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Thursday Morning Business Brief

June 26, 2014, 5:45 AM

Thursday Morning Business Brief

The earnings season cranks up next month and investors are focusing on that rather than dwelling on the fact that the economy shrank at annual rate of 2.9 percent in the first three months of the year. That news yesterday didn't even faze them. The S&P 500 gained nine points to 1,959. The Nasdaq rose 29 points to 4,379 and the Dow climbed 49 points to 16,867. Futures point to a flat opening.

  • International stock markets rose today though European gains were more restrained than Asia as investors largely brushed off a poor quarterly U.S. economic report as a blip and instead factored in rebounding growth as policymakers maintain ultralow interest rates. Benchmark crude oil inched up to just above $106.50 per barrel. The dollar slipped against the yen and gained against the euro.
  • There are two government reports due out today. The Labor Department will release weekly jobless claims and the Commerce Department will report on personal income and spending for May. Also today, Freddie Mac will release the average weekly mortgage rates. After the market closes, Nike will report its quarterly financial results.
  • Experts and government officials are concerned that Britain may be trapped inside a housing bubble. The concern from the International Monetary Fund and European Union officials is that the country's housing market is overinflated, with London house prices rising almost 19 percent in the year to April, posing a threat to the British economy.
  • Hundreds of people are expected to turn out in Edmond, Oklahoma, tonight for a town hall meeting on a surge of earthquakes in an area where they've been almost unheard of in the past. Oklahoma recorded nearly 150 between January and the start of May and it's raised suspicions that the shaking might be connected to the oil and gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

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