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Wednesday Evening Business Brief

November 28, 2012, 5:09 PM

Wednesday Evening Business Brief
  • Stocks closed higher on some optimism that a deal might be reached on the "fiscal cliff". The Dow added 107 points to 12,985. The S&P was up 11 points, while the Nasdaq surged 24 points.
  • Moody's Investors Service is lowering the long-term credit rating for Hewlett-Packard, fearing the technology giant will have trouble increasing sales of many of its products. The rating agency cites concerns that the company's finances will remain weaker than previously expected "over the immediate term."
  • Some cracks are developing among Republicans over whether to accept a quick deal with President Barack Obama on allowing the top two income tax rates to expire. Longtime GOP loyalist Congressman Tom Cole told colleagues in a private meeting Tuesday that it's better to make sure that tax cuts for the 98 percent of taxpayers who make less than $200,000 or $250,000 a year are extended than to battle it out with Obama and risk increasing taxes on everyone.
  • The Federal Reserve's Beige Book survey finds that improving consumer spending and steady home sales helped boost economic growth from October through early November in most of the U.S. The Northeast was an exception, having been slowed by Superstorm Sandy.
  • President Barack Obama will host Republican Mitt Romney for a private lunch at the White House tomorrow. It will be their first meeting since the election.

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