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Thursday Evening Business Brief

January 10, 2013, 5:36 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief

Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street, sending the S&P 500 to another five-year high. The S&P closed at 1,472 today, its highest point since December 2007. Its gain on the day was 11 points, or 0.8 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average closed with a gain of nearly 81 points at 13,471. The Nasdaq composite gained nearly 16 points.

  • The price of oil is up today, propelled by a rebound in China's trade growth. Energy analysts say a pickup in economic activity in the world's second-largest economy could boost demand for oil. Benchmark oil gained 72 cents to finish at $93.82 a barrel in New York. It has now risen more than 9 percent in the past four weeks.
  • American Express says it will slash roughly 5,400 jobs, mainly in its travel business, and book a $287 million restructuring charge. As a result, the credit card company projects that it will report a 46 percent drop in fourth-quarter adjusted net income from a year ago.
  • Diners who go to a Burger King in China can now expect to be served Pepsi, rather than the Coke they get at the fast-food chain in the United States. PepsiCo says it struck a deal to serve its drinks at Burger King in China for the first time, taking over a deal the chain had with the Coca-Cola.
  • Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says he's asking his department to begin taking steps to freeze civilian hiring, delay some contract awards and curtail some maintenance to prepare for drastic budget cuts if Congress can't reach an agreement on a final spending plan. Panetta says officials must take precautionary steps and begin planning for unpaid furloughs.

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