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Monday Afternoon Business Brief

July 16, 2012, 1:17 PM

Monday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks have been lower in Wall Street trading. Investors were confronted with a dismal report on June retail sales, which posted the third straight monthly decline.

  • The outlook for the nation's economy has grown dimmer after word that Americans cut back on retail spending last month. The retail sales report has prompted some economists to downgrade their forecasts for second-quarter growth.
  • The International Monetary Fund warns that Europe's financial crisis and a potential budget crisis in the U.S. could dampen economic growth further. The IMF looks for global growth of 3.5 percent this year.
  • Senate Democrats are preparing a one-year, $272 billion bill extending income tax cuts for all but the highest-earning Americans. Democrats hope to debate the measure as soon as next week.
  • Boards of both Britain's GlaxoSmithKline and Maryland-based Human Genome Sciences have approved a takeover of HGS. Glaxo expects some $200 million in cost benefits by 2014 and looks for the deal to add to earnings beginning next year.

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