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Thursday Evening Business Brief

September 4, 2014, 6:51 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - A slump in oil prices is weighing on the stock market, pushing the S&P 500 to its third straight loss. The index lost three points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 1,997. The tech-dominated Nasdaq slid 10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,562. The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 8 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,069.

  • The price of oil is down. Benchmark U.S. crude for October delivery dropped 1.1 percent to $94.45 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil fell after government data showed that U.S. supplies fell less than expected last week. The price of oil, which is traded in dollars, was also hit by the strengthening U.S. currency.
  • BP could be looking at close to $18 billion in additional fines over the nation's worst offshore oil spill. A federal judge ruled today that the company acted with "gross negligence" in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster and bears most of the responsibility. In the next stage of the case, set to begin in January, the judge will decide precisely how much BP must pay.
  • A Federal Reserve report says the richest 10 percent of Americans were the only group whose median incomes rose in the past three years. The Fed's report says incomes declined for every other group from 2010 to 2013, widening the gap between the richest Americans and everyone else. The data was contained in the Fed's latest "Survey of Consumer Finances."
  • Federal regulators are proposing to label MetLife as "systemically important" to the financial system, a designation that brings stricter government oversight. The insurer says it "strongly disagrees" with the decision. If it becomes final, MetLife would have to increase its cushion of capital against losses, limit its use of borrowed money and submit to inspections by examiners.

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