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Wednesday Evening Business Brief

February 5, 2014, 7:25 PM

Wednesday Evening Business Brief

The stock market is closing slightly lower after a survey on hiring did little to ease uncertainty about the health of the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped five points to close at 15,440. The S&P 500 index was down 3 ½ points to 1,751. The Nasdaq fell 20 points to 4,011. A private survey found that businesses added jobs at a steady but modest pace in January.

  • The price of oil is up slightly. That's after a report showed U.S. supplies rose less than expected last week. Benchmark crude contract for March delivery rose 19 cents to $97.38 a barrel in New York today. At the gas pump, the average price of $3.27 a gallon is down 5 cents from a month ago and down 27 cents from this time last year.
     
  • Twitter beat earnings and revenue expectations in its first quarter as a public company. Twitter reported a loss of $511 million, or $1.41 per share, in the October-December quarter. That compares with a loss of $8.7 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier. Adjusted earnings were 2 cents per share. Twitter's revenue more than doubled to $243 million from $112 million.
     
  • Walt Disney is posting earnings and revenue for the holiday quarter that beat expectations. Net income in the fiscal first quarter through Dec. 28 rose to $1.84 billion, or $1.03 per share, from $1.38 billion, or 77 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding restructuring charges and other items, adjusted earnings came to $1.04 per share. Revenue rose 9 percent to $12.31 billion.
     
  • Subway says it's in the process of removing a chemical from its bread as part of an ongoing effort to improve its recipes. The announcement comes after a food blogger launched a petition this week asking the sandwich chain to stop using the ingredient. A representative for Subway says the change was underway before the petition was launched.

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