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Wednesday Afternoon Business Update

August 20, 2014, 1:48 PM

Wednesday Afternoon Business Update
NEW YORK -

Stocks are mixed in early afternoon trading on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 are slightly higher while the Nasdaq composite index is slightly lower.

  • Some Federal Reserve officials think the economy is improving fast enough that soon it won't need so much help from ultra-low interest rates. Minutes of the Fed's discussion at its July 29-30 meeting show that some officials thought the economy was improving enough that the Fed would need "to call for a relatively prompt move" toward reducing the support it has been providing. In the end, the Fed made no changes at the July meeting.
     
  • Officials familiar with the deal say Bank of America has reached a record $17 billion settlement with federal and state authorities over its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. The officials say the bank will pay $10 billion in cash and provide consumer relief valued at $7 billion. They spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal isn't scheduled to be announced before tomorrow.
     
  • Warren Buffett's company has agreed to an $896,000 penalty for failing to tell regulators about a December 2013 investment in wallboard maker USG Corp. The Federal Trade Commission says Berkshire Hathaway should have notified the Justice Department before it converted $325 million of senior USG notes it held into 21.4 million shares of the company.
     
  • The Dallas Cowboys are the first U.S. sports franchise to top $3 billion in value. For the eighth straight year, the Cowboys are worth the most of all 32 NFL franchises, according to Forbes. They're valued at $3.2 billion. New England is No. 2 at $2.6 billion. The average NFL franchise value for 2014 is $1.43 billion, the highest in the 17 years the business magazine has tracked professional football.

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