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Monday Afternoon Business Brief

February 24, 2014, 2:02 PM

Monday Afternoon Business Brief

A round of corporate deal making has stocks rallying on Wall Street. The Standard & Poor's 500 has pushed back into record territory, up 19 points or about 1 percent in afternoon trading. The Dow was about 175 points higher, while the Nasdaq composite also has gained more than 1 percent, up 45 points in afternoon trading.

  • Facebook shares are up, with investors still buzzing about the company's decision to buy WhatsApp. Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain today, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his company's $19 billion acquisition of the mobile messaging service will allow the startup to focus on growing its user base - and not on making money - over the next five years. Zuckerberg says WhatsApp is on track to reach a billion users.
  • Shares of Netflix are up more than 3 percent today after a weekend announcement that it had struck a deal with Comcast to ensure that the online video service's TV shows and movies stream smoothly. It's the first deal Netflix has reached with an internet service provider. Comcast's shares are also higher today.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have begun inspecting U.S.-bound cargo trucks in Canada north of the Peace Bridge. U.S. customs officers can now inspect trucks at the roomier Canadian plaza. Officials will watch the pilot program to see whether it reduces congestion and pollution-causing idling on the bridge. It is one of the northern border's busiest crossings, handling more than 1 million truck crossings every year.
  • Warren Buffett is offering a refresher on his approach to investing in in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. In excerpts published by Fortune magazine, Buffet says he didn't know much about farming when he bought a 400-acre Nebraska farm in 1986, but he could tell the place would remain productive and there was little downside given the low price. Buffett says while you don't need to be an expert, stick to what you know and focus on what an investment will produce, not its price. He also advises against trying to predict what the economy or stock market will do.

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