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Thursday Morning Business Brief

March 27, 2014, 5:33 AM

Thursday Morning Business Brief

Investors are waiting for a catalyst that'll either push the stock market higher or cause a sustained sell-off. In the meantime, the market continues to take one step forward and then one step backward. The S&P 500 index fell 13 points to 1,852 yesterday. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 99 points to close at 16,268. The Nasdaq gave up nearly 61 points to close at 4,173. Futures point to a morning rebound.

  • Asian stock markets were mixed today while European exchanges slipped in early trading as investors waiting to see if weak Chinese economic data might prompt new economic stimulus also weighed a sell-off on Wall Street. Benchmark crude oil slipped but remained above $100 a barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and the euro.
  • Investors will be focused on the government's weekly jobless claims report today. They'll also get the revised fourth-quarter gross domestic product estimate. On the housing side, Freddie Mac will report weekly mortgage rates and the National Association of Realtors will release February's pending home sales index. Fashion retailer H&M will also report quarterly earnings.
  • ANA is ordering 70 aircraft with a list price of 1.7 trillion yen ($17 billion) from Boeing Co. and Airbus, in the largest order in the Japanese carrier's history. Today's orders underline ANA's ambition to become one of the world's leading airlines as well as Japan's tourism drive leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The country is aiming to boost overseas visitors to 20 million a year.
  • The global launch of Samsung's latest smartphone has been upstaged by South Korean mobile network companies. SK Telecom, South Korea's largest mobile carrier, said it will start selling the Galaxy S5 on Thursday, two weeks before the scheduled sales launch on April 11. Samsung said in a statement that it is "very puzzled" by SK Telecom's decision and is deciding how to respond. It said its schedule of overseas launches remains unchanged.

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