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Friday Afternoon Business Brief

March 14, 2014, 1:47 PM

Friday Afternoon Business Brief

The stock market has been swinging between modest gains and losses today as investors keep an eye on tensions in Ukraine. The Ukrainian region of Crimea is holding a vote over the weekend over whether to secede, and the U.S. and Europe have warned Russia of consequences if it moves to seize the region. The Dow has been as much as 55 points higher and 50 points lower today, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite have been following similar paths.

  • Target Corp. is acknowledging it decided not to take immediate action after its security software picked up on suspicious activity that turned out to be a massive cyberattack. Hackers ended up stealing credit card numbers and personal data of millions of Target customers. A Target spokeswoman says the company is "investigating whether, if different judgments had been made, the outcome may have been different."
  • Shares of Castlight Health Inc. have more than doubled in their debut on the New York Stock Exchange. The online health care software company raised $177.6 million in an initial public offering priced at $16 per share. Shares rose as high as $41.95 this morning, and are trading at close to $38 this afternoon. Castlight sells cloud-based software to large companies that enables their workers to search and compare doctors, hospitals and procedures based on cost and the quality of care.
  • Quiznos has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  The toasted sandwich chain says it voluntarily filed to reorganize to implement a restructuring plan aimed at reducing its debt by more than $400 million. Quiznos owns and operates only seven of the nearly 2,100 Quiznos restaurants. The rest are owned operated by franchisees and aren't part of the bankruptcy proceedings.
  •  Lawyers have made their final arguments to jurors in the trial of five former employees of Bernard Madoff. Jurors will have to weigh whether the workers were Madoff's conspirators in his decades-long Ponzi scheme or his dupes. Madoff has said he acted alone in cheating thousands of investors out of nearly $20 billion.

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