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Saturday Business Brief

February 1, 2014, 3:17 PM

Saturday Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - No stock market can go straight up forever. And many investors expect 2014 to be more muddled and volatile than 2013. They were hit from all sides in January. Concerns about company earnings and the global economy led the Dow to its worst start since 2009. It slid 5.3 percent in January while the S&P 500 fell 3.6 percent and the Nasdaq declined 1.7 percent.

  • Oil prices are down. Benchmark crude for March delivery fell 74 cents to close at $97.49 a barrel yesterday in New York. The price of gasoline is also down. Triple-A says wintry weather is keeping drivers off the road, lowering fuel demand and suppressing prices.  The average price for a gallon of gas fell 4 cents this month to $3.28. But prices for heating fuels have risen.
  • The government is reviewing the safety of popular testosterone drugs for men in light of recent studies suggesting they can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and death. The Food and Drug Administration says it's evaluating the data but hasn't reached a conclusion. Prescriptions for the hormone are up more than five-fold in recent years, with sales over $1.6 billion.
  • IBM's CEO and the rest of her senior management team are relinquishing their 2013 bonuses as penance for the technology company's lackluster performance last year. The decision will result in a substantial pay cut for the affected executives, whose annual bonuses often exceed their salaries. As CEO, Virginia Rometty will be the hardest hit.
  • A Los Angeles suburb is spicing up its lawsuit against a hot-sauce manufacturer it claims polluted the air with pungent smells. An attorney representing Irwindale tells City News Service the city will add a breach-of-contract claim to its nuisance suit. He says it will allege the owner failed to comply with certain operating conditions, including not emitting foul odors.

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