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Wednesday Morning Business Brief

January 16, 2013, 5:42 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

The S&P 500 starts the day just above the five-year high it reached last Thursday. It rose a point yesterday to 1,472. The Dow managed to gain 27 points after being down more than 60. The Nasdaq fell six points. Futures trading suggested losses at this mornings opening.

  • Japan's benchmark stock index toppled off a 32-month high Wednesday after the yen's slide went into reverse. Other international stock markets were also lower as investors began focusing on the political impasse in Washington over the U.S. government's borrowing limit. Benchmark crude oil rose a bit to remain above $93 per barrel. The dollar gained against the euro but fell against the yen.
  • The Labor Department has an update today on consumer prices, the Federal Reserve reports on industrial production for December and the National Association of Home Builders releases its housing market index for January. Later today the Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book survey of regional economic conditions.
  • Japan's two biggest airlines grounded all their Boeing 787 aircraft for safety checks today after one was forced to make an emergency landing in the latest blow for the new jet. Boeing is counting heavily on the jet's success, but since its launch, the plane has been plagued by a series of problems including a battery fire and fuel leaks.
  • The Senate is expected early next week to send a Superstorm Sandy aid measure to President Barack Obama for his signature after the House passed the $50.5 billion bill. Sandy roared through several states in late October. It has been blamed for 140 deaths and billions of dollars in residential and business property damage.

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