Morning Business Brief
June 17, 2010, 7:44 AM
- Stocks have managed to hold their own, recovering from earlier losses yesterday after BP's agreement to put $20 billion into a fund for victims of the Gulf oil spill lifted the market off its lows. The major indexes finished narrowly mixed, with the Dow gaining about 5 points, while the Nasdaq was virtually unchanged and the S&P fell less than a point.
- World stocks were mixed Thursday. Japan's Nikkei dropped 0.7 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 also lost 0.7 percent. The Shanghai Composite index fell 0.4 percent. Benchmarks in Singapore and New Zealand were also in negative territory. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.4 percent. Stocks in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea rose as well.
- Oil prices fell to near $77 a barrel Thursday in Asia as investor confidence wanes that a three-week rally will continue amid signs of weak U.S. crude demand. Benchmark crude for July delivery was down 67 cents to $77 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 73 cents to settle at $77.67 on Wednesday.
- The chief executive officer of BP is on the hot seat later today. CEO Tony Hayward is expected to testify at a House hearing. In prepared testimony Hayward says he's been "personally devastated" by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Hayward says he and the company are unwavering in their commitment to fulfill their responsibilities.
- A new batch of economic data should give investors some guidance today. The Labor Department will report on weekly jobless claims and the Consumer Price Index for May, while The Conference Board will release its leading indicators for May.
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