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Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

July 3, 2012, 1:13 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks climbed in an abbreviated holiday trading session after an encouraging report about manufacturing. The Dow Jones Industrials finished 72 points higher, at 12,944. The S&P 500 index rose 8.51, to 1,374. The Nasdaq composite index rose 25 to 2,976.

  • Energy stocks rose because of increased tension over oil-rich Iran. The price of oil climbed more than 4 percent after Iran threatened to block a critical Persian Gulf shipping route. New York crude rose $3.92 per barrel to $87.67. The supply fears drove energy stocks up more than 2 percent, more than any other industry in the Standard & Poor's 500. Exxon Mobil and Chevron both rose more than 1 percent.
  • From the tiny Fiat 500 to the Ram pickup, sales of Chrysler vehicles charged higher in June, despite worries that slower hiring and income growth would turn off buyers. Chrysler U.S. sales rose 20 percent, its best June in five years. Meanwhile, Ford's U.S. sales rose 7 percent and General Motors' rose 16 percent.
  • About 1.4 million customers are into a fourth sweltering day without electricity as utility crews clean up behind a storm that swept from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic. Power is back for more than a million customers in seven states and the District of Columbia. But refrigeration and air conditioning are still out for many.
  • Chuck E. Cheese has been given the pink slip -- part of an effort to revive sales. The company that operates the chain of children's pizza restaurants is retiring the giant rodent's outdated image. CEC Entertainment says it plans to launch a national ad campaign Thursday with a revamped image of Chuck E. Cheese as a hip, electric-guitar-playing rock star.

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