Wednesday Evening Business Brief
September 11, 2013, 5:44 PM
- Stocks have closed mostly higher, with the Dow Jones industrial average climbing 135 points. The Nasdaq composite and the Standard & Poor's 500 index were held back by a big decline in Apple and other tech companies. The Nasdaq fell four points, while the S&P 500 managed to add five points. That was the seventh straight gain for the S&P, it's the longest winning streak since July.
- Qualcomm says its board has approved a $5 billion stock repurchase program. The San Diego-based wireless chipmaker says it's replacing a $5 billion program announced on March 5. Since July 24, the company has repurchased about 40.1 million shares of common stock for $2.7 billion. Buying back company stock can help support earnings per share and offset the effect of paying employees in stock.
- After two days of losses, crude oil futures prices closed slightly higher on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The near-month contract for the benchmark grade rose 17 cents to $107.56 a barrel. Oil got a lift after the Energy Department said the nation's supply of oil fell by 200,000 barrels last week. Supplies in Cushing, Okla., site of the biggest U.S. storage hub, fell an even greater 700,000 barrels.
- Canadian officials say the oil carried by a freight train that derailed and exploded in Quebec in July had been misclassified as a less dangerous type of crude. The Canadian transportation safety board says the shipment of North Dakota oil was mislabeled as a "Group 3" flammable liquid, when it should have been given the more explosive "Group 2" classification. Forty-seven people were killed when the unattended train rolled away and derailed and several of its oil cars exploded.
- The European Parliament is capping the use of food-based biofuels to counter concerns about ethical and environmental sustainability. The parliament has narrowly voted to lower the amount of fuel that must come from renewable sources across the 28-nation bloc by 2020 from 10 percent to 6 percent. Some environmentalists argue that biofuels made from food like corn or soybeans add at least as much to greenhouse gas emissions as fossil fuels because strong demand leads to deforestation.
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