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Wednesday Evening Business Brief

November 14, 2012, 5:35 PM

Wednesday Evening Business Brief

Stocks suffered a setback on Wall Street fearing a prolonged budget standoff between the president and the Congress. The Dow fell 185 points, or 1.5 percent, to 12,571. The S&P was down 19 points, while the Nasdaq shed 37 points.

  • President Barack Obama is urging Congress to extend expiring tax cuts immediately for all but the highest income earners as a way to eliminate half of the so-called fiscal cliff.  At his first news conference since being re-elected, Obama noted he had campaigned on a platform that called for allowing tax breaks to expire as scheduled on Dec. 31 for the wealthiest income earners.
  • The Federal Reserve is signaling that it could announce a new bond buying program in December to try to spur job growth.  The program known as "Operation Twist" expires at the end of the year. New purchases would be intended to lower long-term borrowing rates to encourage spending and strengthen the economy.
  • Starbucks is boosting its tea business with a $620 million purchase of Atlanta-based tea seller Teavana. The coffee giant plans to expand Teavana Holdings' network of 300 mall-based stores and add stores outside of malls too.
  • The price of oil surged on new concerns about the Middle East after Israel launched airstrikes in Gaza. Benchmark oil rose 94 cents to finish at $86.32 per barrel in New York.

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