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Business briefs for November 29

Hawaii priciest state for home buyers

HONOLULU (AP) — A real estate company says the average four-bedroom, two-bathroom home is more expensive in Hawaii than any other state in the nation.

Coldwell Banker said Wednesday the average listing for a house that size is more than $742,000 in Hawaii. That’s well above Massachusetts, which ranked second with an average listing price just over $489,000.

The company’s U.S. Home Listing Report analyzes the average listing price of four-bedroom, two-bathroom properties on between January 2012 and June 2012.

Nebraska has the cheapest listings at about $145,000. Iowa and Georgia are the second and third most affordable states to buy a home.

Los Altos, Calif., in Silicon Valley has the priciest listings of any community in the nation, with an average of $1.7 million.

Stocks gain on hopes for a ‘fiscal cliff’ deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks gained on signs that lawmakers are edging toward a deal that would help the U.S. avoid the “fiscal cliff.”

Indexes shrugged off an early loss and rose in afternoon trading Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 106.98 points at 12,985.11. It had been down as much as 112 points in early trading.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 was up 10.99 points at 1,409.93. The Nasdaq composite rose 23.99 points to 2,991.78.

Huge tax increases and spending cuts will come into effect Jan. 1 if no deal on the U.S. budget is reached. Economists say the measures could push the country back into recession. President Barack Obama said he believed both parties can reach a “framework” on a debt-cutting deal before Christmas, while House Speaker John Boehner told reporters that he was optimistic a deal could be reached, according news outlets including CNBC.

Judge bows out of ‘pink slime’ lawsuit

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A federal judge has recused himself from presiding over a $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC because his daughter-in-law works as a producer on one of the network’s morning shows.

Judge Lawrence L. Piersol recused himself from hearing the defamation lawsuit filed by South Dakota-based Beef Products Inc. against ABC because his daughter-in-law works as a producer on “Good Morning America.”

The case has been reassigned to Chief Judge Karen Schreier.

Beef Products Inc. sued ABC in September over its coverage of a meat product called lean, finely textured beef. Critics have dubbed the product “pink slime.” The meat processor claims the network damaged the company by misleading consumers into believing the product is unhealthy and unsafe.


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