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Thursday Evening Business Brief

November 15, 2012, 5:10 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief
  • U.S. retailers are seeing a weak future and that sent stocks to more losses today. Shares of Wal-Mart, Ross Stores and Limited Brands, the owner of Victoria's Secret, fell after the companies issued earnings forecasts that disappointed analysts. The Dow closed with a loss of 29 points at 12,542. The S&P 500 fell two points to 1,353 and the Nasdaq fell 10 to 2,837.
  • Mortgage rates hit new lows today, with a 30-year average 3.34 percent and a 15-year fixed down to 2.65 percent. But getting a mortgage remains tough even for qualified buyers. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says bank lending standards have grown too tight and may be holding back the U.S. economy.
  • Oil giant BP has agreed to pay the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history and plead guilty to a raft of criminal charges over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The $4.5 billion dollar settlement includes $1.3 billion in fines. Three BP employees are facing charges, include two who have been indicted for manslaughter in the deaths of 11 people in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that triggered the spill.
  • The Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports of 13 deaths possibly linked to so-called "energy shots." The agency has received 92 reports that cite illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths after consumption of a product marketed as 5-Hour Energy. The FDA has also received reports that cited the highly caffeinated Monster Energy Drink in five deaths and one non-fatal heart attack.
  • Chrysler plans to add up to 1,250 jobs at three Detroit-area factories as it prepares for a rise in pickup sales. The company is beefing up engine plants in Detroit and suburban Trenton, Mich., and will add a third shift at factory in Warren, Mich., that makes the redesigned Ram pickup.

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