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Afternoon Business Brief

November 1, 2010, 1:12 PM

Afternoon Business Brief
  • The tone of the stock market has been positive, although it has pared its gains after the Dow approached its highest trading levels of the year. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index rose in October, indicating an acceleration of growth in the sector.
  • The dollar turned higher after the release of a strong report on U.S. manufacturing. It had fallen earlier as traders gird for an expected announcement from the Federal Reserve that it's providing more relief for the struggling economy. That could trigger more borrowing and spending, but it would also weigh on the dollar.
  • By one measure, the struggling construction industry remains 34 percent below its 2006 peak, even after posting small gains in September. The Commerce Department says spending on building projects rose 0.5 percent after having dropped in August to the lowest point since July 2000.
  • The CEO of oil and gas producer EXCO Resources says he plans to buy all the company's outstanding shares in a deal valued at more than $4 billion. Douglas Miller is expected to take the company private, which could make it easier to shut down unprofitable natural gas projects and wait out the slump in prices.
  • AIG says it has raised $37 billion from the sale of two foreign insurance units to help repay U.S. government bailout money. The financial services company still owes more than $100 billion. The government will be converting some outstanding debt into common stock in the company as part of the repayment.

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