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Tuesday Morning Business Brief

August 26, 2014, 6:06 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief

International stock markets were mostly lower today as investors digested signals from the Jackson Hole, Wyoming meeting of U.S. central bankers and looked ahead to data expected to show an improving U.S. economy. Wall Street futures point to a flat opening today ahead of data on durable goods. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $93.50 a barrel. The dollar slipped against the euro and the yen. On Wall Street yesterday, the S&P 500 nudged briefly past the 2,000-point mark and closed 9.52 points higher, at 1,997.92. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 75.65 points to 17,076.87. And the Nasdaq composite gained 18.80 points to 4,557.35.

  • Americans' credit card bills are mostly getting paid on time. So says credit reporting agency TransUnion. Even as many lenders increasingly extend credit to more people with less-than-perfect credit, TransUnion says the rate of U.S. credit card payments at least 90 days overdue fell to 1.16 percent in the April-June quarter -- the lowest level in at least seven years. Average debt per borrower edged up from a year ago to $5,234.
  • Sony spokesman Satoshi Nakajima says it's still unclear who's behind the denial of service attack on the PlayStation Network's online services and the disruption of the travel plans of a top company executive by suggesting his plane carried explosives. The flight was diverted and cut short. Nakajima says the network was unavailable from Sunday through Monday afternoon Tokyo time. Sony says no personal information was stolen.
  • Amazon is hoping to become the ESPN of video games. The e-commerce giant is buying streaming platform Twitch Interactive for $970 million in cash as it seeks to take part in video gaming's growth as an online spectator sport. Twitch is a multi-channel online network built for a generation of people who not only enjoy playing video games, but find it entertaining to watch others who might impart tricks and tips for excelling at their favorite games. Twitch had 55 million unique visitors in July.
  • The earthquake in Northern California wine country has renewed calls for a quake activity alert system like the ones already in operation in Mexico and Japan. There's one under development in California. Meanwhile, Napa officials say that the area is far from devastated, despite at least a billion dollars in damage. They put the word out at what's normally a busy harvest and tourist period.

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