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Tuesday Morning Business Brief

July 15, 2014, 5:35 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief

Investors are apparently putting last week's stock market doldrums behind them. The three major indexes finished sharply higher on Monday, notching their second gain in two days. The S&P 500 rose 9 1/2 points to 1,977. The Dow Jones industrial average added nearly 112 points to 17,055. The Nasdaq composite gained 25 to 4,440. The indexes are all up for the year. Futures point to an uncertain opening this morning.

  • European stock markets were mostly lower in early trading today.  Asia had a strong day on hopes for encouraging economic data from China. China, the world's No. 2 economy, is due to report its second quarter GDP tomorrow. U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is expected to stick to a stance of keeping interest rates low during testimony in Congress this week. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell under $101 a barrel. The dollar fell against the yen and gained against the euro.
     
  • The government today will release retail sales data for June and business inventories for May. JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs will report earnings before the market opens, as will Johnson & Johnson. CSX and Yahoo will release quarterly financial results after the closing bell.
     
  • Lawmakers are expected to press Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen for more information today on how the central bank plans to react to recent good news about the improving health of the labor market. Yellen is scheduled to deliver the Fed's twice-a-year report to Congress on interest-rate policy and the economy. She testifies before a Senate committee today and a House panel tomorrow.
     
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is suing a major debt collection law firm, alleging it is a "mill" that produces shoddy, mass-produced credit-card collection lawsuits. The bureau's claim was filed in federal court in Atlanta on Monday and states that Frederick J. Hanna & Associates failed to do basic due diligence on the accuracy of suits over defaults. The firm denies the accusations.

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