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Friday Afternoon Business Brief

January 24, 2014, 1:43 PM

Friday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks are plunging again today as fear returns to global markets. The Dow Jones industrial average has been down more than 200 points in afternoon trading, a day after closing off 176. The Dow has fallen every day this week, leaving it down 2.9 percent -- its worst weekly performance since mid-May 2012. The other major indexes are also sharply lower. Traders are fretting about China's growth, a plunge in Argentina's peso and the profit outlook for U.S. companies.

  • The head of the bank that incurred $6 billion in trading losses in 2012 nearly doubled his pay last year. JPMorgan Chase says Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon's compensation for 2013 will total $20 million -- $18.5 million in stock options and a base salary of $1.5 million. The year before, his total compensation was $11.5 million. It was $23 million in each of the previous two years. The bank's board says Dimon's handling of the legal issues facing the lender was among the factors it considered in determining his pay.
  • The president of the European Central Bank is laying out the hope that the eurozone's economic recovery will pick up steam over the coming months. Mario Draghi told delegates at the World Economic Forum today that a stream of "solid" survey data points to better times ahead for the region, which is still grappling with debt, recession and sky-high unemployment.
  • The frigid winter is setting the price of natural gas on fire. Record amounts of natural gas are being burned for heat and electricity - and it's so cold that drillers are struggling to produce enough to keep up with the high demand. The price has gained 25 percent in the past two weeks and is now near its highest level since June 2010. Natural gas is used by half the nation's households for heating.
  • As the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks prepare for their Super Bowl showdown next weekend, a legal fight is playing out over the turf they'll be playing on. Taylor Turf Installation Inc. is suing the MetLife Stadium's operators and the company that hired the suburban St. Louis company. Taylor Turf is seeking more than $292,000 that it claims it is owed for hustling to install the New Jersey stadium's playing surface last summer.

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