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Thursday Evening Business Brief

June 12, 2014, 4:29 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief
  • Stocks are closing sharply lower as lackluster news about the economy and declines in airline stocks weigh on the market. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped by more than 100 points for the second straight day today, ending down 109 points to 16,734. The S&P 500 index fell 13 points to 1,930. The Nasdaq was down 34 points to 4,297.
  • The price of oil is spiking. An insurgency in Iraq is raising the risk of disruptions to supplies at a time when other major oil-producing countries are already pumping near capacity. Benchmark crude rose $2.13, or 2 percent, to close at $106.53 a barrel today in New York. Drivers are watching. But today the average for a gallon of gas was $3.65, down 1 cent from a week ago.
  • Tesla Motors is opening access to its patents to accelerate electric vehicle development. Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the company will share several hundred patents and won't sue those who use them. Musk says the patents could be a "modest" help to other firms developing electric cars. Tesla has more than 200 patents covering batteries and other key features.
  • Many federal workers and contractors who earn the minimum wage are getting a raise next year. The Labor Department secretary has issued a rule to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10. The higher level applies to new federal construction and service contracts beginning Jan. 1. President Barack Obama had announced the raise earlier this year.
  • Agricultural, food and beverage companies are spending millions of dollars to defeat legislation to require labels on food containing genetically modified crops in New York. Supporters argue people should know if food contains GMO ingredients. Opponents say GMOs are safe and that labels will increase prices while unnecessarily frightening consumers.

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