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Tuesday Morning Business Brief

August 5, 2014, 5:59 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief
NEW YORK -

The stock market enters the new day on an upward swing, thanks to solid earnings from Berkshire Hathaway and a bank rescue in Europe. These two factors played an outsized role in Wall Street's improved performance yesterday compared to last week, which was the worst since 2012. The Dow rose 75 points and the S&P 500 index rose 13 points. European stock markets are higher today, continuing to recoup their losses from last week's sell-off. Asian stock markets mostly retreated after China's services industries weakened in July.

  • The Commerce Department releases factory orders for June later this morning and the Institute for Supply Management releases its service sector index. CVS Caremark Corp. reports quarterly financial results before the market opens while Walt Disney Co. reports its results after the market closes.
     
  • Standard & Poor's says the rising wealth gap in the United States is making the economy more prone to boom-bust cycles and holding back the recovery. As a result, S&P has cut its growth estimates to a 2.5 percent annual pace over the next decade. It advises against using the tax code to try to narrow the gap, however, saying higher taxes on the wealthy could remove incentives for people to work and cause businesses to hire fewer employees. Instead, S&P suggests increasing access to education would help ease wealth disparities.
     
  • General Motors says it has made progress in fixing its recall website so that it correctly lists all the cars that need recall repairs. The company says it expects the site to be fully corrected this week. The government had said last Friday that GM's vehicle identification number look-up system has been incorrectly telling some owners that their cars aren't being recalled. That happened when the cars' parts weren't available. But the government says all recalls should be listed.
     
  • A U.S. judge has turned down an effort by Argentina's government to remove the court-appointed mediator in the dispute with creditors that triggered a default by the country last week. U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa dismissed Argentine complaints that mediator Daniel Pollack has not been an impartial mediator in their battle with investors who refused to accept a debt restructuring after the last time the country defaulted, in 2001.

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