent mortgages.
  • Global stock markets are falling. Speculation that Asia's economic engine, China, may announce that its gross domestic product slowed in the second quarter is setting a negative tone. The major Asian markets were all down, with the exception of China's Shanghai Composite. Europe's benchmark indexes are also starting off lower.
  • There's more crisis news out of Europe. Banks have drastically cut the amount of money they hold overnight at the European Central Bank. The ECB cut its interest rate on those deposits to zero last week in a push to get the banks to lend more. Meanwhile, Greece's unemployment rate is surging higher. It hit 22.5 percent In April. And in Portugal, doctors are staging a 48-hour strike to protest austerity measures they say are weakening the country's publicly-funded health service.

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