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Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

January 8, 2014, 1:25 PM

Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks are mixed in afternoon trading on Wall Street, as investors digest the minutes of the Federal Reserve's December policy meeting. Also in the mix, a survey by payroll processor ADP found U.S. businesses added the most jobs in a year in December. Ford shares rose after CEO Alan Mulally said he wouldn't leave to run Microsoft. Forest Labs rose 16 percent after announcing plans to buy Aptalis, which specializes in treatments for gastrointestinal problems and cystic fibrosis.

  • Minutes of last month's Federal Reserve meeting show some participants worried that financial markets might misread a move to modestly reduce its bond purchases as a step toward raising its key short-term interest rate. And some suggested maintaining the low rate until unemployment drops below 6 percent. In the end, the Fed announced it would reduce its bond purchases by $10 billion a month and keep its short-term rate low "well past" the time the unemployment rate dropped below 6.5 percent, as long as inflation stayed low.
  • The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says the nation's biggest business lobby is "determined to make 2014 the year that immigration reform is finally enacted." Chamber President Tom Donohue says the group intends to "pull out all the stops" to pass an overhaul of immigration laws. In his annual "State of American Business" address, Donohue also said the chamber will seek to eliminate health care taxes and delay or do away with a mandate on businesses to provide health care to employees.
  • Goodyear's French division says it has filed a lawsuit over the "boss-napping" of two of its executives and workers' occupation of a plant in northern France. The two managers taken captive by occupying workers were freed yesterday after police intervened, ending a two-day standoff. Goodyear Dunlop Tires France says it filed the lawsuit today in France because it can't accept "actions that endanger people and goods."
  • Two websites that post mug shots will stop charging people to remove the photos under a settlement reached in a federal lawsuit in Ohio. The lawsuit involves three people who say the websites charge hundreds of dollars to remove the mug shots even if the charges are dropped. An attorney for and says the sites will continue to operate and post arrest and criminal records but won't charge to remove the images.

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