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Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

April 8, 2014, 1:36 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

Investors have been finding some buying opportunities after a three-day sell-off in the stock market, but it's not been enough to sustain much of a rally. The Dow was up as much as 50 points this afternoon, but has slipped back into negative territory. However, the broader indexes remain higher.

  • President Barack Obama is taking steps aimed at narrowing the pay gap between men and women. At a White House event today, Obama signed directives that make it easier for employees of federal contractors to get information about workplace compensation. The president's actions affect only federal contractors but could have a wide and direct impact. Federal contracting covers nearly one-quarter of the U.S. workforce and includes companies ranging from Boeing to small parts suppliers and service providers.
  • The Energy Department is forecasting that summer gasoline prices will be the lowest since 2010.  The department expects the national average price to fall by one cent between now and September to $3.57 per gallon. The summer is when Americans do most of their driving. While worldwide demand for oil is growing, supplies are growing faster thanks to higher production in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere.
  • North Carolina regulators are joining with Duke Energy in appealing a judge's ruling on cleaning up groundwater pollution leeching from the company's coal ash dumps. The state Environmental Management Commission and Duke contend North Carolina law does not give the state the authority to order an immediate cleanup. The judge had ruled that the 15-member commission appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican legislative leaders has been misinterpreting the law for years.
  • Expansion talks at Volkswagen's lone U.S. plant have ground to a halt. The role of organized labor at the Tennessee factory has been the center of disagreements after a February vote narrowly shot down the United Auto Workers' effort to unionize. The UAW has challenged the outcome with the National Labor Relations Board and a top labor representative on Volkswagen's supervisory board has told Chattanooga workers that U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and Gov. Bill Haslam "interfered outrageously" in the election.

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