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Tuesday Morning Business Brief

February 18, 2014, 9:55 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief

The stock market is mixes this morning after the holiday and investors look to whether the market's positive trend will continue. It closed out its best week of the year on Friday. The S&P 500 rose nine points to 1,838, making it a 2.3 percent gain for the week. The Dow climbed 127 points to 16,154. The Nasdaq rose three points to 4,244, its highest close since July 2000.

  • Japan led Asian stock markets higher today after the country's central bank announced new measures to support growth. European markets have been lower. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $101 a barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and fell against the euro.
  • The National Association of Home Builders' housing market index for February has dropped below 50, and indication that more builders view sales conditions as poor rather than good. It's the only major economic report due out today. Tomorrow, the government will reveal how many housing starts there were in January. It'll also release January's Producer Price Index. Also Tuesday, the Fed will release the minutes of last month's interest-rate meeting.
  • France's finance minister says Europeans are pushing ahead with the introduction of a financial transaction tax and want to present a plan by May. The minister says the aim is to craft "realistic and solid" legislation before the European Parliament elections. Officials started pushing for the tax following the global financial crisis to curb excessive speculation and recoup following the government bailouts of the banking industry.
  • It's shaping up to be a battle much like the one fought by California wineries in their infancy. This time it's about olive oil. The tiny California olive industry says European olive oil filling U.S. shelves often is mislabeled and lower-grade oil, and they're pushing for more federal scrutiny. One congressman-farmer even goes so far as suggesting labels on imported oil should say "extra rancid" rather than "extra virgin."

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