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Thursday Evening Business Brief

December 27, 2012, 5:10 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief

The House will be back in session Sunday evening as the "fiscal cliff" looms, threatening across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts with the new year. It is unclear what legislation the House might consider on Sunday, since Speaker John Boehner is publicly insisting that the Senate make the next move.

  • The "fiscal cliff" took the stock market on a roller coaster. Small developments in the tense budget standoff yanked stocks back and forth throughout the day. The Dow finished down 18.28 points to 13,096.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.73 to 1,418.10. The Nasdaq composite index lost 4.25 to 2,985.91.
  • The price of crude fell slightly Thursday following a reported drop in consumer confidence and growing pessimism that political leaders in Washington can reach a budget deal. U.S. benchmark crude fell 11 cents to finish at $90.87 a barrel in New York.
  • Gold prices edged higher after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that it appeared the government would miss the deadline for avoiding the "fiscal cliff." A commodities analyst at HSBC says the lawmaker's comments boosted demand for the metal as a safe haven.
  • A New York hedge fund founder serving the longest prison term ever given for insider trading also will be writing the government a big check. Court documents show Raj Rajaratnam (rahj rah-juh-RUHT'-nuhm) will pay nearly $1.45 million to settle a civil case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. A federal judge approved the deal.

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