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January 15, 2015 05:49 AM

Thursday Morning Business Brief

Global stock markets swung higher today, led by a surge in Chinese shares. This is the latest turn in a volatile pattern of sharp sell-offs and rousing gains as investors second guess uncertain prospects for the world economy. Wall Street traders will be looking for improvement after yesterday's poor showing, driven in large part by a dismal report on retail spending.

  • WASHINGTON (AP) - Speaker John Boehner is acknowledging there aren't enough votes in the House to raise federal gas and diesel taxes, even though lawmakers are trying to find money for highway and transit programs. With gasoline prices at their lowest in years, there had been talk that it might be time to raise these taxes.
     
  • LOS ANGELES (AP) - A healthier U.S. housing market and economy helped to cut foreclosures in 2014 down to levels not seen since before the housing bust. The decline is the latest evidence of how foreclosures have diminished in recent years from a national crisis to a largely market-specific concern. That's according to new figures by foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc.
     
  • BERLIN (AP) - Switzerland's central bank says it is ending its minimum exchange rate policy that was meant to keep the euro from falling below 1.20 Swiss francs. The Swiss National Bank says the measure, introduced in Sept. 2011, "protected the Swiss economy from serious harm" but is no longer justified.
     
  • Caesars Entertainment's main business unit has filed for bankruptcy protection. It's getting the support of most of its creditors. Caesars says its casinos will continue to operate and it expects to get court approval to continue paying its suppliers. Caesars has struggled after missing out on the casino boom in Asia. It was also reluctant to upgrade and expand in its traditional U.S. markets.
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