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Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

February 18, 2014, 1:41 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

The stock market is mixed in afternoon trading. Health care stocks have been higher following a big merger in the pharmaceutical sector, while Coca-Cola has slumped after turning in disappointing quarterly results. The Dow has been wavering between positive and negative territory. The broader indexes are higher, with the S&P 500 up about 3 points and the Nasdaq composite up 25 to 30 points.

  • President Barack Obama says his administration will issue tougher fuel-efficiency standards for delivery trucks by March 2016. Speaking at a Maryland distribution center for Safeway, Obama said heavy-duty trucks make up just 4 percent of the vehicles on the nation's roadways, but are responsible for about 20 percent of the climate-changing gases spewed into the atmosphere by the transportation sector. He says the new fuel-efficiency standards will help reduce emissions and save consumers money.
  • Boeing has picked Everett, Wash., as the site to build wings for its new 777X aircraft. The company says the wing center will sustain thousands of area jobs in the years to come. Construction on the new facility is scheduled to begin later this year. Boeing reached a union contract extension earlier this year that required the company to make parts for and assemble the 777X composite wings in the Puget Sound region.
  • A Delaware bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of the remaining assets of failed electric-vehicle maker Fisker Automotive to a Chinese auto-parts conglomerate. California-based Fisker had planned to build cars at the former General Motors plant in Delaware, but it filed for bankruptcy protection in November. The bankruptcy ended a downward spiral that began after it received a $529 million loan commitment from the Obama administration in 2010.
  • A new analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicates many job seekers have dropped out of the labor force by choice. The global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas finds the biggest decline in labor force participation is among 16- to 19-year-olds. It's down to a record low 30 percent. Of the 11.6 million teens not in the labor force, only about 8 percent said they want a job. Less than one percent indicated they were discouraged.

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