Thursday Morning Business Brief
September 5, 2013, 8:47 AM
- Better news on the economy is pushing stocks higher. The auto industry reports strong sales in August, and that drove U.S. shares in a positive direction yesterday. The S&P 500 rose 13 points, while the Dow gained 97 and the Nasdaq closed up 36. The positive numbers also boosted overseas markets. In Thursday trading, benchmarks in Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea saw gains, while Europe's key indexes are opening higher.
- China is warning other world powers of the economic risks a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria's civil war would pose. In St. Petersburg ahead of the G-20 summit, Chinese finance officials said a strike could push oil prices higher and cited estimates that a $10 per barrel increase could push down global growth by 0.25 percent.
- The International Monetary Fund says it sees the dynamics of global growth shifting, with the major economies strengthening while developing countries slow. It predicts the U.S. will be the main driver of global growth in the near term. The international lending agency released the assessment in advance of the Group of 20 summit that's beginning today in Russia.
- Foreign businesses in China say they're feeling unfairly singled out in bribery and price investigations. Officials of the European Chamber of Commerce in China made the comments after foreign dairy suppliers were fined over how they set prices. News reports also say Chinese authorities are investigating prices of imported automobiles and possible bribery by employees of drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline.
- The government's weekly jobless claims report is due out today. Also, the Labor Department will release second-quarter productivity data and Freddie Mac will issue its weekly report on mortgage rates. As the summer winds down and it's back to school, investors will be looking to see how much consumers are spending. Selected chain retailers release their August sales today.
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