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Tuesday Evening Business Brief

July 3, 2012, 5:00 PM

Tuesday Evening Business Brief

Stocks climbed today, in an abbreviated holiday trading session. The Dow Jones industrial average finished 72 points higher, at 12,944. The S&P 500 index rose 8.5 to 1,374. The Nasdaq rose 25 to 2,976. Caterpillar, Alcoa, Boeing and other stocks that depend on manufacturing rose after the government reported that factory orders were up in May.

  • Renewed tensions between Iran and the West pushed oil to its highest level in more than a month. Iran is again threatening to block a critical Persian Gulf shipping route in response to a European embargo of Iranian oil. Benchmark U.S. crude added 4.7 percent, ending at $87.66 per barrel in New York. Oil has risen by nearly $10 per barrel in less than a week, bringing an end to a drop in pump prices.
  • From mini cars to monster pickups, sales of new cars and trucks surged in June. Automakers report big gains over June of last year. Chrysler posted its best June in five years. Sales soared at Volkswagen, which is on track for its best year in the U.S. since 1973.
  • Fiat is looking to boost its ownership of Chrysler. The Italian automaker is exercising an option to buy 3.3 percent of Chrysler equity from a trust fund that manages health care for pensioners. Today's announcement says the purchase in the coming weeks will raise Fiat's stake in Chrysler to almost 62 percent.
  • Nine of the largest U.S. banks have submitted plans to the federal regulators that show how they would break up and sell off their assets if they are in danger of failing. The FDIC has released summaries of the "living wills" for Bank of America, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and UBS.

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