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Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

August 12, 2014, 2:50 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief
  • Stocks are sagging in quiet trading on Wall Street. The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite are all moderately lower. Energy stocks are among the biggest decliners, dragged down by lower oil prices. The S&P 500 energy index was off nearly 1 percent. Benchmark U.S. crude is down again today, trading below $98. That follows three days of increases on concerns about Iraqi oil production.
  • There's another upbeat report on the job market today. The Labor Department says U.S. employers advertised 4.67 million jobs in June, the most monthly job openings in more than 13 years. Roughly the same percentage of Americans quit their jobs in June as they did in May, though the rate has increased over the past year. Quit rates usually rise when employees are finding new and better-paying jobs.
  • A major Detroit creditor is objecting to the city's debt restructuring plan, saying it should be scrapped before trial. Bond insurer Syncora Guarantee says in a court filing Tuesday that the plan will be costly to defend and will fail in court. Syncora's objection says mediators "acted improperly by orchestrating a settlement that alienates the city's most valuable assets for the sole benefit of one creditor group." Syncora's claim is about $400 million. The trial for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history is set to start in nine days.
  • Kate Spade has gone through a big swing today. After reporting a better-than-expected quarterly profit, shares in the handbag company surged more than 10 percent this morning. But they've since plunged, down more than 20 percent on the day, after executives warned that sales growth would slow this year.
  • Apple has released a breakdown of its hiring demographics, and it mirrors those at other major Silicon Valley companies. It shows Apple's high-paying technology jobs are primarily filled by white and Asian men. Fifty-four percent of U.S. positions are handled by whites and another 23 percent by Asians. Men make up 80 percent of Apple's technology workforce worldwide. CEO Tim Cook is expressing dissatisfaction with that lack of diversity in a letter posted alongside the data.

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