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Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

February 25, 2014, 2:01 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

Trading has been choppy on Wall Street today. The market was lower for most of the morning after the Conference Board reported a surprisingly large drop in consumer confidence. Home Depot was among the companies leading a modest rebound, after the home improvement chain reported higher income than analysts were expecting. Still, the S&P 500, the Dow and the Nasdaq have all dipped back into negative territory in afternoon trading.

  • One of the world's largest bitcoin exchanges appears to have collapsed. A coalition of virtual currency companies says Tokyo-based Mt. Gox went under after secretly racking up catastrophic losses. Mt. Gox's website wasn't functioning today. That follows the resignation Sunday of its CEO from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation, a group seeking legitimacy for the new form of money. Prominent supporters of bitcoin are calling Mt. Gox's collapse an isolated case of mismanagement.
  • Colorado's Pueblo County says it collected $56,000 in sales taxes from the two recreational marijuana stores that opened there in January. Officials say the two shops had about $1 million in total sales that month. Three more stores opened in Pueblo County in February, and officials expect the marijuana industry will generate roughly $670,000 in tax revenue for the county by the end of the year.
  • A team of academic researchers estimates about 35 million gallons of coal ash and contaminated wastewater spilled into a North Carolina river earlier this month from Duke Energy's coal ash dump in Eden. Wake Forest University researchers used aerial photos collected by a drone to create a three-dimensional model of the pit and calculate the volume of toxic ash that flowed out when a pipe collapsed. The size of the spill could be key to determining the fines the company may be assessed for the spill.
  • A congressman says federal officials have launched a criminal probe of a Northern California slaughterhouse that recently recalled more than 8.7 million pounds of beef. Rep. Jared Huffman says he learned about the investigation of the Rancho Feeding Corp. from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The USDA has said Rancho processed diseased and unhealthy animals and circumvented federal inspection rules. The recalled beef was sold at Walmart and other national chains and used in products, including Hot Pockets.

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