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Friday Evening Business Brief

June 29, 2012, 5:29 PM

Friday Evening Business Brief

Stocks have finished the trading week with their second-biggest gain of the year. The rally came after European leaders announced a plan to rescue banks, relieve debt-burdened governments and restore investor confidence. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 278 points at 12,880. The S&P 500 closed up 33 at 1,362. The Nasdaq finished up 86 at 2,935.

  • The German Parliament is already moving to approve a new European pact that calls for budget discipline while setting up a permanent rescue fund of more than $600 billion. Germany's lower house voted overwhelmingly in favor, with two opposition parties backing the plan. Last night, European leaders broke a cycle of summit inaction with a deal that offers both quick fixes and long-term plans aimed at restoring confidence in the euro currency.
  •  European Union debt action has sent the price of oil soaring. European leaders rolled out new measures to support their beleaguered economy after an all-night negotiating session. In response, benchmark crude jumped $7.27, closing $84.96 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Heading into the weekend, gasoline prices are at the lowest level since early January, averaging $3.35 nationwide for a gallon of regular.
  • Congress has passed a massive bill aimed at salvaging 2.8 million jobs on transportation jobs and shielding college students from a sharp increase in interest rates on college loans. It would also shore up the federal flood insurance program. Both the House and Senate passed the measure with lopsided votes in favor. It now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.
  • Mary J. Blige is expressing some pretty strong regret over a deal with Burger King. The fast-food chain released an ad in April featuring Blige singing about the new checked snack wraps, which some black commentators blasted as playing to racist stereotypes. Blige tells radio station Hot 97 the ad was a "mistake" that made her "look ridiculous" and want to "crawl under a bed." She says she'd hoped it would prove to be a "great branding opportunity."

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