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Saturday Business Brief

May 10, 2014, 4:46 PM

Saturday Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Mixed messages from earnings reports are leaving stock market investors with no clear direction. The Dow Jones industrial average hit a record yesterday, but without much conviction after a choppy day of trading during which investors couldn't make up their minds whether to buy or sell. The Dow was up 32 points. The S&P 500 rose 3 and the Nasdaq climbed 20.

  • There are ample supplies of oil to meet demand. That kept crude prices nearly flat for the week. The price of oil slipped yesterday to just under $100 a barrel. Benchmark U.S. crude for June delivery fell 27 cents to close at $99.99 in New York. Also, the average retail price of gasoline in the U.S. fell less than a penny yesterday to $3.66 a gallon.
  • Two automakers are recalling some vehicles. Ford is recalling more than 692,000 Escape small SUVs and C-Max gas-electric hybrids to fix two safety problems. The 2013 and 2014 model years are involved. And Chrysler is recalling 780,000 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans from 2010 through 2014 to replace faulty window switches.
  • The new health care law has opened up an opportunity for some mothers-to-be to save on medical bills for childbirth. Lower-income women who signed up for a private policy in the new insurance exchanges will have access to additional coverage from their state's Medicaid program if they get pregnant. Officials and advocates say the enhanced coverage will be available across the country, whether or not a state expands Medicaid under the health law. States have different income cutoffs for eligibility.
  • Technicians have finished installing solar panels on the White House roof, capping a project meant to signal that renewable energy is feasible and environmentally shrewd. The White House says the panels are expected to generate 6.3 kilowatts of solar power whenever the sun shines. But the White House won't say how many panels now encase the top of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. or how much they cost.

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