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Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

May 15, 2014, 1:48 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Investors are selling off stocks after disappointing earnings from Wal-Mart and mixed news about the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones industrial average has been down more than 200 points in afternoon trading on Wall Street. The Russell 2000, which is made up primarily of smaller, more risky companies, declined the most among major indexes, off 1.2 percent.

  • General Motors is recalling another 2.7 million cars, sending the company's total of recalled vehicles in the U.S. this year above 11 million and putting the auto industry on track to set a record for recalls in 2014. GM says the latest batch of recalls are to fix problems with brake lights, headlamps and power brakes. GM will take a $200 million charge this quarter, mostly to cover the repairs.
     
  • The Federal Communications Commission has voted to go forward with the proposal of new rules that could set standards for Internet providers who wish to create paid priority fast lanes on their networks. The preliminary vote submits the so-called net neutrality rules for formal public comment. After the 120-day period ends, the FCC will revise the proposal and vote on a final set of rules. A previous set of rules from 2010 was struck down by an appeals court in January after Verizon challenged them.
     
  • Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages are lower for a third straight week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan eased to 4.20 percent from 4.21 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage fell to 3.29 percent from 3.32 percent.
     
  • U.S. airlines are expecting more travelers will take to the skies this summer. According to the trade and lobbying group Airlines for America, about 210 million passengers - or 2.28 million a day- are expected to fly on U.S. carriers between June 1 and Aug. 31. That's up 1.5 percent from last summer and the highest level in six years. The forecast includes 29.9 million travelers - or 325,000 a day - flying U.S. airlines to international destinations, an all-time high.

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