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August 09, 2013 09:52 AM

Friday Midday Business Brief

  • Stocks have been moving between tiny gains and losses in early trading on Wall Street. An hour after the open, the Dow was down about 50 points, with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 off just slightly. Trading volume is light, typical of an August Friday, with little economic news to move the market.
  • U.S. wholesalers have cut their stockpiles for a third straight month, even as their sales continued to rise. The Commerce Department says wholesale stockpiles fell 0.2 percent in June from May, following a 0.6 percent drop in May that was the biggest in 20 months and a modest 0.1 percent decline in April. Sales by wholesalers rose 0.4 percent in June following an even bigger 1.5 percent advance in May. The steady sales gains support the view that businesses will start restocking again in the coming months.
  • China's factory output and auto sales accelerated in July, adding to signs that a slump in the world's second-largest economy might be stabilizing. Figures released today show a decline in wholesale prices slowed, suggesting weak demand might be strengthening. The positive indicators could help to support Chinese leaders who have been resisting pressure to stimulate the economy, saying they prefer to focus on longer-term reforms aimed at making the economy more efficient.
  • Three San Francisco Bay Area families are suing Boeing over last month's Asiana Airlines crash. The San Jose Mercury News the suits filed yesterday allege that the maker of the Boeing 777 provided inadequate training to pilots in South Korea. The families also claim that Boeing should have added a "low airspeed" voice warning for pilots to the 777 following a similar crash of a Boeing 737 in Amsterdam four years ago. Among those suing is a survivor of the crash, which killed three teenagers.
  • The national tourism office in Switzerland is apologizing to Oprah Winfrey, saying "all of our guests and clients should be treated respectfully." That's after Winfrey told "Entertainment Tonight" that an assistant at a shop in Zurich refused to show her a $38,000 handbag, telling the media mogul that she wouldn't be able to afford it. Forbes magazine estimates that Winfrey made $77 million in the past year.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks
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