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Monday Morning Business Brief

July 21, 2014, 5:49 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief

Investors are kicking off a new trading week after jumping on a wave of strong corporate financial results Friday, propelling stocks higher for the third time in five days. The S&P 500 rose 1 percent on Friday. The Dow gained 0.7 percent and the Nasdaq climbed 1.6 percent. All three major indexes ended the week in the green and remain ahead for the year. Futures point to a lower opening today.

International stock markets were mixed today as anxiety over the downing of a Malaysian jetliner over Ukraine eased and investors shifted their focus to U.S. corporate earnings. Benchmark crude oil fell below $103 per barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen.

Investors will have no major government economic reports to look at today. But Netflix will report quarterly financial results after the market closes. Tomorrow, the Labor Department will release June's Consumer Price Index and the National Association of Realtors will report existing home sales for June.

A new survey finds rising sales helped boost hiring and wages at U.S. businesses in the second quarter, and companies are optimistic into the fall. The National Association for Business Economics finds that 57 percent of the 85 respondents to the quarterly survey said sales at their companies rose in the April-June period. That was up from 53 percent in the first quarter.

FiOS is about to get faster. Verizon is boosting the upload speeds of nearly all its FiOS connections to match the download speeds, vastly shortening the time it takes for subscribers to send videos and back up their files online. Starting today, all new subscribers will get "symmetrical" connections. The cheapest plan will deliver 25 megabits per second up and down. Current subscribers will get a boost in the coming months.

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