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Friday Evening Business Brief

January 18, 2013, 4:44 PM

Friday Evening Business Brief
  • The stock market is edging higher, with the major indexes closing out a third straight week of gains. General Electric led the Dow Jones industrial average higher after reporting a strong quarter thanks to growth in emerging markets. The Dow ended up nearly 54 points at 13,649. The S&P 500 reached another five-year high, rising 5 points to close at 1,485. The Nasdaq fell a point, dragged down by a loss at Intel.
  • Crude oil futures prices ended higher on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The near-month contract for the benchmark grade rose 7 cents -- closing at $95.56 a barrel.
  • Aviation safety and battery experts say it's likely that fires on two Boeing 787 Dreamliners were caused by overcharged lithium ion batteries. Investigators in Japan, where a 787 made an emergency landing earlier this week, says the jet's burned-out battery received voltage in excess of its design limit. A source familiar with the investigation of a battery fire in a 787 on the ground in Boston Jan. 7 says the battery was in the process of charging when the fire erupted.
  • Officials overseeing the salvage of a Royal Dutch Shell drill barge that ran aground on a remote Alaska island say no new information will be released until a vessel assessment is completed. Shell's drill vessel Kulluk ran aground New Year's Eve. It was pulled off the rocky bottom Jan. 6 and towed to a protected bay within Kodiak Island.
  • The New York state comptroller has approved a $3.14 billion contract between the state Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors to design and build the new bridge across the lower Hudson River. He says replacing the aging Tappan Zee Bridge is "vital" to the state's economic prosperity, but notes this approval does not extend to any toll increase or debt issuance. The 66-month contract is with a joint venture of Fluor Enterprises, American Bridge, Granite Construction Northeast and Traylor Bros.

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