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Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

January 16, 2013, 1:32 PM

Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

Problems with its new 787 have propelled Boeing's stock down sharply, and that's keeping the Dow down. Japan's two biggest airlines have grounded all their Boeing 787s for safety checks after one was forced to make an emergency landing. The Dow is off about 20 in afternoon trading while the Nasdaq is up about 10 and the S&P 500 has edged into positive territory too.

  • Moody's is turning sour on the higher education sector. The ratings agency says even prestigious, top-tier research universities are under threat from declining enrollments, government spending cuts and growing public doubts about the value of a college degree. Moody's says colleges and universities still offer a valuable product, but must take bolder action to cut costs and it's revising its outlook for the sector to negative.
  • Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will pay a combined $557 million to settle federal complaints that they wrongfully foreclosed on homeowners who should have been allowed to stay in their homes. The agreements with the Federal Reserve are similar to deals struck earlier this month with 10 other major banks and mortgage lenders. Combined, the 12 firms will pay more than $9 billion.
  • Charities and nonprofit organizations are expressing concerns that new limits on tax deductions for high earners will reduce the incentive for people to make donations. The limits are part of the new tax law Congress passed on New Year's Day. They reduce the value of itemized deductions for individuals making more than $250,000 and married  couples making more than $300,000.
  • A new government survey suggests the number of people seeking emergency treatment after consuming energy drinks has doubled nationwide as their popularity has grown. It found the number of emergency room visits involving the beverages shot up from about 10,000 in 2007 to more than 20,000 in 2011. The energy drink industry says its drinks are safe and there is no proof linking its products to the adverse reactions.

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