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July 09, 2014 11:40 AM

Wednesday Midday Business Brief

New York

Stocks are moving higher in early trading on Wall Street, reversing a two-day decline. Alcoa is getting the second-quarter earnings season underway with some positive news. Late yesterday the aluminum company reported a profit of $138 million, better than Wall Street expected, as well as stronger-than-expected revenue. This afternoon the Federal Reserve will release minutes from its June meeting.

  • The federal government says it made about $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them. Tax credits went to families that didn't qualify, unemployment benefits went to people who had jobs and medical payments were made for treatments that might not have been necessary. Congressional investigators say the figure could be even higher. A House Oversight subcommittee is holding a hearing on the matter this afternoon.
     
  • China and the United States have agreed on some small steps toward fighting climate change. After talks today in Beijing, the two countries announced eight joint projects aimed at capturing and storing carbon, and setting up more efficient energy grids. They also agreed to stronger fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks and to study gas use in industrial boilers. But the world's No. 1 and No. 2 carbon emitters remain at odds over a wider global plan to cut emissions.
     
  • China's finance minister says his country isn't planning any new stimulus measures and says it's up to the United States to drive the global economy. He says China is emphasizing structural reforms to spur economic growth and is unlikely to repeat the kind of massive economic stimulus it did in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.
     
  • Greece says it will issue a three-year bond following its successful bid to tap debt markets in April. A finance ministry statement says the bond "is expected to be launched and priced in the near future, subject to market conditions." Greece regained bond market access in April, four years after it was saved from bankruptcy by an international bailout.
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