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Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

June 12, 2014, 1:22 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief
  • Stocks are lower in afternoon trading as lackluster news about the economy and declines in airline stocks weigh on the market. The government reports retail sales rose in May, but slightly less than forecast, while a separate report shows more Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are all lower. But at least one investor says today's numbers are not changing his view that the job market and the economy are strengthening.
  • Renewed violence in Iraq is driving oil prices higher. Benchmark crude is up about $1.50 approaching $106 a barrel. Energy stocks are broadly higher on fear that insurgent victories in Iraq could disrupt global oil supplies. The surge in oil prices is helping push airline stocks lower.
  • The Supreme Court says Individual Retirement Accounts are not protected from creditors in bankruptcy proceedings if the accounts are inherited. The justices ruled unanimously that a Wisconsin woman who declared bankruptcy could not keep a $300,000 IRA that she inherited when her mother died.  Bankruptcy law typically shields retirement assets from creditors. But the high court agreed with a lower court ruling that said an inherited IRA is different, because the owner can spend the money before retiring themselves.
  • The Supreme Court has sided with Pom Wonderful in its dispute with Coca Cola, saying the juice maker can bring false advertising claims against the Coke over a competing juice product. Pom alleges the label on a "Pomegranate Blueberry" beverage offered by Coke's Minute Maid unit is misleading because 99 percent of the drink consists of apple and grape juice. Coke claimed the label complies with Food and Drug Administration regulations. The Supreme Court says that may be technically true, but the label is still misleading.
  • A European Union court has upheld a $1.4 billion fine against Intel. EU officials assessed the fine five years ago, after determining the American microchip maker abused its dominant position in the market for computer central processing units. Intel had sought to have the decision thrown out or a least reduced.

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