Business Briefing

By DENNIS SEID / NEMS Daily Journal

New York
Stocks end mixed ahead tax deal vote
• NEW YORK
– Stocks ended flat Monday after expectations that a tax-cut package will pass the Senate kept them higher for much of the day.
Traders were also encouraged by a handful of deals announced Monday. General Electric Co. is paying $1.3 billion to buy British oilfield company Wellstream Holdings PLC and Dell Inc. is spending $960 million for network storage company Compellent Technologies Inc.
The Samp&P 500 index eked out a new 2010 high for the fourth time in four days. The index rose 0.06 point to 1,240.46. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 18.24, or 0.16 percent, to 11,428.56, having been up as many as 70 points earlier. The Nasdaq composite index fell 12.63, or 0.5 percent, to close at 2,624.91.
California
Microsoft joins group targeting Google deal
• SAN FRANCISCO
– Microsoft Corp. has officially joined an industry group lobbying against rival Google Inc.’s proposed, $700 million acquisition of travel-information software firm ITA Software Inc. on antitrust grounds.
The FairSearch.org coalition said Monday that Microsoft is among a handful of new members who will be demonstrating “concern around the world about the broader threat the Google-ITA deal poses to travel consumers.”
Google announced in July that it plans to purchase ITA Software, which provides travel information technology to Microsoft, American Airlines and others.
That announcement drew concerns from rivals and critics who say Google could use its market power as a dominant search engine to hinder competition in the online travel industry.