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Thursday Evening Business Brief

July 17, 2014, 6:59 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief

Stocks are closing sharply lower today. Traders are worried about escalating tensions over Ukraine. They're also unsettled by poor corporate earnings and a weak indicator for the housing market. The Dow dropped 161 points, or 0.9 percent, to close at 16,976. The S&P 500 fell 23 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,958. The Nasdaq lost 62 ½ points, or 1.4 percent, to 4,363.

  • The price of oil is up 2 percent today on lower U.S. inventories and concerns that geopolitical tensions could disrupt global supplies. Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery rose $1.99 to close at $103.19 a barrel in New York. Brent crude for September delivery, a benchmark for international oils, rose 72 cents to close at $107.89 in London.
  • Capital One Financial Corp. says second-quarter profit rose 8 percent as its domestic card business returned to growth. The firm's net income after paying preferred dividends rose to $1.18 billion, or $2.04 per share, in the three months ended June 30. Revenue at Capital One fell 3 percent to $5.47 billion from $5.64 billion a year earlier.
  • The Great Recession is only partly to blame for the increasing number of people dropping out of the labor force. That's according to a new report from White House economists which says an aging population is the biggest single factor contributing to the lowest labor participation rate in 36 years. The report says the reduced participation rate dampens economic growth.
  • Facebook is testing a "Buy" button in its latest effort to help businesses drive sales through the world's biggest online social network. The company says the button will let people buy products directly from businesses without leaving Facebook. The button appears in sponsored ads and is being tested by several small- and medium-sized businesses in the U.S.

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