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Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

April 10, 2012, 1:23 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

U.S. stocks are headed for their fifth straight day of losses. Today's selling comes at an accelerated pace. At midday, the Dow was down 150 points, or 1.1 percent.

  • Worries about Spain's finances have intensified as its borrowing costs rose despite expectations of a new round of austerity measures. Spain is under intense pressure to show it can rekindle economic growth and cut its budget deficit to avoid becoming the next eurozone country to need a bailout. The unemployment rate is nearly 23 percent and the economy is back in recession - the Bank of Spain predicts it will contract 1.7 percent this year.
  • Under a new plan unveiled today, wireless carriers will be able to quickly disable a cellphone after it's reported stolen. The anti-crime effort involves a database that will allow wireless providers to disable a cellphone after a user reports it stolen. Officials hope to have the plan in place six months from now.
  • Employers posted slightly more job openings in February, suggesting that modest hiring gains should continue in coming months. The Labor Department says that employers advertised 3.5 million job openings in February. That is a slight increase from January but still below a three-year high reached in December.
  • In what's being described as a mutual decision reached with the company, Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn is stepping down from the nation's largest consumer electronics retailer. Best Buy has been criticized for not responding quickly enough to growing competition and changing shopping habits.

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