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Thursday Morning Business Brief

April 19, 2012, 5:42 AM

Thursday Morning Business Brief

Wall Street's key averages remain higher for the week so far, after yesterday's pullback. In Wednesday trading, the Dow fell 83 points, or 0.6 percent, to 13,033. The S&P slipped 6 points, while the Nasdaq dropped 11. Futures trading suggests gains this morning.

  • International stock markets rose today as investors reacted to a crucial bond auction in Spain while banking on hopes that China would take more steps to prop up its slowing economy. Investors showed a healthy appetite for Spanish debt Benchmark crude oil hovered under $103 per barrel. The dollar rose against the yen and was steady against the euro.
  • Today's economic reports include weekly unemployment claims from the Labor Department. Later this morning, the Conference Board reports on the index of leading economic indicators, a forward-looking gauge of the U.S. economy.
  • A woman's well-publicized, $9,867 small claims award for her under-performing hybrid Honda Civic is being challenged by the automaker. Honda's appeal is being heard in Superior Court in California, which has the final word. People in a class action settlement would get substantially less money.
  • A report out in Asia today says the continent's 2 billion women lag far behind men in pay and top leadership positions and that it's a potential threat to undermine the region's achievements. The Asia Society survey on women's status says limits on female employment cost the region $89 billion a year in terms of lost productivity and human resources.

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