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Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

November 20, 2012, 1:04 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief
  • Stocks have headed lower on Wall Street, a day after the market chalked up big gains. This is a holiday-shortened trading week, including a market holiday on Thanksgiving.
  • October saw increased construction of new homes. The Commerce Department says housing starts rose 3.6 percent.  Applications for building permits fell 2.7 percent, but applications for single family homes were at their highest since July 2008.
  • Speaking in New York, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke urges Congress and the Obama administration to work toward a budget deal to head off tax increases and spending cuts that could trigger a recession next year. Bernanke also noted that Congress must raise the federal debt limit to prevent the government from defaulting on its debt.
  • The Labor Department says an increase in hiring helped lower unemployment rates in 37 U.S. states last month.    Unemployment rates are now below 7 percent in 23 of the 50 states. Jobless rates rose in seven states in October and were unchanged in six.
  • News Corp. says it is acquiring a 49 percent stake in the New York Yankees' regional cable sports channel, known as the YES Network. News Corp., which owns Fox and The Wall Street Journal, may acquire an additional stake in the baseball channel after three years that could bring its ownership to 80 percent.

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