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Monday Morning Business Brief

July 28, 2014, 6:04 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief
NEW YORK -

Investors on Wall Street are hoping for some improvements today following Friday disappointing close. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 123 points, 0.7 percent, to close at 16,960 Friday. The S&P 500 fell nine points, or 0.5 percent, to end at 1,978. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite dropped 22 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,449.

  • Asian stock markets were higher today, shrugging off jitters about stiffer Western sanctions against Russia. Markets in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and South Korea gained today. In morning trade in Europe, markets in France and Britain are up, but they're down in Germany. On Wall Street, Dow and S&P 500 futures are both down 0.1 percent.
     
  • The first economic data of the week comes from the National Association of Realtors this morning, when it releases its pending home sales index for June. Contracts to buy US homes were up 6.1 percent in May, the sharpest month-over-month gain in more than four years. However, the index remained below its level of a year ago.
     
  • Solid corporate earnings have been keeping the five-year bull run going on Wall Street. Seventeen major U.S. companies release quarterly financial results this week. Eight companies report on Tuesday, including Aetna, Merck, Pfizer, Reynolds American and UPS, turning in their numbers before the market opens.
     
  • The former majority shareholder in oil producer Yukos says it has won in excess of $50 billion in a court ruling against Russia for the expropriation of the company. The claim was filed by a subsidiary for GML Ltd., formerly Group Menetap Ltd., a financial holding company that was once the biggest shareholder in Yukos Oil Co. It sought $103.5 billion from Russia. GML says the Permanent Court of Arbitration found that the Russian Federation tried to bankrupt Yukos and appropriate its assets.

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