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Wednesday Evening Business Brief

January 9, 2013, 5:29 PM

Wednesday Evening Business Brief
  • Stocks are closing higher, boosted by encouraging quarterly results from several well-known companies. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 61 points to close at 13,390 today. The S&P 500 rose three and the Nasdaq composite rose 14. Airplane maker Boeing rose 3.5 percent after falling for two days because of worries about technical problems with its 787s.
  • The price of oil barely budged today. Benchmark oil slipped 5 cents to end at $93.10 per barrel in New York trading. After rising on the year's first trading day following the resolution of a budget standoff in Washington, oil has been holding around $93.
  • Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is resigning. She says she plans to return to her native California. Solis is expected to run for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. She's been praised by unions for aggressive enforcement of wage and hour laws and job safety regulations. But criticized by business groups for not taking a more cooperative approach.
  • A firm that analyzes customer traffic says retail sales climbed 2.5 percent for the November and December period, boosted by a last-minute shopping surge. According to preliminary sales data, Chicago-based ShopperTrak says shoppers spent $248.8 billion. The data offers more evidence that the holiday shopping season was respectable but not robust.
  • An Argentine naval ship detained for more than two months in Ghana because of a billion-dollar international debt dispute is back home. Ghana courts had ordered the ship held in October on a claim by a Cayman Islands-based hedge fund owned by an American billionaire. But a U.N. tribunal ordered the ship's release last month after Argentina argued that warships are immune from seizure.

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