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Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

November 21, 2012, 1:24 PM

Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks have firmed today, ahead of the Thanksgiving break. The stock market will be closed tomorrow and then there's a shortened session Friday.

  • The Conference Board says its index of leading indicators increased 0.2 percent in October after being up 0.5 percent in September. The index is intended to forecast economic conditions three to six months down the road.
  • The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid remained elevated for a second straight week because people were idled by Superstorm Sandy.  The Labor Department says new claims fell by 41,000 to 410,000.
  • A new report shows that the nation's worst drought in decades is getting worse again, ending an encouraging five-week run of improving conditions. The latest update from the government finds that 60.1 percent of the continental U.S. was in some form of drought as of Tuesday. That's up from 58.8 percent the previous week.
  • Facebook proposes ending its practice of letting users vote on changes to its privacy policies. The company says it will continue to let users comment on proposed updates.

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