A look at highlights from the day's business news:
Stocks slump as energy shares tumble
Stocks finished in the red Wednesday, failing to sustain earlier gain in the last hour of trade, as investors ditched energy shares amid ongoing concerns about BP's ability to survive the Gulf oil spill.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 41 points, or 0.4 percent, with Exxon Mobil's stock down nearly 2 percent. Earlier, the index surged 125 points and broke through the 10,000 level for the first time this week, reaching 10,065.
The S&P 500 index dipped 6 points, or 0.6 percent, as Anadarko Petroleum sank more than 18% and Tesoro Corp. slipped more than 5 percent. The Nasdaq composite lost 12 points, or 0.5 percent. Both indexes were up more than 1Â percentÂ earlier in the day.
BP remained in the spotlight Wednesday, Day 51 of the oil spill disaster, as investors continued to worry how the company will weather the costs of leak. The company's stock sank more than 16 percentÂ Wednesday.
Oil climbs above $74 on supply drop
Oil prices rose for a second day Wednesday after a report from the Energy Department showed crude inventories fell more than expected last week.
Crude oil for July delivery gained $2.39, or morethan 3 percent, to settle at $74.38 a barrel on Wednesday. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline fell to $2.713 from the previous day's price of $2.718, according to motorist group AAA.
Prices ticked higher after a closely-watched inventory report from the the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that oil inventories fell more than expected last week.
Euro inching up on the dollar
The euro regained ground against the dollar for the second straight day, after touching new four-year lows earlier in the week.
The euro rose 0.8 percentÂ against the dollar to $1.2067 Wednesday, after plummeting to the $1.18 mark earlier this week - levels not seen since the shared currency's debut on Jan. 4, 1999. The greenback also rose 0.1 percentÂ against the Japanese yen to ÂĄ91.55, but dipped 0.9 percentÂ on the British pound to $1.4601.
The euro has been battered over the past three months, falling more than 12 percent, as fears about Europe's debt crisis sent investors fleeing to safe-haven investments such as the greenback.
Â Treasurys rally as stocks slump
Treasury prices were mostly higher Wednesday as stocks took a hit and investors braced for upcoming auctions.
The benchmark 10-year note rose 2/32 to 102-23/32, pushing the yield down to 3.18 percentÂ on Wednesday from 3.19 percentÂ late Tuesday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.
But the 30-year bond lost 1/32 to 104-15/32, yielding 4.11 percent. The 5-year note inched 1/32 higher to 100-23/32 and yielded 1.97 percent, while the 2-year note was up 1/32 lower to 100-1/32, yielding 0.73 percent.
Treasurys fell for most of the day, as U.S. stock markets soared above the seven-month lows hit earlier in the week. But prices reversed direction, after stocks turned lower in the last hour of
CNNMoney.com staff reporters Blake Ellis, Chavon Sutton and Hibah Yousuf contributed to this report.
Officials at Foggy Bottom and diplomats at U.S. embassies around the world are biting their nails as they await an investigation into claims by an Army intelligence analyst that he downloaded 260,000 classified State Department diplomatic cables and gave them to the whistleblower site Wikileaks.
The alleged leaker, 22 year-old Bradley Manning, told former hacker Adrian Lamo during an online chat that he had access to the cables, which he said exposed "almost-criminal political back dealings," according to Wired magazine's web site.
"Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public, he reportedly told Lamo, who then turned Manning into authorities. He is currently under arrest in Kuwait.
The documents, which date back several years, were on a secure military network on which the State Department shares documents with officials in other parts of government - like the Department of Defense, who need analysis of U.S. foreign policy and national security issues.
The e-mails weren't addressed to Manning, but he had access to a network for documents that are broadly available and not the mostÂ sensitive U.S. intelligence. The network has cables that date back several years and contained information related to American diplomatic and intelligence efforts thought the Middle East, including Iraq and Afghanistan.
A bombing at a wedding ceremony Wednesday in Afghanistan's Kandahar province killed 39 people and wounded 73 others, officials in the village of Nagaan said.
[Updated at 2:08 p.m.] The new United Nations sanctions against Iran are "like a used handkerchief that should be dumped in a garbage can," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday, according to Iranian media.
[Updated at 1:10 p.m.] New United Nations sanctions on Iran show the Security Council has turned into a "tool in the toolbox of a few countries that do not hesitate to use it," the Islamic republic's ambassador to the United Nations said after the vote.
[Updated at 1:08 p.m.] U.N. sanctions on Iran do not close the door to future diplomacy, President Obama said Wednesday.
