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Wednesday business briefs

U.S. Treasury adds $3.8B

in bailout aid to GMAC

The government Wednesday provided a fresh $3.8-billion cash infusion to stabilize GMAC Financial Services as the financing company struggles with hefty losses in its home mortgage unit. The fresh infusion is on top of $12.5 billion the company has already received andwill boost the federal government's ownership in GMAC to 56 percent, from 35 percent.

Business barometer shows

companies expanded in Dec.

U.S. companies expanded in December at the fastest pace in almost four years, signaling the economic recovery is gaining speed heading into 2010. The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said Wednesday that its barometer rose to 60, exceeding estimates of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and the highest level since January 2006. The gauge, in which readings greater than 50 signal expansion, showed companies boosted production and employment as orders climbed. The group's gauge of orders climbed to the highest level in more than two years, and its measure of employment showed growth for the first time since November 2007, the month before the recession began. Indexes of production and order backlogs also improved.

Major stock indexes barely

rise as year-end nears

Stocks ended the next-to-last day of 2009 little changed as welcome news on manufacturing helped offset a drop in commodities prices. The market drew support Wednesday from a key economic indicator that signaled growth in Midwest manufacturing for a third straight month. The Dow Jones industrial average ticked up 3.10 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 10,548.51. The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up 0.22, or less than 0.1 percent, to 1,126.42, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 2.88, or 0.1 percent, to 2,291.28.

From wire reports

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