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Monday Afternoon Business Brief

March 17, 2014, 2:02 PM

Monday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks are sharply higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street. Investors appear to be brushing aside concerns about the international tensions over Ukraine, instead focusing on last month's rebound in industrial production. The Dow, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 are all about one percent higher.

  • The Labor Department says the unemployment rate rose in just one state in January. Iowa saw its jobless rate increase just a tenth to 4.3 percent. But that's far below the national rate of 6.6 percent. Forty-three states saw their unemployment rates drop, and 23 of them reported more hiring in January. Rhode Island had the highest unemployment rate, at 9.2 percent, while North Dakota had the lowest rate, at 2.6 percent.
  • Ohio auto dealers are sparring with California-based automaker Tesla over how its vehicles are sold. Tesla is selling its electric cars from its own stores in Cincinnati and Columbus. Lawmakers are considering a proposal to block future Tesla direct-sales stores on grounds they undercut traditional auto dealerships. But Tesla says direct-to-consumer sales are needed to jumpstart electric-car technology and keep prices affordable.
  • General Motors is issuing more recalls. The latest involves nearly 1.2 million SUVs for defective side air bags. GM also announced smaller recalls of commercial vans and Cadillac sedans for separate problems. The new recalls come as GM faces multiple investigations over its handling of a recall of more than 1.6 million small cars for defective ignition switches.
  • Sally Beauty is the latest company to report a data security breach. The seller of beauty supplies says it discovered a breach earlier this month that affected fewer than 25,000 credit and debit card accounts. Sally Beauty says it's working with a forensics firm and the U.S. Secret Service to investigate the matter. It says it will inform affected customers on the steps it will be taking. Other companies recently hit by data breaches include Target and Neiman Marcus.

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