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Saturday Business Brief

January 25, 2014, 4:47 PM

Saturday Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Fear is back in the stock market. Investors are worrying about slower economic growth in China, a less-than-stellar outlook for corporate profits and an end to easy money policies. They're also fretting over country-specific political and monetary troubles. These fears drove the market down yesterday. The Dow plunged 318 points. The S&P 500 fell 38 and the Nasdaq dropped 90 points.

  • The global equity markets' sell-off may be weighing on oil traders' sentiments. The price of oil edged down yesterday. But it still finished the week with a gain of more than 2 percent. Benchmark crude for March delivery fell 68 cents on Friday to close at $96.64 a barrel in New York. At the gas pump, the average price for a gallon of regular stayed at $3.29.
     
  • The head of the International Monetary Fund says the global economic recovery could be put at risk by the reduction of the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary stimulus and falling prices in the eurozone. Christine Lagarde says policymakers around the world have to be alert to the potential repercussions from the Fed's "tapering," a policy change it decided to embark upon in December. She spoke at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
     
  • Coca-Cola says laptop computers stolen from its Atlanta headquarters held the personal information of up to 74,000 people, most of them employees or former employees. Coca-Cola has recovered the laptops and a spokeswoman says the company has no indication that the information on the stolen computers was misused.
     
  • Wal-Mart is eliminating 2,300 workers at its Sam's Club division as it reduces the ranks of middle managers in a bid to be more nimble. The layoffs mark the largest since 2010, when the unit laid off 10,000 workers. The cuts come as Sam's Club strives to compete with Costco and online players like Amazon.com's Prime membership service.

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