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Friday Afternoon Business Brief

February 14, 2014, 1:40 PM

Friday Afternoon Business Brief
  • Stocks have been gaining some momentum this afternoon with the market on track for its biggest weekly gain so far this year. The Dow was up more than 125 points, while the S&P 500 had gained nearly 10. The Nasdaq composite's gains are smaller. It's up a bit more than five points.
  • Campbell Soup has been struggling to boost sales of its famous condensed and ready-to-eat canned soups. But CEO Denise Morrison sees a bright spot in the broth. Sales of broth up 10 percent in the first half of the company's fiscal year. In a call with analysts, Morrison says the growth in broths is being driven by "an increase in homemade soup behavior" and people cooking more with broth in general. Campbell shares are up more than 4 percent today.
  • Gasoline prices have been holding steady this month, but analysts say drivers can expect to see them climb in the coming weeks. The price of crude oil has risen 8 percent over the past month, to $100 per barrel. And analysts expect fuel supplies to begin to decline as refineries dial back production to perform maintenance and make the switch to summer fuels. AAA says the nationwide average price for a gallon of gas has risen for seven days in a row to $3.34 per gallon.
  • Flight cancellations have risen to the highest level in more than 25 years this winter. An Associated Press analysis of information provided by FlightAware finds that U.S. airlines have canceled more than 75,000 domestic flights since Dec. 1, including roughly 14,000 this week. But the ice and storms aren't entirely to blame. Airlines are quicker to cancel flights these days in part because of new government rules that increase the amount of rest pilots need and prohibit airlines from keeping passengers on the tarmac for three hours or more.
  • A three-day union vote at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee wraps up tonight after two weeks of heavy campaigning by supporters and opponents of the United Auto Workers. About 1,500 workers at the plant were eligible to cast ballots in the election that will decide if the UAW can, for the first time, win representation at a foreign automaker in the South. Volkswagen has professed neutrality over the UAW vote, which comes as the company is deciding whether to build a new SUV in Chattanooga or in Mexico.

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