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Saturday Business Brief

July 26, 2014, 3:02 PM

Saturday Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks have been up and down recently, and finished another mixed week on a down note. In their quarterly financial reports, both Amazon and Visa said that the second half of the year is looking more troubled than originally expected. That sent all three major indexes down Friday. For the week, the Dow lost nearly 140 points, but the S&P ended just about where it started at 1,978, while the Nasdaq composite gained 17 points.

  • The price of oil is trading around $102 a barrel. Oil prices spiked early in the week on lower U.S. inventories and tensions in Ukraine and the Middle East, but they slipped Thursday and held flat Friday. Benchmark U.S. crude for September delivery rose 2 cents to $102.09 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
  • Negotiations between Argentina and creditors over $1.5 billion in unpaid debts remain deadlocked. Some of Argentina's investors accepted lower-valued bonds after the country's $100 billion default in 2001. But a U.S. judge ruled that Argentina can't make those payments unless it also pays off the U.S. hedge funds that have refused to accept the bond swaps. Argentina faces another default if it fails to reach a deal before Wednesday. A court-appointed mediator says he expects more talks before then.
  • The federal government is planning to use sound blasting to conduct research on the ocean floor along most of the East Coast. The U.S. Geological Survey plans to map the outer limits of the continental shelf, and also study underwater landslides that would help predict where and when tsunamis might occur. Researchers will use the same basic technology that spawned a court battle between environmentalists and researchers in New Jersey this summer. Environmentalists say the noise could harm or even kill marine life.
  • A federal agency is testing the waters on a possible new lease sale in the Alaska Arctic. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management plans to take comments on areas in the Beaufort Sea that have the most promising oil and gas potential. The agency says it also wants to learn more about environmentally sensitive habitats and subsistence activities within the planning area, which covers nearly 65 million acres off Alaska's north coast.

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