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Tuesday Evening Business Brief

December 4, 2012, 6:40 PM

Tuesday Evening Business Brief
  • Stocks fell slightly in light trading as budget talks continued in Washington. The Dow dropped nearly 14 points to 12,952. The S&P fell 2 points, while the Nasdaq slipped more than 5 points.
  • President Barack Obama says avoiding a plunge over the "fiscal cliff" will require Republicans to realize that tax rates must go up on wealthiest Americans.  Perhaps indicating some leeway, the president said he would consider lowering rates for the top 2 percent of earners next year as part of a broader tax overhaul effort that closes loopholes, limits deductions and finds other sources of revenue.
  • A federal mediator is being called in to help resolve an eight-day strike that has cost the economy billions of dollars while paralyzing the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The Los Angeles mayor says striking clerical workers and shippers agreed to mediation after an all-night bargaining session that continued this morning.
  • Netflix's video subscription service has trumped pay-TV channels and grabbed the rights to show Disney movies shortly after they finish their runs in theaters. The multiyear licensing agreement is a breakthrough for Netflix as it tries to add more recent movies to a popular service that streams video over high-speed Internet connections.
  • Crude prices edged lower. Benchmark crude finished down 59 cents to settle at $88.50 a barrel in New York.

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