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Monday Afternoon Business Brief

August 18, 2014, 1:18 PM

Monday Afternoon Business Brief
  • U.S. stocks are up as investors focus on corporate news. European markets also rose as worries about an escalating conflict in Ukraine eased. Dollar General jumped after making a bid for a rival discount retailer.
  • Unemployment rates rose in 30 U.S. states last month, even as employers in two-thirds of the states stepped up hiring. The trends reflect an increase in job-hunters nationwide as an improving economy has encouraged more people to seek work. The Labor Department says unemployment rates fell in eight states in July and were unchanged in 12. At the same time, hiring rose in 36 states, fell in 13 and was unchanged in Iowa. Earlier this month, the government said the national unemployment rate ticked up to 6.2 percent in July from 6.1 percent in June.
  • The Obama administration says it's taking the first step toward drafting rules to require automakers to include in new vehicles technology that enables them to warn each other of potential danger in time to avoid collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in a newly released report that such technology could prevent an estimated 592,000 left-turn and intersection crashes a year, saving 1,083 lives. 
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers will pay $25 million and face a two-year suspension from consulting for new bank clients in an agreement with New York regulators. The deal follows an investigation that showed the company improperly altered a report about Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi laundering money for Iran, Sudan and others contrary to U.S. sanctions. Today's agreement follows a $250 million settlement with the bank last year.
  • The governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire are stepping in to try to broker a deal to end a monthlong standoff at a New England grocery store chain. They participated Sunday in negotiations with the owners of the Market Basket chain - feuding cousins Arthur T. Demoulas and Arthur S. Demoulas - as well as several other shareholders. A long-running feud between the two cousins culminated in the ouster of Arthur T. Demoulas as CEO. His firing prompted worker protests and customer boycotts, and most customers are shopping elsewhere.

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