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December 08, 2014 05:44 PM

Monday Evening Business Brief

  • U.S. stocks tumbled today as oil prices turned sharply lower and investors dumped shares of drillers and other energy-service companies. The drop in oil weighed on stocks from the start of trading. Weak trade figures out of China and news that Japan's recession is deeper than initially thought suggested demand for crude would be lower in those two countries. The Dow lost 106.31 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,852.48. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 15.06 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,060.31. The Nasdaq composite fell 40.06 points, or 0.8 percent, t0 4,740.69.
  • Southwest Airlines Co. says a key revenue figure rose between 4 and 5 percent in November thanks to higher traffic than a year earlier. The airline estimated that the revenue figure will rise by 1 to 2 percent for the full fourth quarter.  Also today, Goldman Sachs upgraded Southwest shares to "Buy" from "Neutral" on the expectation that the airline's revenue and profit margins will rise. The firm noted that the absorption of AirTran Airways is nearly complete.
  • A company that operated a drill ship off Alaska's Arctic coast has agreed to plead guilty to environmental and maritime crimes as part of a deal with prosecutors. The agreement calls for Noble Drilling U.S. LLC to plead guilty to eight felony counts and pay an $8.2 million fine, plus $4 million in community service payments.
  • Supreme Court justices exchanged conflicting viewpoints today on whether Amtrak had the legal authority to help craft federal regulations over the use of railroad tracks. The court heard arguments over a 2008 law that directed Amtrak to work with government agencies to develop new standards for improving the passenger railroad's on-time performance.
  • Walgreen is testing a new telemedicine service that lets patients see a doctor without leaving home or visiting any of the drugstore chain's clinics. The Deerfield, Illinois, company says patients in California or Michigan can now contact a physician around the clock through Walgreen's mobile application for smartphones or tablet computers.  The virtual visits cost $49, and doctors can diagnose and treat problems that aren't emergencies and don't require a physical exam, such as pink eye or bronchitis.


  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks

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