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Thursday Evening Business Brief

August 21, 2014, 8:29 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Another round of buying on the stock market is sending the S&P 500 index to its latest record high. Traders were encouraged today by earnings gains and a decline last week in the number of people applying for jobless benefits. The S&P rose nearly six points to close at 1,992. The Dow Jones industrials gained 60 points to 17,039. The Nasdaq edged up 5 ½ points to 4,532.

  • The price of oil is up. Benchmark U.S. crude for October delivery rose 51 cents to $93.96 a barrel today on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
     
  • Ford is recalling more than 160,000 vehicles in North America. The largest recall involves 159,395 Focus ST and Escape vehicles from the 2013 and 2014 model years. Ford says their engines could hesitate or stall because of a wiring problem. Ford also is recalling 616 Focus and C-Max cars because their steering gears don't have the proper number of ball bearings.
     
  • A report from the Census Bureau is the latest evidence the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer. The study divided the U.S. into five groups, from wealthiest to poorest. The median net worth of the richest households rose 11 percent between 2000 and 2011, to $630,754. But the median household net worth for the country overall declined about 7 percent to $68,828.
     
  • A U.S. judge says Argentina's announced plans to evade his orders by failing to make required payments to U.S. bondholders is illegal and cannot be carried out. The judge calls Argentina's actions toward U.S. bondholders "lawless." But at a court hearing in New York today, he stopped short of finding Argentina in contempt. U.S. hedge funds are owed about $1.5 billion.

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