Business news for Wednesday, December 11.

New York Stock Exchange (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is lower this morning as investors weigh a budget deal out of Washington and a batch of corporate news. Many are also moving to the sidelines ahead of the next meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Dow was off as much as 70 points after the first hour of trading, while the S&P 500 was down nearly 10 and the Nasdaq had lost about 20.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan budget deal is producing some grumbling on Capitol Hill. It replaces $63 billion in what would have been automatic cuts to federal agency budgets with $85 billion in spending cuts and revenue from new and extended fees over the coming two years. Backers are selling the narrowly drawn deal as a way to stabilize Congress' shaky fiscal practices and avoid another crisis over a government shutdown. But critics say it doesn't solve long-term tax and spending issues.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says the pace of health insurance signups picked up in November. The new national total is close to 365,000 people as of Nov. 30. That is less than one-third the number officials had been aiming for prior to the launch of The balky website has improved but still has some service problems. Meanwhile, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is asking the department's inspector general to investigate management and contracting decisions leading up to the launch.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is taking new action to help phase out the use of antibiotics in meat. The agency says it's asking pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily stop marketing drugs that are important for treating human infection for use in animal production. The FDA is hoping to limit antibiotic resistant diseases in humans by decreasing the use of the drugs in animals processed for meat.

PRAGUE (AP) — Anheuser-Busch InBev has lost another European battle over the name Budweiser. A Czech brewery, Budvar, says a Portuguese trade court has upheld a decision prohibiting Anheuser-Busch from selling its beer under the Budweiser name in Portugal. The court in Lisbon ruled that the Budweiser trademarks could be mistaken for the trademarks the brewery has already registered in Portugal.

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street fell back to a slower pace, and some losses, after hitting an all-time high to begin the week. Analysts will be watching closely today to see how traders react to tentative agreement in Washington on a new, short-term, modest budget deal. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 52.40 points, or 0.3 percent, to 15,973.13. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 5.75 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,802.62. The Nasdaq composite lost 8.26 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,060.49. Futures point to a lower opening this morning.

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — International stock markets mostly fell today as investors factored in the prospect of the Federal Reserve reducing its lavish monetary stimulus this month. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell below 98.50 a barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and fell against the yen.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pessimism among women remains strong when it comes to equality in the workplace. The Pew Research Center finds about 75 percent of young women believe the U.S. needs to do more to bring about workplace equality. Pay gaps have narrowed but the study finds they widen again for women by the time they hit their mid-30s. Factors include family responsibility, gender stereotyping, discrimination, weaker professional networks and women's hesitancy to aggressively push for advancement.

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal regulators have approved the Volcker Rule, which bars banks from betting on the market with their own money starting in July 2015. The Volcker rule is part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law passed in 2010 in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The news pushed bank stocks higher.

DETROIT (AP) — In a history-making move, General Motors has installed a woman at the helm of the company. The automaker has named Mary Barra as their next CEO. She'll replace Dan Akerson and will be the first woman to run a major U.S. car company. The government also says it has sold the last of its stake in the automaker, which it acquired following GM's 2009 bankruptcy and restructuring.



(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)