Business Latest News: U.S. Budget Battle Looms

Last December's showdown over tax policy, while unpleasant, turned out to be just a minor speed bump for the U.S. stock market, which raced to record highs after Congress struck a last-minute deal on New Year's Day.But with investors already nervous about the Federal Reserve's plan to start scaling back its stimulus program, another fiscal policy standoff could be more disruptive this time around. A disconcerting trend lurks beneath the recent round of solid profit forecasts announced by companies ranging from United Technologies Corp to Wendy's Co : More than three years into the recovery, CEOs are still relying on cost cuts to prop up earnings. Former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre told the court that Goldman Sachs paid him a base salary of 480,000 pounds or $738,000 after he was put on leave following the filing of an SEC lawsuit in 2010.
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