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Monday Evening Business Brief

March 31, 2014, 4:53 PM

Monday Evening Business Brief

Stocks have closed the first quarter of 2014 with a gain. The Dow rose 134 points today, to finish at 16,457, while the Nasdaq added 43 points. It finished at 4,199. The S&P 500 added 14 points to close at 1,872. It gained 1.3 percent for the quarter. Remarks by Fed Chair Janet Yellen gave the market a boost. Speaking in Chicago, Yellen said the U.S. job market will continue to need the help of low interest rates "for some time."

  • Sen. Carl Levin is accusing Caterpillar of using an aggressive tax strategy to shift profits overseas and avoid paying billions in U.S. taxes. The Michigan Democrat chairs the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. A report from the committee's Democratic staff says Caterpillar has avoided paying $2.4 billion in U.S. taxes since 2000. However, the report does not accuse the manufacturer of breaking the law. Caterpillar says it pays an effective income tax rate of 29 percent.
  • General Motors is recalling 1.5 million vehicles because the electronic power-steering assist can suddenly stop working. Included in the recall are the Chevrolet Malibu, Malibu Maxx, Chevrolet HHR, Saturn Aura, Saturn Ion and Pontiac G6. Model years vary, but all of the vehicles are from the 2010 model year or earlier. The new recall brings to 6.3 million the number of vehicles GM has recalled since February.
  • The Obama White House says it's taking a new report from a U.N. scientific panel as a call for action on global warming. The report says recent disasters including killer heat waves in Europe, wildfires in the United States and droughts in Australia highlight how vulnerable humanity is to extreme weather. Secretary of State John Kerry says the report shows that "the costs of inaction are catastrophic."
  • Exxon Mobil says global policies to combat climate change won't be strict enough to stop the company from selling all of the oil and gas it has found - and all that it expects to find in the foreseeable future. In a report to shareholders, Exxon Mobil acknowledges the need to adopt policies to address climate change but concludes that the fuels are too important for global economic development for drastic change.

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