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Friday Morning Business Brief

August 1, 2014, 5:37 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief

For investors, red flags were everywhere. There are weak corporate results, the looming end of the Federal Reserve stimulus and tensions between the West and Russia. There are also fears that stocks are too pricey after three years without a major downturn. As a result, the Dow plunged 1.9 percent yesterday. The S&P 500 dropped 2 percent and the Nasdaq fell 2.1 percent.

  • Most Asian stock markets dipped today following a big sell-off on Wall Street yesterday but losses were limited by optimistic reports on China's economy. Stocks lost ground in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index edged up.
  • Chinese manufacturing has risen to the highest level in more than two years in July in the latest sign that the world's No. 2 economy is perking up after a series of mini-stimulus measures unleashed by authorities. The purchasing managers' index compiled by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing rose to 51.7 last month from June's 51.0 and is at the highest level since April 2012.
  • The government today will release employment data for July and personal income and spending figures for June. It will also report on June's construction spending. And the Institute for Supply Management will release its manufacturing index for July. Automakers will report July's vehicle sales numbers. Procter & Gamble and Berkshire Hathaway will report earnings.
  • The World Trade Organization is regrouping to see whether it is still possible to finalize a major deal to boost global trade after a deadline passed to formally adopt it. WTO members were due to adopt the deal before today. That leaves the Geneva-based organization's 159 member economies scrambling to figure out what to do next.

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