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Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

July 30, 2014, 2:26 PM

Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are edging higher in early afternoon trading on Wall Street. Shares of Twitter, Hess and Pitney Bowes climbed after beating analysts' profit forecasts. Genworth Financial and Goodyear Tire & Rubber fell after turning in results that disappointed investors.

  • The Federal Reserve is further slowing the pace of its bond purchases because it thinks an improving U.S. economy needs less help. But it's offering no clearer hint of when it will start raising its benchmark short-term interest rate. In a statement after its two-day policy meeting, the Fed says it's paring its monthly purchases by another $10 billion to $25 billion. It's reiterating its plan to keep short-term rates low "for a considerable time" after its bond purchases end.
  • A former official at the heart of the IRS tea party controversy calls some right-wing Republicans "crazies" and more in emails released today. In a series of emails with a colleague in November 2012, Lois Lerner made two disparaging remarks about some members of the GOP, including one remark that was profane. Lerner headed the IRS division that handles applications for tax-exempt status. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp released the emails as part of his committee's investigation.
  • Republican senators have blocked a bill limiting tax breaks for U.S. companies that move operations overseas. The bill would have prevented companies from deducting expenses related to moving their operations to a foreign country and offered tax credits to companies that move operations to the United States. Republicans call the bill an election-year stunt.
  • A Houston company that already sends human remains out of this world will offer the same memorial space flights for four-legged loved ones. Celestis Inc. says rockets carrying the cremated remains of dogs and cats will start this fall.  The cost will be about the same as for human remains sent into space and returned, starting at about $995.

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