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Dec. 10, 2012 at 8:28 PM
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Stocks rise Monday with trading light

NEW YORK, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Wall Street stocks posted muted gains Monday with under 3 billion shares traded.

By close of trading in New York, the Dow Jones industrial average added 14.75 points, or 0.11 percent, to 13,169.88.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index gained 8.92 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,986.96. The Standard and Poor's 500 added 0.48 points, or 0.03 percent, to 1,418.55.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,678 stocks advanced and 1,356 declined on a volume of 2.9 billion shares traded.

The 10-year treasury note rose 2/32 to yield 1.621 percent.

The euro rose to $1.2938 from Friday's $1.2926. The dollar fell to 82.36 yen from 82.49 yen.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 0.07 percent, 6.36 points, to 9,533.75.

Britain's FTSE 100 index gained 0.12 percent, 7.23 points, to 5,921.63.

Daimler: $120M investment in Redford plant

REDFORD, Mich., Dec. 10 (UPI) -- While at a Michigan auto plant touting his plan to avoid the fiscal cliff, President Obama gave a shout-out to Daimler Trucks for a new investment in the plant.

Daimler Monday announced it was investing $120 million in the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in Redford, Mich., that will create "115 good, new union jobs building transmissions and turbochargers right here in Redford," Obama said.

"That is great for the plant and it's great for this community," Obama said to loud applause and cheers.

With the investment, Daimler Trucks North America is the only manufacturer in the North America Free Trade Agreement Region with a fully integrated powertrain from its own production, the company said in a release.

The plant already turns out engines and axles. With the investment, the plant soon will be building all the key parts that go into a truck, Obama said.

"No one else is doing that," he said.

"A fully integrated powertrain from a single source is a decisive competitive advantage," said Martin Daum, president and chief executive officer of Daimler Trucks North America. "That is why we decided in favor of the Redford location where our employees work hand in hand in one location."

Bloomberg mulls a bid for Financial Times

NEW YORK, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, 90 percent owner of Bloomberg LP, is considering buying the Financial Times, sources told The New York Times.

The decision appears balanced between Bloomberg's personal enjoyment of the London business newspaper he says he buys every day and profit, which is the halo around his $7.6 billion business data empire.

Financial Times is estimated to be losing money while experiencing the fate of similar print media companies that are losing advertising revenue to the Internet. Bloomberg LP, on the other hand, is digital, which means buying Financial Times would be a step back from a technological point of view.

Bloomberg has said he is tempted, but hesitant. "I buy it every day," he told a reporter in London during a visit to newspaper's offices in October. He is quoted as saying to an associate, however, "Why should I buy it?"

Financial Times is owned by Pearson PLC, where two top executives have recently left, which might be seen as creating favorable conditions for a bid for FT, which also includes half ownership of The Economist and is valued at about $1.2 billion, The New York Times said.

Amtrak says it set holiday records

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Amtrak said its East Coast rail service was ready for Thanksgiving and that nationally it carried a record number of passengers during the holiday.

"Amtrak recovered quickly from Superstorm Sandy," the company said in a statement, referring to the major hurricane that devastated the East Coast in late October.

In the Northeast Corridor, the rail service carried the same number of holiday travelers as it did in 2011, Amtrak said.

But nationally it carried a record 737,537 passengers Nov. 20-26, a gain of 1.9 percent compared with the same period of 2011.

Ticket revenues also set a holiday record at $56.1 million, up 8.4 percent from 2011. In addition, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was the rail service's busiest day ever with 140,691 passengers riding the rails.

Amtrak said it added trains to many of its routes and that the eTicketing system went national "helping smooth the way," for passengers.

The system allows passengers to "print their own boarding documents or have their smartphones scanned by Amtrak conductors," which reduced lines at ticket windows and kiosks.

Auto sales in China up through November

SHANGHAI, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- New car sales in China are up 4 percent for the first 11 months of the year compared to the same period of 2011 a manufacturers association said.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said sales for the year through November reached 17.49 million cars, a number that is expected to top 19 million by the end of the year.

A sharp drop in consumer interest in Japanese cars is beginning a turnaround, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Japanese brands made up 20 percent of new car sales in China until a territorial dispute suddenly sent Japanese brands out of favor.

The dispute over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea is not over, but the impact on sales appears to be waning.

Japanese passenger car sales were at 7.61 percent of the market in October, but rose to 11.65 percent in November as Japanese automobile companies have been aggressively discounting prices and compensating car owners whose cars were damaged by protesters when the dispute flared up.

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