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January 14, 2015 05:49 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

International stock markets sank today after the World Bank downgraded its global growth forecast and the slump in oil and metals prices kept investors on edge. Futures point to a lower opening on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell but remains above $45 a barrel. The dollar fell against the yen and the euro. The price of copper, a barometer of global economic demand, plunged for a second day.

  • WASHINGTON (AP) - Three separate reports will shed light on business conditions around the country today. This morning, the Commerce Department will tell us how the holiday shopping season closed when it releases retail sales data for December. Sales made healthy gains in November. U.S. businesses added to stockpiles, but at a slower pace in October.
     
  • WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is expected to push major cable and telephone companies today on competition. Obama will detail his broadband plans in Cedar Falls, Iowa, a community which is trying to provide high-speed Internet to its residents. Some state legislatures are banning local involvement but Obama is encouraging the Federal Communications Commission to pre-empt state laws that stifle competition for high-speed Internet service.
     
  • WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is about to come out strongly in favor of less methane. A broad, preliminary plan - expected to be unveiled this week - aims to cut emissions 40-45 percent by 2025 compared with 2012 levels. He plans to use a mix of voluntary steps by industry and government regulations.
     
  • LAS VEGAS (AP) - In Nevada, the house usually wins. But Caesars Entertainment and its casino empire may have to take a gamble this week to fix its financial issues. The company is considering a trip to bankruptcy court, possibly as early as tomorrow. It may be a roll of the dice, but the plan has been drawn up with its most senior creditors and should allow business as usual for customers.
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