Tuesday Evening Business Brief
August 5, 2014, 5:08 PM
- Renewed investor worries about instability in the world, particularly the situation in Ukraine, took a toll on the stock market today. The Dow Jones industrial average fell nearly 200 points at one juncture, but recovered some of the losses in the last 30 minutes of trading. Concern also has been raised about a slowing of economic growth in China. The Dow lost 139.81 points and the Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 18.78 points.
- USA Today owner Gannett has become the most recent major media entity to say it will divide its print and broadcast divisions into separate companies. Gannett said today that its separation will leave the newspaper unit debt free and let both companies pursue growth and acquisitions more efficiently. But some observers see the rush to split less profitable print businesses from growing TV and digital operations as an ominous sign for the newspaper industry.
- Officials say the Obama administration is looking for steps it could take on its own to prevent American companies from reincorporating overseas to shirk U.S. taxes. The idea is to find a way around political gridlock in Congress. President Barack Obama has denounced so-called "tax inversions" as unpatriotic and has urged lawmakers to stop them, in an election-year push that Democrats hope will appeal to middle-class voters.
- MGM Resorts International reported a profit for its second quarter today, helped by an IRS audit settlement and a strong showing among its properties on the Las Vegas Strip. CEO Jim Murren touted several new projects aimed at keeping the casino company ahead of the pack in Las Vegas, including a $375 million arena under construction on the Strip, new restaurants and an interactive Hershey's store that debuted in June.
- Environmental advocates and residents living near oil refineries asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today to force petroleum companies to adopt stricter emissions standards and publicly release emissions data to help reduce communities' exposure to a cancer-causing chemical. By midafternoon, about 60 people had addressed the federal agency during a hearing in Texas on the EPA's proposal to compel refineries - for the first time - to monitor and report emissions of benzene to nearby communities.
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