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Friday Evening Business Brief

January 3, 2014, 6:47 PM

Friday Evening Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - The stock market is continuing to have a sluggish start to the New Year. Major indexes finished mixed on Wall Street today, the second day of trading in 2014. The S&P 500 index edged down less than a point to 1,831. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 29 points to 16,469. The Nasdaq composite lost 11 points to 4,131.

  • A rebounding U.S. economy is driving the dollar higher and signs continue to emerge that there's an ample supply of oil worldwide. That extended a week-long plunge in the price of oil, falling 1.6 percent to below $94 a barrel. Benchmark oil for February delivery fell $1.48 to close at $93.96 a barrel in New York. Meanwhile, Triple-A says gasoline has edged up less than a penny to $3.33 a gallon.

 

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says factors which have kept the economy from accelerating appear to be abating, and he predicts stronger growth in 2014. Speaking today at the American Economic Association meeting in Philadelphia, Bernanke said Americans' finances have improved and the outlook for home sales is brighter. Bernanke also expects less drag from federal spending cuts and tax increases.

 

  • The Winter Classic has matched the highest television rating for a regular-season NHL game in 39 years. The Toronto Maple Leafs' 3-2 shootout win over the Detroit Red Wings on NBC on Wednesday earned a 2.5 rating. The network says that tied the 2009 New Year's Day game between Detroit and the Chicago Blackhawks at Wrigley Field.
  • The Kennedy Space Center will be the testing site for a top-secret Air Force space plane. The contractor, Boeing, says it'll convert a former space shuttle building for the X-37B orbital test vehicle program. Workers will recover, refurbish and relaunch the 29-foot-long unmanned spacecraft which is about one-quarter the size of the space shuttle and can land automatically on a runway.

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