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Tuesday Evening Business Brief

November 20, 2012, 5:11 PM

Tuesday Evening Business Brief
  • Stocks ended today's trading on Wall Street little changed. The Dow dropped 7 points to 12,789. The S&P and the Nasdaq composite both rose less than a point.
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is urging Congress and the Obama administration to avoid sending the economy over the "fiscal cliff". Speaking in New York, Bernanke said uncertainty is likely restraining spending and investment.
  • Hewlett-Packard says it was the victim of a multi-billion dollar fraud at the hands of a British company it bought last year that lied about its finances. HP CEO Meg Whitman says executives at Autonomy Corporation "willfully" boosted the company's figures through various accounting tricks. HP paid $9.7 billion for the company in October 2011.
  • Moody's Investors Service is cutting its long-term ratings for J.C. Penney one step lower into non-investment of junk grade status. Moody's says the downgrades reflect its expectation that J.C. Penney's fourth-quarter profitability will take a big hit as a result of the need to clear excess inventory.
  • South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says a report on a massive security breach in the state's tax collection agency shows officials could have done more to protect personal information for nearly 4 million taxpayers. She has accepted the resignation of Department of Revenue Director effective at the end of the year. Haley says the hacker got access to 3.3 million bank account numbers.

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