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Wednesday Evening Business Brief

January 8, 2014, 6:52 PM

Wednesday Evening Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are mostly lower as investors pick over minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting and look ahead to the beginning of corporate earnings reports. The Dow lost 68 points, to close at 16,462. The S&P 500 fell a fraction to 1,837. The Nasdaq was up 12 points at 4,165.

  • The price of oil is down more than 1 percent today. It dropped after government data showed that demand for gasoline fell last week to the lowest level in a year. Benchmark crude for February delivery fell $1.34, or 1.4 percent, to close at $92.33 a barrel in New York. At the gas pump, the average price for a gallon remained at $3.31. That's a nickel higher than a month ago.

 

  • Legislation to renew long-term jobless benefits appears headed toward Senate gridlock as Democrats object to Republican demands that the cost be offset so deficits don't rise.  Democrats say they oppose paying for the legislation. The former program expired on Dec. 28 and 1.3 million long-term unemployed suddenly lost benefits averaging $256 a week.

 

  • Macy's is cutting 2,500 jobs as part of a reorganization to sustain its profitability. The department store chain says it'll reassign or transfer some workers and add some positions, leaving its workforce level at about 175,000. The company plans to close five stores and open eight others, leaving it with 844 stores nationwide. Macy's says the moves will save it $100 million per year.
  • A New York judge presiding over an insider trading trial says SAC Capital Advisors founder Steven A. Cohen's testimony to a financial regulatory agency can't be shown to jurors. The judge says the Securities and Exchange Commission's inquiry was fact-finding and is irrelevant for the criminal trial of Mathew Martoma. Martoma has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.

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