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Monday Evening Business Brief

June 25, 2012, 5:31 PM

Monday Evening Business Brief

Stocks have fallen sharply on both sides of the Atlantic on continuing worries about Europe's financial crisis. Spain formally requested a rescue of its ailing banks but left many questions unanswered, including how much money it needs. Bank stocks were among the big losers today as the Dow lost 138 points, the S&P 500 fell 21 and the Nasdaq dropped 56.

  • Concerns about Europe's economy have helped push oil prices lower. Benchmark U.S. crude fell by 55 cents to end the day at $79.21 per barrel in New York. Also factoring into the decline, Tropical Storm Debby edged away from the heart of America's oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, reducing the chances for a sustained disruption in U.S. supplies.
  • Microsoft is paying $1.2 billion to buy Yammer, an Internet startup that has built a social network similar to Facebook for the business world. Yammer provides ways for companies to create private social networks for their employees. It has more than 5 million corporate users.
  • Facebook is putting a woman on its board of directors for the first time. It named Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg to the board today. Facebook's stock fell 3 percent today, off 99 cents to $32.06. The stock has been up on 13 trading days and down on 13 since its initial public offering. On Friday it saw its highest close since May 21, its second day of trading.
  • Shares of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion plunged to a nine-year low today after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock. It ended the day down 75 cents, or 7.7 percent, to $9.11 on the Nasdaq. RIM shares have lost 94 percent of their value since their 2008 peak.

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