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Financial 411: Weekly Business Roundup

Friday, April 08, 2011

No Deal on the Budget, Hours Before Deadline

Time's almost up. The federal government is hours away from shutting down as lawmakers appear unable to reach a budget deal by midnight. The Obama administration is readying hundreds of thousands of furlough notices for government workers deemed "non-essential." New York City is home to more than 51,000 federal employees. The shutdown would also force national parks to close, including the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Markets

The stock market slipped as the threat of a shutdown became more of a reality.

The Dow dropped 29 points, to close at 12,380.
The NASDAQ fell 16 points, settling at 2,780.
The S&P 500 lost five points, to close the week at 1,328.

Airlines Raise Fares, Again

If you are booking a flight, get ready to pay even more. Airlines are continuing to raise ticket prices. On Friday, U.S. Airways and Delta added $10 to domestic round-trip flights. It's the tenth attempt by airlines to raise fares as oil prices keep climbing. Oil topped $112 a barrel.

Johnson & Johnson Agrees to $70 Million Settlement

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $70 million to settle charges of corruption and bribery. The Securities and Exchange Commission accused subsidiaries of the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company of bribing doctors in Greece, Poland and Romania in exchange for prescribing the company's products. The SEC also said some subsidiaries paid kickbacks to the Iraqi government in order to get illegal business contracts. Johnson & Johnson has settled the charges without admitting or denying guilt.

Reviewing this Week's Business and Economics News

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's third term "blahs" came into sharper focus as he fired his schools chancellor. Poor numbers on apartment sales prompted worries over New York real estate, and a big question mark hovered over an opera company with a big budget deficit.

Greg David, director of the Business & Economics Reporting Program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, reviews this week's business and economic news.

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