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Friday Afternoon Business Brief

August 10, 2012, 1:26 PM

Friday Afternoon Business Brief
  • The Dow is still in negative territory, around 10 points lower. Stocks have been inching down, at the end of a slow summer week, as investors focus on piecemeal signs that there's still plenty wrong with the world economy. For one thing, China reported sharply lower growth in its exports.
  • A few stocks are making big moves. J.C. Penney stock jumped more than 3 percent, after CEO Ron Johnson laid out more of his vision for turning around the struggling department store company. Movie studio Lions Gate rose 3 percent, after reporting a revenue surge thanks to "The Hunger Games." But British soccer club Manchester United is having a lethargic debut as a public company.
  • The U.S. federal budget deficit increased $70 billion in July. It's on track to top $1 trillion for the fourth straight year. The Treasury Department does say the deficit for the first 10 months of the 2012 budget year was 11.5 percent less than the same period last year. That's due to boosted income tax receipts due to the slightly better economy.
  • Chesapeake Energy Corp. says the federal government is investigating whether there were antitrust violations relating to its purchase of some oil and gas land in Michigan. The Oklahoma City-based company says in a regulatory filing that it was subpoenaed in June by the Justice Department to hand over paperwork related to those purchases.
  • With just a few events to go, athletes and Londoners are set for the mother-of-all celebrations -- the closing ceremony, followed by a weekend of gold-medal parties. Some social observers say it's about time. They claim London's party scene has been muted during the games, dragged down by economic recession and a downturn in central London businesses as a result of the games farther east.

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