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Friday Morning Business Brief

August 15, 2014, 5:58 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief

It's vacation time and investors are expecting another day of light trading on Wall Street. Yesterday was one of the quietest days at the New York Stock Exchange this year. But better corporate earnings helped the stock market to close higher. The S&P 500 climbed eight points to 1,955. The Dow industrials rose 62 points to 16,713. The Nasdaq was up 19 points to 4,453. Futures point to gains at this morning's opening.

  • International stock markets rose today, cheered by a rise on Wall Street and a sense that Ukraine tensions are easing. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell below $95.50 a barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and fell against the yen.
  • There are three major economic reports scheduled for release today. The Labor Department will issue the Producer Price Index for July and the Federal Reserve will report on July's industrial production. Also, the Treasury Department will report how much foreign buyers adjusted their holdings of U.S. debt in June.
  • Elio Motors is hoping to become the next big thing in fuel stingy commuter cars with its three-wheel, two seat offering targeted to get 84 miles per gallons. The tiny car is the same length as a Honda Fit but half the weight and, at $6,800, less than half the cost. Phoenix-based Elio plans to start making the cars next fall at a former General Motors plant in Shreveport, Louisiana. Already, more than 27,000 people have reserved one.
  • The recently acquired film unit of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba says a review has uncovered possible accounting irregularities. The disclosure by Alibaba Pictures Group comes as its parent company readies for what's expected to be a mammoth initial public offering in New York next month. The company says the accounting irregularities date to before Alibaba's purchase of the company in June.

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