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Monday Evening Business Brief

February 24, 2014, 6:42 PM

Monday Evening Business Brief
  • It was a strong day on Wall Street, with bullish trading, but a late slide kept stocks from closing at an all-time high. The market marched broadly higher most of the day, helped by optimism about the economy and more corporate mergers. The Standard & Poor's 500 index ended up 11.36 points, just short of its record close of Jan. 15.
  • Governors are quoting President Barack Obama as saying he expects to decide on the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline in the next couple of months. Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican who supports the pipeline, says Obama was asked about Keystone at a White House meeting with about 40 governors today. Heineman and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin say Obama told governors he expects a decision "in the next couple of months," but didn't offer a specific timetable.
  • Attorney General Eric Holder is urging Congress to require businesses to quickly alert consumers and law enforcement agencies in the wake of significant data breaches like the ones at discount retailer Target and at Neiman Marcus. In a video posted on the Justice Department's website today, Holder calls on Congress to create a national standard for notifying consumers whose information may have been compromised, so people can protect themselves from identity theft.
  • Former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is planning a memoir. Bernanke tells The Associated Press he will focus not just on the defining moment of his time at the Fed, the 2008 financial crisis, but on the "Great Recession" that followed. Bernanke headed the central bank for eight years before stepping down at the end of January.
  • Men's Wearhouse says its boosting its takeover offer for Jos. A. Bank yet again, spurring hopes that the months-long saga might finally be coming to an end. Men's Wearhouse raised its takeover offer for its rival by 10 percent to about $1.78 billion. Shares of both companies rose. The two companies cater to different customers - Jos. A Bank is geared to a more established male professional, Men's Wearhouse a slightly younger man - but they offer similar types of clothing: suits and sport coats.

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