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Monday Evening Business Brief

January 7, 2013, 5:15 PM

Monday Evening Business Brief
  • The S&P 500 has slipped from the five-year high it hit Friday. The S&P dropped four points to 1,461 Monday. The Dow also closed lower, losing 50 points to 13,384. The Nasdaq sank two points to 3,098.
  • U.S. banks have taken another step to clear away the wreckage of the 2008 financial crisis. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and seven other banks have agreed to pay $8.5 billion to homeowners who were wrongfully thrown out of their homes. Consumer advocates are complaining that regulators settled for too low a price.
  • The government says Americans have kept their health care spending in check for three consecutive years. The Health and Human Services Department says the nation's health care tab stood at $2.7 trillion in 2011, the latest year available. That works out to $8,680 for every man, woman and child. It's a 3.9 percent increase from the previous year but remains in line with overall economic growth.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration doesn't want electric and hybrid vehicles to be so quiet. It is proposing a rule that requires the vehicles make enough noise when traveling at low speed to warn walkers, bicyclists and the visually impaired of their approach. The agency says the cars do make enough noise to be heard when traveling at higher speeds.
  • Electronics companies are showcasing their latest innovations in televisions, computers and other devices at the International CES gadget show in Las Vegas. Among the offerings is a new kind of headphones from Panasonic for people who don't want to disturb sleeping family members while they watch TV. The wireless headsets work like hearing aids by transmitting sound waves through the skull. They are being called bone-conduction headphones.

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