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Friday Morning Business Brief

January 31, 2014, 6:29 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief

Investors are hoping for a little more market magic today. Stocks rose sharply yesterday, with large parts of the market erasing losses from the previous day. The S&P 500 rose 20 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,794. The Nasdaq jumped nearly 72 points, or 1.8 percent, to 4,123 and the Dow Jones industrial average rose nearly 110 points, or 0.7 percent, to 15,848. Futures point to a lower opening today.

  • International stock markets fell today after a drop in eurozone inflation showed the recovery is still weak there and concern persisted over the outlook for emerging economies. Benchmark U.S crude oil fell below $98 a barrel. The dollar fell against the yen and was flat against the euro.
  • There are two government reports scheduled for release today. The Commerce Department will report on personal income and spending for December and the Labor Department will release the fourth-quarter employment cost index. As far as company earnings are concerned, four will report their quarterly results. They are Electrolux, Mattel, MasterCard and Chevron.
  • Security experts say the theft of usernames and passwords from Yahoo could indicate hackers want to use them to achieve larger goals, like the ability to send more realistic spam messages. The bigger danger is access to email accounts could lead to more serious breaches involving banking and shopping sites. That's because many people reuse passwords across many sites, and also because many sites use email to reset passwords. Yahoo didn't say how many accounts have been affected.
  • Inflation across the countries that share the euro fell further below the European Central Bank's target in January, a development that may stoke speculation of another interest rate reduction. Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, says inflation in the 18-country eurozone fell to 0.7 percent in the year to January, down from 0.8 percent the previous month. The consensus was for a rise to 0.9 percent.

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