Tuesday Evening Business Brief
August 19, 2014, 5:40 PM
- U.S. stocks have closed higher after investors got some encouraging news about home building, consumer prices and corporate earnings. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 80 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 16,919 Tuesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose nine points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,981. The index is now six points below the record high close it reached on July 24. The Nasdaq climbed 19 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,527.
- A government audit says a tax on medical devices is falling short of its revenue target because thousands of companies aren't paying. Congress enacted the tax to help pay for the nation's health care law. The audit by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration says the Internal Revenue Service collected 24 percent less than estimated. The inspector general says the IRS needs to do a better job policing the tax.
- Uber is stepping up its political game with a high-powered new hire. The taxi-alternative service is hiring a former White House adviser, David Plouffe, to lead its campaign for acceptance in the 170 cities around the world where it operates. The service has met with resistance from taxi services and local governments in some cities, due to safety fears and complaints that the service can dodge rules taxicabs must follow.
- The nation's largest private prison company has paid more than $8 million in back wages and benefits to current and former employees at its federal prison facility in California City. The U.S. Department of Labor said today that Corrections Corp. of America paid the money to staff at the California City Correctional Center after an investigation found it wasn't paying the rates required of federal contractors. A department official says in some cases employees were paid 40 percent less than required; the company also failed to make required contributions to retirement accounts and health and life insurance.
- Peanut and almond butters sold at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and other grocers are being recalled because of possible salmonella contamination. A unit of Hain Celestial Group Inc. says there have been reports of four illnesses that may be related to the nut butters. They were sold under the brand names Arrowhead Mills Peanut Butters, MaraNatha Almond Butters and Peanut Butters, and private label brands for Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Kroger and Safeway.
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