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Tuesday Morning Business Brief

June 3, 2014, 5:42 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief

Stock indexes erased an early slide and ended with modest gains after a report on U.S. manufacturing was revised higher yesterday. A trade group said U.S. manufacturing grew at a brisk pace last month, correcting its earlier statement that growth had slowed. The Dow industrials rose 26 points. The S&P 500 gained a point, to finish at another all-time closing high. The Nasdaq composite lost five points. Futures point to a slightly lower opening.

  • Global stocks were mixed today with inflation data showing a weak recovery in Europe even as Chinese manufacturing was recovering from contraction. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell but remained above $102 a barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen.
     
  • Investors will be watching closely as the Commerce Department later today releases its report on factor y orders for April. Much of the strength in this key economic indicator this year has come from an increase in demand for military aircraft. Another eye-catching report due today is the release by automakers of their sales figures for May.
     
  • Inflation in the eurozone sagged to an annual rate of 0.5 percent in May, adding pressure on the European Central Bank to take action to support a weak recovery and ward off the danger of a drop in consumer prices. The figure released today by the European Union's statistics agency fell from 0.7 percent in April and was short of market analysts' forecasts for 0.6 percent.
     
  • Sony Corp. is pulling the plug on its handheld PlayStation Portable video game machine after 10 years. The Japanese electronics and entertainment company has been pushing the successor machine, PlayStation Vita. Some analysts say the Vita has not sold in significant numbers. Tokyo-based Sony said Tuesday that PSP shipments ended in North America in January, will end in Japan this month and later this year in Europe. Machines devoted to games are struggling against the popularity of smartphones and other devices. Sony reported a $1.3 billion loss for last fiscal year and is expecting to stay in the red this year.

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