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Friday Morning Business Brief

April 11, 2014, 5:37 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief

The high-flyers are laying the stock market low once again. Investors turned against biotech, Internet and other once-soaring stocks yesterday, driving the Nasdaq composite index to its worst day since 2011. The sell-off left all the major U.S. indexes in the red for the year. The Nasdaq lost 3.1 percent Thursday, the S&P 500 dropped 2.1 percent. And the Dow lost 1.6 percent. Futures point to some recovery this morning from yesterday's losses.

  • International stock markets were lower today as investors dumped technology stocks and a drop in U.S. jobless claims failed to boost investor confidence. Jitters over technology companies in the U.S. and then in Asia overshadowed upbeat economic reports. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell but remained above $103 a barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and fell against the euro.
  • The rocky week on Wall Street is drawing to a close and investors will be looking at the earnings of two big banks today. JPMorgan and Wells Fargo will report their quarterly results. The Labor Department will also release the Producer Price Index for March. In Washington, the Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs are meeting.
  • Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is warning Russia that it could face tougher economic sanctions because of its actions in Ukraine but so far other economic powers are showing a reluctance to go as far as the United States. Lew has told Russia's finance minister that the Obama administration is willing to impose "additional significant sanctions" if Russia escalates the Ukraine situation. The two men are at the G-20 talks that end today.
  • Spain's statistics office says prices were 0.1 percent lower in March than the year before, slightly less than the previous estimate of 0.2 percent. The figures released today by the National Statistics Institute may ease concerns that the country will suffer a prolonged bout of deflation, or falling prices. Deflation can weigh on growth. The European Central Bank is keeping a close watch on developments and may enact further stimulus measures if deflation across the eurozone becomes a real probability.

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