Monday Evening Business Brief
March 17, 2014, 5:57 PM
- A rebound in factory output has helped propel stocks to a strong start this week. The Federal Reserve says industrial production rose 0.6 percent last month, triple the increase that economists had expected. The Dow rose 181 points, or 1.1 percent, to 16,247. The S&P 500 rose 17 points, or 1 percent, to 1,858, while the Nasdaq composite rose 34 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,279.
- Yahoo is seeing more benefits from its stake in China's hottest Internet company, Alibaba Group. Investors latched on to Yahoo today in anticipation of a huge windfall from Alibaba's initial public offering of stock later this year. Yahoo is expected to sell about half its 24 percent stake in Alibaba as part of the IPO and could collect several billion dollars. Yahoo's stock gained $1.51, or 4 percent, to close at $39.11.
- The price of oil has dropped to near $98 a barrel. Benchmark U.S. crude for April delivery fell 81 cents to close at $98.08 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Investors had anticipated Crimea's voted to split from Ukraine and join Russia, and while the vote triggered EU and U.S. sanctions against Russia, none of those measures affect Russia's energy industry. Russian President Vladimir Putin today recognized Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula as an "independent and sovereign country."
- The Obama administration says more than 5 million people have signed up for private health insurance under the new health care law. That's about 1 million short of the White House's latest goal of 6 million, with the March 31 enrollment deadline two weeks away.
- The man Newsweek identified as the creator of bitcoin has hired a lawyer in an attempt to clear his name. Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto told The Associated Press more than a week ago that he has never had anything to do with the digital currency. But Newsweek has stood behind its cover story, which declared Nakamoto to be the "face behind bitcoin." Nakamoto claims the story has harmed his "prospects for gainful employment" and caused him and his family "a great deal of confusion and stress."
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