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Friday Morning Business Brief

March 14, 2014, 5:43 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief

Investors are increasingly concerned about the health of China's economy and the crisis in Ukraine. They sold stocks and shifted to safer assets like bonds yesterday. The Dow Jones average fell more than 200 points and Treasury prices rose. It was the worst day for the market in six weeks. The Dow dropped 231 points. The S&P 500 fell 22. The Nasdaq was down 63. Fuures point to a slight rebound this morning.

  • Most international stock markets fell sharply today over persistent concerns about weakness in the Chinese economy and tensions in Ukraine. The concerns have investors are retreating from risky investments such as stocks. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen. Benchmark crude oil edged higher to just below $98.50 a barrel.
  • A single government report scheduled for release today. The Labor Department will issue the Producer Price Index for February. In January, the cost of producing goods and services rose slightly, with higher food prices partly offset by cheaper gas. Overall, inflation remained mild. The PPI rose 0.2 percent.
  • A Japanese government-funded laboratory says it has found "inappropriate handling" of data in a widely heralded stem-cell research paper, but has yet to discover anything that amounts to misconduct. The results were seen as a possible groundbreaking method for growing tissue to treat illnesses such as diabetes and Parkinson's disease using a simple lab procedure.
  • The Obama administration is proposing new rules designed to protect students at for-profit colleges from amassing huge debt they can't pay off. Previous rules had been thrown out by a federal judge. The latest version would penalize programs that produce graduates without the training needed to find a job with a salary that will allow them to pay off their debt. All schools, for-profit or not, that don't comply would lose access to the federal student aid programs.

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