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December 04, 2014 05:42 AM

Thursday Morning Business Brief

Record highs on Wall Street have helped push Asian stocks higher, led by a surge on the Tokyo market. Investors will be looking to maintain this trend when the market opens this morning. In yesterday's record-setting performance, the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 7.78 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,074.33. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 33.07 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,912.62. The Nasdaq composite climbed 18.66 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,774.47.

  • The government will reveal the weekly jobless claims number today. Also, Freddie Mac will report the weekly mortgage rates. Selected chain retailers will release November sales comparisons today and Sears Holdings will report quarterly financial results before the market opens.
  • Toyota is recalling 185,000 vehicles in Japan and 5,000 in China for a possibly defective air bag supplied by Takata, the Japanese manufacturer at the center of an unfolding safety scandal. Toyota Motor Corp. says the latest air bag problem was discovered as a result of passenger-side air bags in some Toyota vehicles rupturing when intentionally deployed while being scrapped, a routine procedure under Japanese law for scrapping vehicles.
  • Some cybersecurity experts say they've found striking similarities between the code used in the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment and attacks blamed on North Korea which targeted South Korean companies and government agencies last year. Sony is working with the FBI and Silicon Valley security firm FireEye to investigate the attacks.
  • An Authors Guild lawyer has urged a New York federal appeals court to force Google Inc. to reward authors for including their books in the world's largest digital library. Attorney Paul Smith for the authors argued Wednesday before a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He said there was no evidence that Google's project helps authors sell books.


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