Financial 411: Weekly Business Roundup

Stocks ended another week lower than where they started.

Markets fell Friday, after poor earnings from technology companies suggested that big business is investing less, as the economic recovery has slowed. Europe's debt woes continued to weigh on markets as well. Moody's warned that it might downgrade the credit rating of some Italian banks.
The Dow dropped 115 points, or one percent, to 11,935. The S&P 500 lost 15 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,268. The Nasdaq fell 34 points, to 2,653. It's the seventh week out of the last eight that major indexes have fallen.

As of Friday afternoon, in Albany, a property tax cap and city rent regulations remained stalled, despite a broad agreement between Albany's three men in a room. The logjam on a same-sex marriage bill broke late Friday, when lawmakers announced that they would allow the bill to go to the floor for a vote. Lawmakers also say there's a framework to shape the deals on a tax cap and rent regulations.

In other legislative news, a plan to allow up to 30,000 livery cabs to pick up passengers on the street looks likely to pass the Senate, now that two changes have been made. Car service companies that buy the $1,500 permits will be required to charge the same 50 cent MTA surcharge, as do yellow cabs; and, the permits won't go into effect until January. The medallion yellow cab industry is fighting this, although taxi workers have flipped to supporting the measure.  

A new report by the group Common Cause finds real-estate interests are doubling-down on their campaign contributions. The report says the real-estate industry nearly doubled its campaign contributions to New York politicians in 2009-2010 to $10 million, compared with the previous two-year period.