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Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

August 7, 2012, 1:15 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief
  • For the first time since early May, the S&P 500 index is back above the 1,400 level. Stronger earnings from U.S. companies are credited for helping the stock market to do better.
  • Federal safety regulators are seeking up to $162 million in fines against American Airlines and its affiliates for alleged violations of U.S. safety standards going back several years. Those sanctions that would dwarf any previous penalties against an airline. The Federal Aviation Administration filed documents describing the allegations to the federal court handling the bankruptcy case of American and parent AMR Corp.
  • U.S. employers posted the most job openings in four years in June, a positive sign that hiring may pick up. The Labor Department says job openings rose to a seasonally adjusted 3.8 million in June, up from 3.7 million in May. That's the most since July 2008.
  • Analysts say the big fire at one of the country's largest oil refineries will push gas prices above $4 a gallon on the West Coast. The fire sent plumes of black smoke over the San Francisco Bay area, after erupting evening in the massive Chevron refinery.
  • Facing a defection by its main partner in racing, a source says Dodge has decided to pull out of its NASCAR sponsorship at the end of this season. Dodge's long-term future in NASCAR has been subject to speculation since its flagship team, Penske Racing, announced it was moving to Ford next season.

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