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Thursday Morning Business Brief

August 16, 2012, 5:37 AM

Thursday Morning Business Brief
  • Stocks were little changed in Wednesday trading. The Dow fell 7 points, while the Nasdaq added nearly 14. The S&P was in the middle, rising nearly 2 points. Futures trading suggests slight gains this morning.
  • International stock markets were mostly muted today as traders tried to assess whether the central banks of the world's two biggest economies, the U.S. and China, would take action to spur growth. Benchmark crude oil fell to hover above $94 per barrel. The dollar rose against the euro and the yen.
  • Some of the market's focus today will be on housing starts. The Commerce Department has that report this morning, along with the Labor Department's weekly jobless claims report.
  • A liberal-leaning think tank is out with a study criticizing corporate tax rules and pointing out that 26 big U.S. companies paid their CEOs more last year than they paid in federal taxes. The Institute for Policy Studies says companies, including AT&T, Boeing and Citigroup, paid their CEOs millions while paying little or no federal tax. Eighteen companies received cash back or tax credits.
  • China's premier says the country should be able to meet its economic targets this year despite a slowdown in July growth. Premier Wen Jiabao says industrial activity is improving and employment is stable. His comments during a visit to eastern China were reported by the government's Xinhua News Agency.

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