Stocks are lower at midday on Wall Street. In Europe, a deal to aid Spain helped push the yield on its benchmark 10-year government bond down to 6.8 percent. That rate had hit 7 percent, viewed as a dangerously high level, just yesterday.
- Jefferies says it's liquidated most of its positions in brokerage firm Peregrine Financial Group and does not expect to incur a loss associated with the troubled firm. Accounts have been frozen at Peregrine with millions of dollars unaccounted for. The action follows a reported suicide attempt by its founder and chairman.
- Two congressional committees are raising questions about what U.S. regulators knew concerning allegations that a key global interest rate was being manipulated. Lawmakers have asked the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to provide transcripts of discussions between Fed officials and the British bank Barclays regarding the setting of interest rates.
- Comcast's NBCUniversal is selling its stake in A&E Television Networks to Disney and Hearst for $3 billion in cash. Comcast has a nearly 16 percent stake in A&E, and said it will sell that stake to Disney and Hearst, its partners in the A&E joint venture.
- Apple will start selling the iPad in China in this month after paying $60 million to settle a dispute over the ownership of the tablet computer's name. Apple says it will begin selling its latest iPad starting at $499 and the older iPad 2 starting at $399.