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Monday Morning Business Brief

February 10, 2014, 5:35 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief

The stock market is rebounding after three weeks of declines and investors hope the rally continues today. The final two days of trading last week erased losses from a deep slump earlier in the week. The Dow rose 165 ½ points, or 1.1 percent, to 15,794 on Friday. The S&P 500 climbed 23 ½, or 1.3 percent, to 1,797. The Nasdaq was up nearly 69 points, or 1.7 percent. Futures point to a sluggish start this morning.

  • International stock markets are mostly higher today as investors looked ahead to Janet Yellen's first comments before Congress tomorrow as the new Federal Reserve chairwoman. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell to just above $99.50 a barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen.
  • Two straight weak job reports are raising doubts about economists' predictions of breakout growth in 2014. The global economy is showing signs of slowing again. Manufacturing has slumped. Fewer people are signing contracts to buy homes. And Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman have suggested that the economy might be in a semi-permanent funk.
  • Toyota says it will stop making cars in Australia by the end of 2017, spelling a final blow to auto manufacturing in the country. Car companies say high production costs and tough competition have made the business unviable. Toyota's announcement, which will result in the loss of around 2,500 jobs, was widely anticipated, coming just two months after General Motors said it would end production in Australia by 2017. Ford announced in May that it would cease Australian production in 2016.
  • Nissan says quarterly profit rose 57 percent, driven by a weaker yen and strong sales in China and Japan. The Japanese automaker reported net profit today of 84.3 billion yen ($823 million) for the October-December third quarter. That was up from 53.8 billion yen a year earlier. It was a sharp improvement from the previous quarter, when profits rose 2 percent.

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