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October 20, 2014 05:17 PM

Monday Evening Business Brief

  • The stock market has turned in some modest gains after a relatively calm trading day. After swinging between triple-digit losses and triple-digit gains last week, the Dow finished the day up 19 points, closing at 16,399. IBM held the index back, after turning in disappointing third quarter results. The broader indexes had stronger gains. The S&P 500 gained 17 points to 1,904, while the Nasdaq rose 57 points, or 1.4 percent, finishing at 4,136. Oil prices dropped a little, with benchmark U.S. crude down 4 cents to $82.71.
  • IBM has disappointed investors with weak revenue growth again and a big charge to shed its costly chipmaking division. In the third quarter, IBM reported a 15 percent drop in hardware revenue, which now makes up just 11 percent of IBM's business.  The tech giant tries is trying to steer its business toward cloud computing and social-mobile services. Shares fell more than 7 percent today as investors sold off sharply.
  • The new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have helped Apple to a quarterly sales record. The company sold more than 39 million iPhones in the last quarter, 16 percent more than a year ago. That helped Apple beat Wall Street's expectations with an increase in profits of more than 12 percent. While iPhone sales were up, Apple also sold 13 percent fewer iPad tablets, following an industry-wide decline in tablet sales.
  • A federal regulator says the government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have reached an agreement with major banks that could expand lending. The head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency says the deal clarifies conditions in which banks could be required to buy back mortgages they sell to Fannie and Freddie for misrepresenting the loans' risks. FHFA Director Mel Watt says the agreement in principle will help make more mortgage credit available without harming Fannie and Freddie's finances.
  • U.S. airlines are raising base fares on many domestic flights despite the windfall they are getting from lower fuel prices. Delta Air Lines raised fares on many U.S. routes by $4 per last Thursday night, and analysts say other big airlines have matched them.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks

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