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Friday Morning Business Brief

January 3, 2014, 5:34 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief

Investors are hoping yesterday's market pullback isn't going to last. The S&P 500 began the New Year with its worst performance in three weeks, dropping 0.9 percent. In 2013, the S&P 500 surged almost 30 percent, its best year since 1997, and the Dow climbed 26.5 percent, the most since 1995. The Dow fell 0.8 percent yesterday. The Nasdaq slid 0.8 percent as well. Future point to a slightly lower opening.

  • International stocks markets were mixed today after weaker Chinese manufacturing data and gloomy sales forecasts by South Korean automakers. Investors looked ahead to comments later today by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The dollar gained against the yen and the euro. Benchmark crude oil rose to near $95.50 a barrel.
  • The major automakers will report December vehicle sales today.  Also, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will talk about how the Fed has changed over the years at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association in Philadelphia.
  • Today is a big day for Washington state and Boeing machinists there. Union members will vote whether to accept a contract that would concede some pension and health care benefits in order secure assembly of the company's new 777X airplane in Washington state. The offer has fractured the union with the local recommending a no vote after being ordered to hold a ballot by national leaders.
  • Snapchat, a popular service which provides the ability to send messages that disappear after a while, says it plans to put out a more secure version of itself after a hack. The usernames and phone numbers of some 4.6 million customers were scooped up. The breach occurred after security experts warned the company at least twice about vulnerability in its system.

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