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Thursday Morning Business Brief

January 3, 2013, 5:35 AM

Thursday Morning Business Brief

The Dow is coming off its big gains after Congress passed a budget deal that avoided the tax hikes and government spending cuts associated with the fiscal cliff. The Dow jumped 308 points to close at 13,413, its biggest advance in more than a year. It's now just 5 percent below its record high close reached in October 2007. The S&P 500 rose 2.5 percent, while the Nasdaq added more than 3 percent.

  • Asian stocks rose today, a day after the U.S. reached a deal to stave off the so-called fiscal cliff, but enthusiasm waned by the time European markets opened. Benchmark crude oil fell below $93 per barrel. The dollar gained against the euro but slipped against the yen.
  • Moody's Investors Service says Congress must come up with a plan to shrink the budget deficit if it wants to keep the U.S. government from losing its "Aaa" credit rating. The credit rating agency says it expects lawmakers will take the additional steps needed to lower the deficit, which has topped $1 trillion annually in each of the past four years.
  • Automakers release their December sales figures today. A number of retailers are also reporting their December numbers. Early numbers were disappointing, suggesting that U.S. shoppers spent cautiously during the holiday season.
  • Google's executive chairman is preparing to travel to one of the last frontiers of cyberspace: North Korea. Sources say Eric Schmidt will be traveling to North Korea on a private, humanitarian mission led by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson that could take place as early as this month. The trip would is a first for a top Google executive. North Korea is considered to have the most restrictive Internet policies on the planet.

You can find more business news on the Back to Business page of KELOLAND.com.

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