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Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

April 18, 2012, 1:51 PM

Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

Wall Street's key stock market averages are lower. In the 11 trading days of the second quarter so far, the Dow has fallen by triple digits four times, notching four of the five worst days of the year. It has also risen by triple digits twice, producing its second- and third-best days of the year.

  • The 27 member countries of the European Union are being criticized for failing to implement laws designed to boost growth on the crisis-hit continent. Comments from the president of the European Union's executive Commission come as the EU finds itself increasingly under pressure to do more to get its economy growing again as many of its members slash government spending, pushing some states into recession.
  • The General Services Administration's internal watchdog says that employees are heeding his call to report wrongdoing. He says messages to his hotline have triggered new investigations beyond an $823,000 Las Vegas conference and junkets to resorts.
  • Two senators say for-profit colleges are using too much taxpayer money to recruit students. Two Democrats introduced a bill to prohibit colleges of all kinds from using dollars from federal student assistance programs to pay for advertising. The proposal faces long odds in Congress and opposition from the higher education community.
  • Wildlife fans looking for the likes of wolves, grizzly bears and bison at Yellowstone National Park need only to turn to their smartphones. One app called Where's a Bear promises "up to the second" animal sightings in Yellowstone. Recently a website called Yellowstone Wildlife began offering a similar app.

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