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Wednesday Morning Business Brief

January 9, 2013, 5:37 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

Coming off a relatively poor closing on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 55 points to finish at 13,328 Tuesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost four points to close at 1,457 and the Nasdaq composite fell seven points to 3,091.

  • World stock markets have risen this morning after the fourth-quarter earnings season got off to a positive start in the U.S. with aluminum giant Alcoa forecasting higher demand in 2013. Benchmark crude oil is up to $93.25 a barrel. The dollar fell against the euro but gained against the yen.
  • American International Group Inc. is considering whether the company should join a lawsuit against the government that spent $182 billion to save it from collapse. If AIG decides to join the complaint, which seeks $25 billion in damages, it would pit the company against the government that in 2008 kept it from buckling under the weight huge losses on mortgage-backed securities and other toxic assets.
  • The Chinese company that bought Miasole, a California producer of thin-film solar panels, says it can make a success of the emerging technology where others have suffered huge losses. Hanergy Group's chairman Li Hejun says that its strong finances will help Miasole invest in research and ride out a downturn in the global solar market, while its links to customers in China and abroad will help build sales.
  • Transocean Ltd. is scheduled to make an initial court appearance in New Orleans today for its plea agreement with the Justice Department over the company's role in the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which sank after an explosion killed 11 workers and spawned the spill. The company has agreed to pay $400 million in criminal penalties $1 billion in civil penalties.

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