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Thursday Evening Business Brief

November 8, 2012, 5:10 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief
  • Stocks have slumped for a second day on Wall Street. The Dow lost 121 points to close at 12,811. The S&P 500 dropped 17 to 1,378 and the Nasdaq fell 42 points, ending the day at 2,896. Investors have been expressing concern about Europe's faltering economy and the potential for gridlock as Washington tries to avoid the fiscal cliff.
  • The Congressional Budget Office says going over the so-called fiscal cliff would send the U.S. economy back into recession and cause unemployment to jump to more than 9 percent. The CBO estimates the automatic tax increases and spending cuts would cut the deficit by more than $500 billion, but if left in effect for the entire year would cause the economy to shrink by 0.5 percent.
  • The government has two pieces of upbeat economic news today, but both come with qualifiers. The number of people filing for unemployment benefits dropped by 8,000 last week, while the nation's trade deficit narrowed in September on a 3 percent jump in exports. The Labor Department cautions that Superstorm Sandy likely kept jobless claims down, while economists say a weak global economy will likely slow future exports.
  • Air travel in the New York area is slowly getting back to normal after the second major storm in little more than a week. The flight tracking service FlightAware says major airlines scratched about 600 flights around the country today, most them at New York's airports. Airlines canceled 1,600 flights yesterday because of the storm.
  • Ready for a glass of wine, or a case?  Amazon.com can probably ship it to you pretty quickly. The online retailer has added wine to the long list of products it sells. Amazon says it will ship wine to 12 states and Washington, D.C., from its new storefront. Shipping up to six bottles will cost $10.

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