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Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

January 23, 2014, 1:14 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks are plunging on Wall Street amid disappointing earnings and forecasts from several companies. Investors are also worrying about a manufacturing slowdown in China. The Dow Jones industrial average has been down more than 200 points in afternoon trading. The other major indexes are sliding as well.

  • The Treasury Department will auction a new Treasury security with variable interest rates next week. It will be the first new Treasury security offered in 17 years. Treasury says it will auction $15 billion of the new floating rate notes on Jan. 29. The two-year security will have an interest rate that resets every day and will be tied to the three-month Treasury bill.
  • Neiman Marcus says 1.1 million debit and credit cards used at its stores may have been compromised in a security breach last year. The high-end retailer says Visa, MasterCard and Discover have found 2,400 cards of Neiman Marcus and Last Call customers that were used fraudulently. Last Call is Neiman Marcus' clearance chain. Neiman Marcus says it is notifying all customers who shopped in its stores in 2013 and offering them a free year of credit monitoring and identity-theft protection.
  • Fewer customers are visiting the world's biggest hamburger chain. McDonald's says global sales slipped 0.1 percent at established locations for the last three months of the year. In the U.S., the figure fell 1.4 percent. And McDonald's says it expects the challenges it's facing will persist in the year ahead.
  • It's been a rough start of the year for air travelers. Winter storms have led airlines to cancel more than 33,000 flights during the first three weeks of this year. That's more cancellations than in January 2013 and January 2012 combined, according to masFlight, a data and software company specializing in airline operations. The hardest-hit cities so far this winter are New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia.

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