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Friday Evening Business Brief

July 18, 2014, 5:20 PM

Friday Evening Business Brief
  • Earnings gains from Google, Honeywell and other big U.S. companies are responsible for driving the stock market to a higher close, wiping out much of its loss from the day before. The Dow Jones industrials rose 123 points, or 0.7 percent, to 17,100. The S&P 500 rose 20 points, or 1 percent, to 1,978. The Nasdaq composite rose nearly 69 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,432.
  • The price of oil is retreating slightly, although it remains elevated because of global political turmoil. But the world appears to have an ample supply of crude. Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery fell 6 cents to close at $103.13 a barrel in New York. Brent crude for September delivery, a benchmark for international oils, fell 65 cents to close at $107.24 in London.
  • A federal lawsuit against carmaker Subaru says some of its models have a defect that could lead to engine failure while they're being driven. The lawsuit, which was filed in New Jersey, alleges piston rings in the vehicles wear out quickly and some vehicles burn excessive amounts of oil. Subaru says it's aware of the lawsuit and believes oil consumption of its vehicles to be within acceptable levels.
  • A federal judge is sending an important wrongful death lawsuit against General Motors back to a Georgia court. GM had moved the case to the federal court system. The suit was filed by the family of Brooke Melton, who died in a crash near Atlanta. Her parents allege a faulty ignition switch in her Chevrolet Cobalt shut off the engine, causing her to lose control of the car. The Melton family settled for $5 million but now wants to reopen the case.
  • Toyota wants to help parents control their unruly kids. The latest version of the Sienna minivan has a feature called "Driver Easy Speak." It uses a built-in microphone to amplify a parent's voice through speakers in the back seats. It works only one way, so the kids can't talk back. The feature is an option on the 2015 Sienna, which is being refreshed with a totally new interior.

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