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Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

October 18, 2012, 1:43 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks are down in what's been a quiet session. The Dow Jones industrial average is down about 13 points at 13,544. The Nasdaq Composite Index is down 30 points at 3,073. The S-and-P 500 Index is down four points at 1,457.

  • Google stock hit the skids after its third-quarter earnings report became public several hours ahead of schedule. The report showed a drop in profit and revenue of more than 20 percent. The stock lost nine percent before trading was halted so investors could review the report.
  • There's good news for motorists now that gas prices have started their seasonal slide. The national average retail price is $3.74 a gallon, down 13 cents from its peak of a month ago. One analyst expects prices to drop as much as 15 cents a week for the next three weeks.
  • General Motors says it will hire 3,000 workers from Hewlett-Packard. The move is part of a larger GM strategy to have more control over the technology it uses in cars and to run its business.
  • Good news on the manufacturing front. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia says that manufacturing in the Philadelphia region expanded in October after five months of declines. That's a positive sign for a sector which had been weakening for much of the year.

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