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Tuesday Morning Business Brief

May 6, 2014, 6:13 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief

Stocks remain close to all-time highs and yet investors have the jitters. Economists will be watching today's trading to see if it follows the pattern of yesterday, when stocks started relatively low because of concerns about the pace of manufacturing in China, but then picked up steam with a report showing U.S. service firms grew more quickly last month as sales and new orders rose. The S&P 500 rose 3.52 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,884.66. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 17.66 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,530.55. The Nasdaq composite rose 14.16 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,138.06.

  • Trading has been fairly quiet in Asia today. The exchanges in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul are closed for holidays, while a disappointing report on Chinese manufacturing and anxiety over Ukraine helped mute any enthusiasm in the markets that are open. China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.2 percent.
  • The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is warning that financial tensions in emerging markets "could blow the global recovery off course." The OECD is cutting its forecast for global growth this year to 3.4 percent. It's also cutting its forecast for the United States to 2.6 percent growth. The OECD is urging central banks in developed countries to keep monetary policy "accommodative," given stubbornly high unemployment, below-target inflation and high levels of government debt.
  • Among the economic reports to be watched closely today is the Commerce Department's release of international trade data for March. As for corporate earnings, Whole Foods reports quarterly financial results after the market closes, and the same goes for Walt Disney.
  • Amazon wants to make shopping online as easy as a tweet. The online retailer is introducing a service that lets Twitter users add products to their carts without leaving the social media site. The service comes as Amazon tries to make social media a bigger source for sales. Twitter also has been pursuing new revenue streams beyond advertising services like promoted tweets.

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