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Monday Morning Business Brief

July 7, 2014, 5:38 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief

Investors are going back to work today after a long holiday weekend. And they're hoping the stock market continues on its positive track. The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 17,000 for the first time on Thursday. And the S&P 500 index is now just 15 points from its round-number milestone of 2,000.

  • Oil fell below $104 per barrel today as expectations of increased supply offset strong U.S. job growth.U.S. crude for August delivery was down 25 cents to $103.81 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract sank as low as $103.70 on Friday before closing at $104.06.
  • There are no major government economic reports today. But tomorrow, the Labor Department will release its job openings and labor turnover survey for May. Also, the Federal Reserve will report consumer credit data for May. After the market closes on Tuesday, Alcoa will issue its quarterly financial report.
  • The chief of the International Monetary Fund predicts that the global economy will improve over the next 18 months but says that growth might not be as fast as previously expected. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde says investment remains weak and the recovery in the United States hinges on the ability of the Federal Reserve to gradually reduce stimulus measures and on political leaders agreeing on a fiscal plan.
  • Expedia Inc. says it has agreed to pay 703 million Australian dollars ($658 million U.S.) for Holdings Ltd., an online travel company that covers the Asia-Pacific region. Expedia says it offered 3.30 Australian dollars - $3.09 per share in cash - a 30 percent premium over Wotif's average price last week.

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