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Friday Afternoon Business Brief

May 18, 2012, 1:18 PM

Friday Afternoon Business Brief

After a losing streak that has persisted over the past two weeks, stocks have been under pressure again today. With a highly-hyped debut for Facebook shares and high anxiety over Greece's possible exit from the euro, the key averages have been going back and forth between negative and positive territory.

  • Facebook's shares were recently trading up about 8 percent in its debut on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The company and its early investors raised $16 billion in the offering, which valued Facebook at $104 billion. That makes Facebook the most valuable U.S. company to ever go public.
  • France's Francois Hollande met today with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, after the French leader's recent election. Obama says this weekend's gathering of economic powers at Camp David will promote a "strong growth agenda."
  • Greece's government spokesman says German Chancellor Angela Merkel has floated the idea that the country hold a referendum on the euro alongside national elections next month. Greece is set to hold elections on June 17.
  • The Labor Department says unemployment rates fell in two-thirds of U.S. states last month. Also, in many states, unemployment has fallen well below the national average, which was 8.1 percent last month. Rates were lower than 7 percent in 22 states in April.

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