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Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

December 13, 2012, 2:24 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks have edged lower as signs of tension emerge from federal budget talks in Washington. Stocks fell despite the fourth straight weekly drop in applications for unemployment benefits.

  • One of President Barack Obama's Senate allies says the White House has assured him the president won't yield to GOP demands to increase the eligibility age for Medicare. Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin told reporters that increasing the Medicare age is "no longer one of the items being considered by the White House."
  • A federal program giving unlimited insurance guarantees to some no-interest bank accounts, enacted at the height of the financial meltdown, will die out at the end of the year following defeat of a Senate plan to extend it.  Non-interest-bearing transaction accounts are used by businesses, local governments, hospitals and farmers who need a safe place to keep money.
  • Google Maps has found its way back to the iPhone. The world's most popular online mapping system returned late Wednesday with the release of the Google Maps iPhone app.
  • Yahoo is adding a new director and parting ways with two other board members in the latest shake-up of the Internet company's hierarchy. The overhaul is part of an effort to bring in new ideas as Yahoo tries to revive revenue growth and snap itself out of a malaise that has left its stock price well below where it stood five years ago.

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