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Friday Morning Business Brief

April 13, 2012, 5:58 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief

Wall Street needs a two-day rally to continue if it is to make this a positive week for the key averages. In Thursday trading, the Dow gained 181 points, or 1.4 percent, to 12, 986. The S&P was up 19, while the Nasdaq surged 39 points.

  • Asian markets rallied today, despite news that China's economy during the first quarter fell to its lowest level in nearly three years. The Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.3 percent and the smaller Shenzhen Composite Index added 0.6 percent. But European markets are down.
  • Oil prices fell to near $103 a barrel in Asia today. Benchmark oil for May delivery was down 49 cents to $103.15 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 94 cents to settle at $103.64 in New York on Thursday. Brent crude for May delivery was down 34 cents at $121.18 per barrel in London.
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke travels to the Princeton Club in New York today to talk about the financial crisis. Also this morning, the Labor Department releases the consumer price index, a gauge of inflation at the retail level.
  • Whole Foods plans to open a 20,000-square-foot supermarket in Detroit's Midtown next year. The upscale natural and organic grocery chain is facing a challenge, since Detroit has suffered from unemployment, decay, crime and population loss. But the city's Midtown section has Wayne State University, the Detroit Medical Center and several cultural institutions.

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