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Friday Morning Business Brief

February 14, 2014, 5:33 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief

Investors are apparently shrugging off discouraging news about jobs and retail spending and focusing on good company earnings reports again. The stock market rose for the fifth time in six days yesterday. The S&P 500 climbed 10 1/2 points. The Dow rose 63 ½ and the Nasdaq closed up 39 points. Today, the Fed releases industrial production numbers for January. Futures point to a weak start this morning.

  • European stocks were muted but Asian markets mostly gained today after China's inflation was steady in January, leaving its government room to stimulate the economy if a slowdown worsens. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell below $100 a barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen.
  • Official figures show the economic recovery across the eurozone accelerated in the fourth quarter of 2013. Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office, says the eurozone's gross domestic product grew by 0.3 percent in the October-December quarter compared with the previous three-month period. In the third quarter, growth was only 0.1 percent in the bloc, which counted 17 members before Latvia joined this year.
  • The relentless snow and ice storms this winter have led to the highest number of flight cancellations in more than 25 years. An analysis by The Associated Press finds that U.S. airlines have canceled more than 75,000 domestic flights since Dec. 1, including roughly 14,000 this week. Based on information provided by flight tracking site FlightAware, that's 5.5 percent of the 1.35 million flights scheduled during that period.
  • Data out today shows China's consumer inflation held steady in January, easing pressure on the government to control living costs as it launches ambitious economic reforms. Consumer prices rose 2.5 percent over a year earlier. The rise in politically sensitive food costs decelerated to 3.7 percent from December's 4.1 percent. Lower inflation is one less distraction for communist leaders as they focus on carrying out ambitious promises of reforms.

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