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Friday Evening Business Brief

August 1, 2014, 6:54 PM

Friday Evening Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - The stock market is closing out its worst week in two years. Traders moved money into investments traditionally seen as having lower risk, such as U.S. government bonds, gold and utility stocks. The Dow industrials lost 70 points, or 0.4 percent, closing at 16,493. The S&P 500 fell 5 ½ points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,925. The Nasdaq fell 17 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,352.

  • The price of oil is down. It fell to its lowest level since Feb. 6. Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 29 cents to $97.88 a barrel today on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It ended the week with a loss of $4.21 a barrel, or 4 percent.
     
  • Berkshire Hathaway says its second-quarter profit soared 41 percent on a significant investment gain from a stock-swap deal completed earlier this year. Net income grew to $6.4 billion, or $3,889 per Class A share. That's up from $4.5 billion, or $2,763 per Class A share, in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue improved 11 percent to $49.76 billion from last year's $44.69 billion.
     
  • Moody's ratings agency is upgrading Greece's government bond rating by two notches from Caa3 to Caa1, predicting a gradual decline of the national debt. The agency is also citing a commitment by the bailed out country's conservative-led government to improve public finances. Greece is set to emerge from recession this year for the first time since 2008.
     
  • President Barack Obama is making it easier to swap cellphone providers. He has signed a bill making it legal once again to unlock a cellphone without permission from your wireless provider, so long as the service contract expired. The law, which applies only to cellphones and not to other wireless devices, lets people unlock phones or hire a third party to do it for them.

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