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December 09, 2014 05:49 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief

Beijing, China

Chinese stocks plunged today, snapping a months-long boom, and other global markets were lower on concern about feeble Chinese trade and Japan's recession. Futures point to a lower Wall Street opening following losses yesterday. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose to remain above $63 per barrel. The dollar declined against the yen and the euro.

  • Among the reports due for release today is the Labor Department survey of job openings and labor turnover for October, along with the Commerce Department's report on wholesale trade inventories. The employment picture across the country has been improving during much of the year, as have general economic conditions. The government last Friday reported the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 percent in November as more than 300,000 new jobs were created in the private sector.
     
  • Congressional officials say key lawmakers are considering a change to allow multiemployer pension plans to cut benefits for current retirees in hopes of avoiding future bankruptcies. The officials say any agreement will likely pass Congress in the next few days as part of a funding measure to keep the government operating normally past midnight on Thursday. Officials said the changes would be permitted at severely distressed multiemployer plans that are on track to fail, and whose failure would pose a risk to the solvency of the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. About 1 million retirees are potentially affected.
     
  • German exports slipped slightly in October but its trade surplus widened as imports fell even more rapidly. The Federal Statistical Office reported today that exports were down 0.5 percent while imports fell 3.1 percent over September in seasonally and calendar adjusted figures. That widened the trade surplus about 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) to 20.6 billion euros.
     
  • Federal authorities in New York have sued Deutsche Bank and other financial entities, alleging they dodged more than $100 million in taxes with some fancy financial footwork. The lawsuit was filed Monday in Manhattan federal court. It seeks to recover more than $190 million in taxes, penalties and interest. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (buh-RAH'-ruh) says Deutsche Bank used shell companies to make tax liabilities disappear nearly 15 years ago.
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