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Friday Morning Business Brief

June 22, 2012, 6:00 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief

With yesterday's market drubbing, the key stock averages are down for the week. Coming into today's session, they're down 0.5 to 1.5 percent. The Dow fell 251 points, or 2 percent in Thursday trading. Futures trading suggests early gains today.

  • International stock markets fell today as gloomy economic reports from the world's two biggest economies heightened fears of a sharper global downturn. In Europe, leaders were set to weigh options for fixing the continent's debt crisis. Benchmark crude oil rose slightly, remaining above $78 a barrel. The dollar rose against the euro and the yen.
  • Moody's Investors Service has lowered the credit ratings on some of the world's biggest banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, reflecting concern over their exposure to the violent swings in global financial markets. The downgrades late Thursday ultimately are a measure of Moody's view on the ability of the banks to repay their debts.
  • This is an important day for billionaire Elon Musk's electric-car maker, Tesla Motors. After losing nearly a billion dollars selling high-end electric sports cars, the company's first mass market vehicle is being delivered today. It is the Model S.
  • European finance ministers are discussing ways to make banks pay at least some of the costs of their own bailouts. A plan for a tax on financial transactions has significant opposition but opponents may be open to other possibilities. Meanwhile, the leaders of Germany, France, Italy and Spain meet today to seek agreement on ways to ease the widening debt crisis.

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