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Tuesday Evening Business Brief

March 25, 2014, 6:46 PM

Tuesday Evening Business Brief
  • Health care companies bounced back today after a heavy sell-off, propelling the Standard & Poor's 500 index by 8.18 points. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 91.19 points, or 0.6 percent, to 16,367.88. And the Nasdaq composite gained 7.88 points.
  • U.S. home prices dipped in January for the third straight month as cold weather, a limited supply of homes and higher mortgage rates lowered sales. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index declined 0.1 percent from December to January, the same decline as the previous two months. The index is not adjusted for seasonal variations, so the dip partly reflects weaker sales in the winter.
  • The Treasury Department says Secretary Jacob Lew's surgery to deal with a benign enlarged prostate went as planned. Treasury spokeswoman Natalie Wyeth Earnest said that the surgery in New York on Tuesday went well and Lew is now resting comfortably.  She said that Lew expects to resume his normal schedule in Washington next week.
  • The Internal Revenue Service said today that virtual currencies like bitcoin will be taxed like property - not currency. The IRS says bitcoin is not legal tender. You can't use it to pay your taxes. However, if you receive wages in bitcoin, you have to pay taxes on it just like you would if you got paid in dollars.
  • Murray Weidenbaum, a White House economic adviser who counseled five U.S. presidents before returning to academia, has died. He was 87. His death last Thursday was announced by Washington University in St. Louis, where he worked for decades and continued to teach until a few weeks ago. The school did not reveal the cause of death. Weidenbaum was the first chairman of President Ronald Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers.

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