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Tuesday Morning Business Brief

August 12, 2014, 5:42 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief

Easing tensions in Ukraine have allowed investors to shift their focus on corporate news. That allowed the Dow to gain ground yesterday. It closed 16 points higher to 16,569. Priceline rose 2 percent after the online discounter reported better earnings than analysts were expecting. Chiquita Brands soared 30 percent on a buyout offer. The S&P rose five points, to 1,936.92. And the Nasdaq gained 30, to 4,401.33.

  • Asian stock markets closed mostly higher today. Japan's Nikkei added 0.2 percent, South Korea's Kospi rose 0.1 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.2 percent, but China's Shanghai Composite dipped 0.1 percent. In early trading in Europe, markets in Britain, Germany and France are down. On Wall Street, Dow futures are up 0.1 percent and S&P 500 futures are up 0.2 percent.
  • The demand greatly exceeds the supply. California-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical says it has run out of the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp. The government has put Liberian officials in touch with the firm. There's been criticism that the only people to have received the drug are Westerners. The World Health Organization says the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has claimed just over 1,000 lives.
  • A federal judge in New York says he'll encourage settlements in lawsuits brought on behalf of nearly 1,000 plaintiffs against General Motors for defective ignition switches. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman told dozens of lawyers at a hearing Monday that he'll be careful not to interfere with the work of a bankruptcy judge who's deciding if GM's 2009 bankruptcy protects it from economic damages claims. GM says at least 13 people have died in 54 crashes linked to the problem, while lawyers suing the company say the death toll is more than 60.
  • Three independent board members of the New England supermarket chain Market Basket are calling again for protesting employees to return to work and for customers to end a boycott. Employees and customers began protesting after CEO Arthur T. Demoulas was fired in June by a board controlled by his rival cousin. Demoulas is looking to buy the company, but he says so far, his offers have been rejected.

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