Stocks finish down

Stocks fell in light trading Monday during a shortened holiday trading session with lawmakers running out of time to reach a budget deal that would prevent the U.S. from going over the so-called fiscal cliff. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 52 points to 13,139.08. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gave up 3 points to 1,426.66. The Nasdaq composite slipped 8.4 points to 3,012.60. 

Nutt buys newspaper 

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Charles W. Nutt, retired editor and publisher of The Daily Journal in Vineland, has formed a new company and purchased the Free Times newspaper in Columbia, S.C. Nutt and his wife, Deborah Nutt, currently Vineland residents, will be moving to Columbia. 

GM truck problem 

A welding error by a supplier is to blame for the forced recall of 119,000 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks from the 2010 through 2012 model years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The error, discovered by General Motors during the inspection of faulty hoods on several vehicles, caused a secondary latch to be left off the construction of the hood. That is a safety issue and a violation of federal regulations. 

FDA botox warning 

Federal regulators have warned more than 350 medical practices that Botox they may have received from a Canadian supplier is unapproved and could be counterfeit or unsafe. The Food and Drug Administration said batches of the wrinkle treatment shipped by suppliers owned by pharmacy Canada Drugs have not been approved by the FDA and that the agency cannot assure their effectiveness or their safety. 

Oil closes lower 

Concerns over the political stalemate in Washington continued to be the focus of energy traders, with the price of U.S. benchmark oil closing down 5 cents to $88.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The average U.S. price for gasoline rose 1.5 cents over the weekend to $3.247 a gallon. Regular unleaded costs nearly two cents more than a year ago. 

Counties sue banks 

Three Atlanta-area counties have filed a lawsuit claiming that British bank HSBC cost them hundreds of millions of dollars in extra expenses and damage to their tax bases by aggressively signing minorities to housing loans that were likely to fail. The Georgia counties’ failure or success with the relatively novel strategy could help determine whether other local governments try to hold big banks accountable for losses in tax revenue based on what they claim are discriminatory or predatory lending practices. Similar lawsuits resulted in settlements this year worth millions of dollars for communities in Maryland and Tennessee. 

Monti’s plan 

Premier Mario Monti issued a detailed 25-page plan for how to fix Italy’s financial woes and bring the country and the rest of Europe back to economic health. “Change Italy, Reform Europe” outlines the steps Italy must take to finish the reforms his 13-month technical government launched to rein in public debt, spur economic growth and bring Europe’s No. 3 economy out of recession.


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