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Wednesday Evening Business Brief

January 29, 2014, 7:09 PM

Wednesday Evening Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are sharply lower following weak earnings from several U.S. companies, more trouble in emerging markets and economic stimulus cuts from the Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 index fell 18 points, or 1 percent, to close at 1,774 today. The Dow lost nearly 190 points, or 1.2 percent, to 15,738. The Nasdaq dropped 46 1/2 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,051.

  • The price of oil is flat. That's because a big drop in heating oil supplies was offset by the Federal Reserve's decision to further reduce its stimulus program. The stimulus has kept the dollar from strengthening, making oil more affordable for traders using other currencies. Benchmark crude for March delivery slipped 5 cents to close at $97.36 a barrel today in New York.
     
  • Facebook says its earnings and revenue continued to grow in the latest quarter. The social networking firm expanded the number of users and the amount of money it makes on mobile ads. Facebook earned $523 million, or 20 cents per share, in the quarter. That's up $64 million, or 3 cents per share, from a year earlier. Revenue grew 63 percent to $2.59 billion.
     
  • Google is selling Motorola Mobility's smartphone business to China's Lenovo Group for $2.9 billion. Google is retaining most of Motorola's portfolio of mobile patents, providing it with legal protection for its widely used Android software for smartphones and tablets. Lenovo is picking up about 2,000 Motorola patents in addition to the phone manufacturing operations.
     
  • PepsiCo is making a $1 million donation and streaming a live concert Friday to benefit injured military veterans and their families. The show will feature comic Jon Stewart and country star Blake Shelton online at 9:45 p.m. EST. It'll take place in Manhattan's Bryant Park in connection with Super Bowl festivities. The event will be streamed at www.pepsi.com .

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