- Stocks advanced today amid investor optimism regarding budget talks being held in Washington. The Standard & Poor's 500 had its biggest gain this month. The Dow rose 79 points to 13,248. The S&P 500 surged 9, while the Nasdaq surged 35 points.
- The White House and congressional Republicans have been bargaining in secret and sparring in public over a deal to prevent year-end tax increases for middle class millions and spending cuts across much of the nation. Officials disclosed that President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner had exchanged at least partial proposals in the past two days, although details were sparse and evidence of significant progress scarcer still.
- The Michigan Legislature has given final approval to a bitterly contested right-to-work plan limiting the power of unions, a devastating setback for organized labor in a state considered a cradle of the movement. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign the measures as early as tomorrow.
- American authorities cite "astonishing" dysfunction at the British bank HSBC, saying that it had helped Mexican drug traffickers, Iran, Libya and others under U.S. suspicion or sanction to move money around the world. HSBC has agreed to pay $1.9 billion, the largest penalty ever imposed on a bank.
- Yahoo is giving a makeover to its email service in an attempt to regain some of the ground lost to Google. Hoping to cater to the growing audience checking their email on smartphones and tablet computers, Yahoo also introduced mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad and devices powered by Microsoft's recently released Windows 8 system.
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