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Thursday Morning Business Brief

June 19, 2014, 5:56 AM

Thursday Morning Business Brief

The Federal Reserve says short-term interest rates will remain low. After the Fed's update yesterday, the S&P 500 reached another record-high. The index rose 15 points, or 0.8 percent, to close at 1,956. The Dow Jones industrial average added 98 points, or 0.6 percent, to 16,906. The Nasdaq composite gained 25 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,362. Futures point to a marginally higher open today.

  • Most international stock markets rallied today after the Fed signaled that interest rates would remain at record lows. Benchmark crude oil rose back above $106 a barrel. The dollar slipped against the euro and the yen.
     
  • The Federal Reserve says it sees improvement in the U.S. job market. The government will release its report on weekly unemployment claims today. Also today, the Conference Board will release the leading economic indicators for May and Freddie Mac will issue its weekly mortgage rate survey. And Kroger will report quarterly financial results before the market opens.
     
  • Google has given the Associated Press an early look at how it's trying to change the gender disparity in its own workforce, and in the pipeline of potential workers, by launching a campaign to lure women computer coders. A website launching today features female role-model techies who write software to design cool fabrics or choreograph dances. Google is also offering $50 million in grants and partnering with Girls Who Code, a nonprofit launched in 2012 that runs summer coding institutes for girls.
     
  • Sony shareholders voted today to keep Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai and other top executives after heckling them about the Japanese electronics and entertainment company's continuing losses. Hirai, who took the helm in 2012, promised that "the money-losing structure" will be fixed this fiscal year once and for all, and apologized for not having reacted quickly enough to changes in the business.

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