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Friday Afternoon Business Brief

April 11, 2014, 1:28 PM

Friday Afternoon Business Brief

The sell-off continues on Wall Street with bank stocks joining techs in the slide after JPMorgan Chase turned in a weak first quarter earnings report. All three major indexes are down, with the S&P 500 heading for its worst week since January. The S&P is off 12 points in afternoon trading, while the Dow is down about 125 and the Nasdaq composite has lost between 35 and 40 points.

  • Ohio regulators have halted gas drilling at a site near Youngstown where five minor earthquakes were recorded last month. The move comes after state geologists linked earthquake activity in the area to hydraulic fracturing. Ohio's oil and gas chief says the state is setting new permitting conditions in earthquake-sensitive areas.
  • A bankruptcy judge has approved Detroit's plan to settle a multimillion-dollar debt with two banks. UBS and Bank of America each will split $42.5 million spread out over a number of years. Judge Steven Rhodes had denied earlier proposals for $220 million and $165 million as too generous. He's urging the city and other creditors to reach more deals, saying: "Now is the time to negotiate."
  • Settlement talks in the legal fight over Rhode Island's 2011 pension overhaul have failed, and a court challenge is moving ahead. Gov. Lincoln Chafee and and the state treasurer blame "a small group of union members" for the failure of mediation efforts. The law was designed to save the state billions, but public-sector unions and retirees sued. A proposed settlement was announced in February, but police union members rejected it.
  • Federal safety regulators have decided against seeking a recall of Ford F-150 pickup trucks with EcoBoost engines. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating after getting complaints that the trucks could lose power during hard acceleration. Tests by Ford and the government traced the problem to condensation in an air cooler but showed that trucks with the condition would maintain speed and accelerate. NHTSA says it will keep monitoring complaints and take further action if needed.

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