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Thursday Evening Business Brief

January 30, 2014, 5:22 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief
  • The stock market is having its best day in six weeks. The government reported strong growth in the U.S. economy and several companies posted earnings gains. The Dow rose 110 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 15,848. The S&P 500 climbed 20 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,794, its best day since Dec. 18. The Nasdaq jumped nearly 72 points, or 1.8 percent, to 4,123. 
  • Signs of a strengthening U.S. economy are prompting expectations of greater demand for oil. The price of oil closed above $98 a barrel for the first time in a month. Benchmark crude for March gained 87 cents to finish the day at $98.23 a barrel in New York. Drivers are getting a break at the gas pump. The average price for a gallon of regular is $3.28. That's down 1 cent from a week ago.
  • Google says its fourth-quarter earnings rose 17 percent, even though a long-running slump in its online ad prices deepened. The company earned $3.4 billion, or $9.90 per share. That compares with $2.9 billion, or $8.62 per share, in the prior year. Revenue rose 17 percent to $16.9 billion.
  • Amazon's profit and revenue both grew in the latest quarter, but its results are below what analysts expected. It earned $239 million, or 51 cents per share, in the October-December period. That's up from $97 million, or 21 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Amazon.com says its revenue grew 20 percent in the fourth quarter, to $25.59 billion from $21.27 billion.
  • Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen will be sworn in Monday to succeed Ben Bernanke, becoming the first woman to lead the Fed in its 100-year history. The private swearing-in ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Bernanke's term as chairman will end at midnight Friday. The Fed says Yellen can to exercise all the duties of chair beginning this weekend.

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