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Thursday Morning Business Brief

May 1, 2014, 6:23 AM

Thursday Morning Business Brief

Solid company earnings are helping to push the stock market higher despite a report that the economy grew at a very slow rate in the first quarter. The Dow Jones industrial average hit an all-time high yesterday. The blue-chip index climbed 45 points to 16,580. The S&P 500 rose nearly six points to 1,883 and the Nasdaq gained 11 points to close at 4,114. Futures are flat to slightly higher.

  • International stock markets are mixed today, with most markets closed for a holiday. Markets in China, India, Germany, France, South Korea and Taiwan were closed for the labor day holiday. Benchmark crude oil fell to just above $99.50 per barrel. The dollar was unchanged against the yen and flat against the euro.
  • The Labor Department will release the weekly jobless claims number today. And the Commerce Department will report personal income and spending and construction spending for March. Also, Freddie Mac will report weekly mortgage rates and the Institute for Supply Management will release its manufacturing index for April. Automakers will report April vehicle sales too.
  • California jurors are slated to start a second full day of deliberations today in a closely watched patent trial putting the world's two top smartphone makers against each other. The four men and four women began deliberating late Tuesday afternoon in San Jose federal court. Apple accuses Samsung of copying iPhone features in creating its line of smartphones. Samsung has countersued, claiming Apple ripped off its technology in creating the iPhone.
  •  U.S. consumers continued buying cars at a fast clip in April as the last snow melted from dealers' lots. After spending the harsh winter at home, car buyers were out in force in March, pushing sales to their fastest pace in five months. Analysts expect that trend to continue in April. Automakers are scheduled to report April sales later today.


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