Monday Evening Business Brief
October 14, 2013, 5:41 PM
- Signs that Washington is moving closer to a deal that would avert a default by the U.S. government have boosted Wall Street to gains. The Dow rose 64 points to close at 15,301, after being as much as 100 points lower earlier in the day when the outlook from Washington was bleaker. The S&P 500 rose seven points to 1,710, and the Nasdaq rose 23 points to 3,815.
- The Senate's top two leaders are both voicing optimism that they're near an agreement to avoid a potential government default this week. Officials say Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell are discussing a bill that would raise the government's debt limit until mid-February. They are also said to be considering appointment of House and Senate negotiators to seek a deficit-reduction agreement that could avoid a new round of automatic federal spending cuts scheduled to begin in January.
- Macy's says it will open most of its stores on Thanksgiving for the first time, breaking a long-standing tradition for the venerable retailer. Doors will open at 8 p.m. that day. The move comes as the chain faces growing pressure from rivals who have gotten a jump on the official start of the holiday shopping season by opening their doors increasingly earlier on Thanksgiving.
- A new study finds that CEOs at nonprofit hospitals earned an average of $600,000 a year - and in some cases, more than $3 million - but there was no correlation between high pay and good outcomes for patients. The research indicates CEOs were paid more at hospitals that got high patient satisfaction scores, used more high-tech equipment, had more beds and were located in large urban areas. The study appears in today's JAMA Internal Medicine.
- Amtrak carried a record number of passengers in its just completed fiscal year, while ticket revenues grew to a record $2.1 billion. Railroad officials say the passenger railroad network carried 31.6 million riders despite Northeast service that was temporarily knocked out by Superstorm Sandy. Amtrak's long-distance routes recorded their best ridership in 20 years with 4.8 million passengers.
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