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September 23, 2014 05:44 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief

Beijing, China

International stock markets were mostly lower today following Wall Street's tumble but China rebounded after unexpectedly strong manufacturing eased fears of an economic slowdown. Futures point to further declines this morning on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $91 per barrel. The dollar declined against the yen and the euro.

  • There's more evidence today that the 18-country eurozone is losing economic momentum. In its monthly survey, financial information company Markit says its purchasing managers' index - a gauge of business activity - fell to a nine-month low of 52.3 in September from the previous month's 52.5. Anything above 50 indicates expansion but the survey finds that growth may slow further in the fourth quarter.
  • The Obama administration's decision to curb the ability of U.S. corporations to skirt taxes by merging with foreign companies has kicked off an immediate election-season debate over the nation's complex corporate tax code. The Treasury is making co-called corporate inversions less lucrative by barring creative techniques that companies use to lower their tax bill.  Republicans fault the administration for not making a greater effort to work with Congress on corporate tax reform.
  • A business report today shows that growth in China's sprawling manufacturing industry unexpectedly ticked higher in September, easing concerns about the No. 2 economy's recovery. HSBC's purchasing manager index edged up to 50.5 this month from 50.2 in August, based on a 100-point scale. Numbers below 50 indicate contraction.
  • Royal Philips NV is separating its lighting division to create two separate companies, the latest in a string of radical restructurings by one of Europe's best-known corporations. Philips, which began as a lighting company back in 1891, says that "independence" would make it easier for the lighting arm - widely regarded as the dominant seller of LED lighting products - to enter new markets.
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