- Strong earnings reports from big U.S. companies helped push the Dow Jones industrial average to its eighth gain in nine sessions today. The Dow closed up 62.51 points, or 0.5 percent, at 13,712.21. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 6.53, or 0.4 percent, to 1,492.51. The Nasdaq composite average rose 8.47, or 0.3 percent, to 3,143.18. Benchmark crude oil rose to surpass $96.
- The Obama administration says it won't oppose a House Republican proposal to increase the nation's $16.4 trillion borrowing authority for only three months. Obama last week decried such short-term measures as harmful to the economy. But a statement today says the administration is encouraged because Republicans backed off their insistence of one dollar of spending cuts for every dollar of increase.
- U.S. sales of previously occupied homes dipped in December from November, in part because of a limited supply of available homes. But for all of 2012, sales rose to their highest level in five years. The National Association of Realtors says sales declined in December to an annual rate of 4.94 million. That's down from a rate of 4.99 million in November. Total sales last year increased to 4.65 million.
- IBM and Google are among today's earnings reporters. IBM says its fourth-quarter earnings grew 6 percent even as revenue was largely flat. Revenue slid to was $29.3 billion from $29.49 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected revenue of $29.12 billion. Meanwhile, Google says its fourth-quarter earnings rose 7 percent as online advertisers spent more money in pursuit of holiday shoppers. The results are slightly above analyst estimates. Revenue surged 36 percent from the previous year to $14.4 billion.
- Ask for a "Bud" in the European Union and the only one you'll get from now on is the one from brewing giant AB InBev. That's following a ruling Tuesday by an EU high court rejecting a challenge from the Czech company Budvar. It's the latest round in a century-long fight between giant AB InBev and Budvar. The smaller Czech company says it's considering an appeal. It's won 88 of 124 disputes between 2000 and 2011.
Find more business stories on the Back To Business page.