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Wednesday Morning Business Brief

November 21, 2012, 5:40 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

Stocks ended little changed in Tuesday trading. The Dow dropped 7 points to 12,789. The S&P and Nasdaq both gained less than a point. Futures trading suggests opening losses today.

  • International stock markets were mostly lower today after European Union officials held off on releasing a loan to debt-mired Greece and postposed further action until next week. Benchmark crude oil rose to nearly $87 per barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and the yen.
  • Before the Thanksgiving holiday, there's a feast of economic data. The Labor Department today releases weekly jobless claims. The Conference Board releases the index of leading economic indicators, while Freddie Mac reports on its weekly mortgage rate averages.
  • Greece has reacted with dismay to the European Union's failure to agree to release vital rescue loan funds for the debt-ridden country. The prime minister warns it is not just Greece's future that hangs in the balance. The delay prolongs uncertainty over the future of Greece, which faces a messy default that would threaten the entire euro currency used by 17 EU nations.
  • The tough economy has made an impact on travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. Tight family finances mean many Americans had to sacrifice summer vacations, rely on relatives for airfare or scour the Web for travel deals. And airlines struggling to save on jet fuel and other expenses have cut the number of flights, leading to a jump in airfares. Those hitting the roads face high gas prices. But AAA says the number of travelers will still be up just a bit from last year.

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