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Saturday Business Brief

May 17, 2014, 3:36 PM

Saturday Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - The stock market registered a modest gain yesterday, thanks to improving sales results from retailers and increased demand for telecommunications shares. Telecoms rose the most among the 10 industries in the Standard & Poor's 500 index. The S&P 500 index gained 7.01 points and the Dow Jones industrial average rose 44.50 points.

  • The price of oil rose past $102 a barrel yesterday on strong U.S. construction activity and increased tensions in Ukraine. Benchmark U.S. crude for June delivery rose 52 cents to close at $102.02 a barrel in New York. Oil gained 2 percent for the week. Brent crude for July delivery, a benchmark for international oil used by many U.S. refineries, rose 60 cents to $109.75 in London. The Brent crude June contract expired Thursday.
  • Among the closely watched reports to be released next week is the Federal Reserve Board's minutes from its interest-rate meeting in April. Also, next week, quarterly financial reports are due from, among others, Home Depot Inc., Lowe's Cos, Tiffany & Co., and Target Corp.  On Thursday, the Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims, a report that been trending well of late.
  • Regulators have closed a small lender in Illinois, marking the seventh U.S. bank failure of 2014 after 24 closures last year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said yesterday that it has taken over AztecAmerica Bank, based in Berwyn. The lender, which operated two branches, had about $66.3 million in assets and $65 million in deposits as of Dec. 31.
  • A St. Louis jury has ruled that Anheuser-Busch didn't discriminate against a former executive who sued because she earned significantly less than a male predecessor. The jury of seven women and five men sided with the beer-maker, a onetime family business now owned by Belgium-based brewer InBev.

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