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Saturday Midday Business Brief

December 29, 2012, 12:29 PM

Saturday Midday Business Brief
  • Stocks fell for a fifth day Friday on concern that Washington lawmakers will fail to reach a budget deal before a year-end deadline. The five-day losing streak for the Dow Jones industrial average was the longest since July. The Dow lost 158 points to close at 12,938 Friday. The Standard & Poor 500 index fell 15 points and the Nasdaq dropped 25 points.
  • The price of oil fell slightly on Friday, as the stock market drifted lower and efforts continued in Washington to strike a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff." U.S. benchmark crude fell 7 cents to finish at $90.80 a barrel. Traders are also weighing rising energy supplies. The Energy Department says crude supplies fell last week but were still 13 percent above year-ago levels.
  • A deal has been struck that for now averts a strike by longshoremen at major ports on the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico. A federal mediator announced Friday that an expired contract for 14,500 union workers would be extended until early February while negotiations continue. The mediator says there have been major steps forward toward resolving the dispute.
  • A plaintiffs' attorney says a federal judge in California has given preliminary approval to a $1 billion-plus settlement with Toyota in cases involving unintended acceleration problems in its vehicles. Attorney Steve Berman says the judge gave swift initial approval Friday. The judge will hold a fairness hearing on June 13 and consider granting final approval to the deal.
  • Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' pay will double to $4 million next year, after he took a pay cut due to management missteps this year. According to a securities filing on Friday

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