"The Iranian government must understand that true security will not come through the pursuit of nuclear weapons. True security will come through adherence to international law and the demonstration of its peaceful intent," Obama said.
[Updated at 12:59 p.m.] United Nations sanctions against Iran weren't inevitable, President Obama said Wednesday. The country was given a chance to negotiate "a better future for its people." FULL POST
[Updated at 7:48 p.m. ET] A representative for Natalee Holloway's mother who paid $25,000 for information on the whereabouts of her remains last month was an undercover FBI agent, a federal law enforcement official told CNN.
However, the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office in Birmingham, Alabama, said Wednesday that the FBI did not supply the money.
"Some news accounts have suggested that the FBI provided $25,000 in funds that were transmitted to van der Sloot. This is incorrect. The funds involved were private funds," the FBI and U.S. attorney's office said in a statement.
An Interpol document says van der Sloot faces criminal charges in Alabama because he allegedly tried to extort money from Holloway's mother. U.S. authorities filed extortion and wire fraud charges against van der Sloot this week.
The FBI and U.S. attorney's office in Birmingham arranged for a meeting where van der Sloot was paid $10,000 in cash and another $15,000 in a wire transfer for information van der Sloot allegedly promised would lead to Holloway's body in Aruba, a source familiar with the case said. The meeting took place in May, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Birmingham.
In an interview with authorities the woman who accused Pittsburgh Steelersâ€™ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of attacking her said she didn't fight him off because he had a short temper and she "didn't want, obviously, him to hurt me any more than he was going to."
On Wednesday morning, months after Roethlisberger was cleared of any wrongdoing, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation released 50 DVDs from the case, including one containing the accuserâ€™s interview with police.
The woman, who alleged the attack happened in the bathroom of a Milledgeville, Georgia night club, said she told Roethlisberger â€śnoâ€ť several times and that she was â€śscared.â€ť
The United States will contribute $400 million in development aid to the Palestinian territories and work with Israel to loosen its embargo on Gaza, President Barack Obama said Wednesday.
Less than a year after his predecessor was removed from power in a military-led coup, Honduran President Porfirio Lobo says he has found out that some political opponents want to overthrow him, a statement from the president's office reported.
Lobo said Tuesday he knows the names of those who are plotting against him and warned them not to try a coup.
Asked by reporters if he is behind a movement to replace the Supreme Court president, Lobo said, "It's the president of the republic they want to get rid of. But they're going to tangle with me. Never should we forget that for every action there's a reaction. I tell you, we have everything well tracked. We have located all of them. I know who they are. I have all the information, and I believe they have made a mistake with me."
A Japanese research whaling fleet left port Wednesday on a mission to catch 260 whales by the end of August in an effort to research the
creature's feeding patterns, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) reported.
Three harpoon and two research ships with more than 200 crew members left from different ports in Japan and are being sent by the Institute of Cetacean Research, which conducts the research whaling activities under the authority of Japan's Fisheries Agency.
CNN is featuring ideas from iReporters and experts alike on how to help fix the oil disaster on TV. We're taking a closer look at which ones might actually work.
Here is one of your latest suggestions:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday he is willing to appear before an investigation into the Israeli commando raid on a flotilla last week, but will accept only an Israeli military investigation.
[Updated at 10:01 p.m. ET] It's Day 51 of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Here are the latest developments on the oil disaster, which unfolded after the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20:
- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar defended the Obama administration's six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling, which has come under fire from critics who argue that the drilling is vital for reducing the dependence on foreign oil.
- Federal agencies responsible for monitoring the toll to wildlife reported Wednesday that 442 oiled birds have been collected alive; 633 were dead. The report said 50 sea turtles have been collected alive; 272 were dead.
- Government scientists estimate that the spill's flow rate after last week's cut of the well's riser pipe increased by 4 to 5 percent. That's well below an increase of as much as 20 percent that administration officials had indicated could happen.
- States are tracking the disaster's health impact, including respiratory and skin irritation problems in Louisiana and Alabama, health officials said.
- BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles denied Wednesday that BP has ordered cleanup workers not to talk to reporters.
- Federal authorities gave BP until Friday to come up with a contingency plan for collecting gushing oil. In a letter written Tuesday to BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles, the government instructed the company to submit redundancy plans in the event of operation failures or severe weather that could disrupt the continuous recovery of oil.
- BP said Wednesday that it has collected about 57,500 barrels (2.4 million gallons) of oil since it placed a containment cap on its ruptured well.
- A second ship, the Massachusetts, started transferring crude oil Wednesday from the Discoverer Enterprise, which has been collecting the oil pumped up from the well cap, BP said.
- Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Wednesday that slightly more than 15,000 barrels of oil - more than 630,000 gallons - were recovered from the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico in the 24-hour period ending Tuesday at midnight. A BP spokesman placed the total figure at 15,006 barrels.
- In addition to the letter to Suttles, Allen wrote to BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward asking for the development of better redundancies in the company's short- and long-term containment plans.
-The letter to Hayward also highlights concerns over BP's ability to effectively process damage claims associated with the Gulf disaster.
- BP provided more insight into its claims process Tuesday, saying that as of Monday, it has paid nearly $49 million to individuals and businesses affected by the spill. The company also said it expects to issue a second round of payments this month to cover anticipated lost income or profits, bringing the total it has paid to about $84 million.
- Alabama Gov. Bob Riley said Tuesday that he was frustrated with BP's reimbursement process, announcing that he will send National Guard troops and emergency management workers into affected communities to help residents with the preparation of claims forms.
- The oil disaster took center stage on Capitol Hill on Wednesday as House and Senate panels tackled issues ranging from safety to cleanup to liability.
- President Obama will make another visit to the Gulf Coast next week to review efforts to contain and clean up the worst oil spill in U.S. history, the White House announced Tuesday.
- BP's Hayward has been asked to appear at a hearing June 17 before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
- Norway has suspended issuing deepwater drilling licenses until it has more information on the BP oil disaster, according to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.
- Advocacy groups are planning a nationwide vigil for later this month. Hands Across the Sand and Sierra Club leaders announced Wednesday a "National Day of Action" for June 26. The groups said it could be "the largest gathering ever of Americans against offshore drilling."
- In a letter to rig owner Transocean released Tuesday, Rep. Nick Rahall, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, raised concerns about staffing shortages aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig on the day of the explosion, citing daily drilling reports provided by the company. Rahall, D-West Virginia, requested additional information in the letter.
- Top congressional Democrats renewed their push Wednesday for legislation that would remove all oil spill liability caps - a move some Republicans warn will lead to stronger monopolies in the energy sector while increasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil sources. "If you or I ... got into an accident that we caused, [we'd be] responsible for all the damages," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. "There would be "no caps in that case, and there should be no caps in this case."
Here's what live events are planned today. Head to http://www.CNN.com/live to watch!
9:30 a.m. – OilÂ Hearing/Salazar –Â Senate Natural Resources Committee hearing to consider the Interior Departmentâ€™s report entitled, â€śIncreased Safety Measures for Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf.â€ťÂ Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to testify.
Gulf disaster - On Day 51, Capitol Hill will be awash in oil disaster hearings Wednesday as the House and Senate tackle issues ranging from safety to cleanup to liability. Three committees and two subcommittees will discuss matters related to the gusher in the Gulf of Mexico and the oil industry. The hearings come as rig survivors say the morning the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded April 20, a BP executive and a Transocean official argued over how to proceed with the drilling and ordered a shortcut be taken.
President Obama also has announced he will make a fourth trip to the Gulf region next week, and environmental groups plan to hold a vigil later in June protesting offshore oil drilling. As concerns about theÂ effect on wildlife and the environment grow,Â CNN will continue to highlight solutions you are offeringÂ on how to stop the oil disaster and reduce its impact.
As BP tries various methods to stop the oil disaster scientists, students and imaginative amateurs have suggested ways to stop or clean up the Gulf oil disaster in the days and weeks after the oil rig explosion that killed 11 workers and started the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history.
CNN is featuring ideas from iReporters and experts alike on TV and taking a closer look at which ones might actually work. iReport: Have an idea on how to fix the oil disaster? Send your ideas
Here is one of your latest suggestions:
The star of such movies as "Field of Dreams" and "Waterworld" is scheduled to testify Thursday at a House Committee on Science and Technology hearing on solutions to the Gulf oil disaster.
The Hill reports that Costner has invested some $26 million into his Ocean Therapy Solutions device, which uses centrifugal force to separate oil from water. According to The Hill, last month BP approved the machine for testing.
The actor and activist visited New Orleans, Louisiana,Â in May. WDSU-TV reports that he demonstrated the oil extraction device, which Ocean Therapy officials say will clean up the water to 97 percent.
"I just am really happy that this has come to the light of day," Costner said. "I'm very sad about why it is, but this is why it was developed, and like anything that we all face as a group, we face it together."
An update from London on some of the international stories we expect to develop on Wednesday:
Mideast meeting - President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House on Wednesday, a meeting that comes at a tense time for the Middle East peace process.
Iran vote - Diplomats hoping to slap tougher sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear program will vote on a new draft resolution on Wednesday. Read the full story