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Monday Evening Business Brief

April 23, 2012, 6:50 PM

Monday Evening Business Brief

There's was a sell-off on Wall Street today and Europe's financial woes are again to blame. A new report shows Eurozone government debt has climbed to more than 87 percent of GDP, despite severe budget cuts. That helped send the Dow to a 102-point loss. The blue-chip index closed at 12,927. The S&P lost 12 points to 1,367. The Nasdaq fell 30 points to 2,970.

  • The trustees overseeing Social Security and Medicare say a surge of retirees, a weak economy and lawmakers' reluctance to act are pushing the benefit programs toward insolvency faster than previously thought. In their annual report, the trustees say Social Security will likely run out of money in 2033, while Medicare's hospital insurance fund will run out in 2024.
  • The nation's largest life insurer is making good on money it owes to beneficiaries but never paid. MetLife has agreed to pay nearly $500 million in a settlement over allegations it had information about the deaths of some policyholders but failed to pay what was owed. More than 30 states are involved in the settlement.
  • American Airlines is telling a federal bankruptcy judge that "a restructured job is better than no job at all." The airline wants the judge to approve a restructuring plan that would eliminate 13,000 jobs, freeze or end pensions and curb health benefits among other cuts. The unions are backing a takeover bid by US Airways.
  • A new study shows the number of Mexican immigrants living illegally in the U.S. has dropped from 7 million in 2007 to nearly 6 million last year. The Pew Hispanic Center's analysis of census data says a major factor in the decline is that illegal workers are seeing few job opportunities in the U.S. and deciding to return to Mexico.

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