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Wednesday Evening Business Brief

July 30, 2014, 6:19 PM

Wednesday Evening Business Brief
  • Stocks are closing mixed. That's because the Federal Reserve says the economy is strengthening enough for the central bank to continue cutting its stimulus. The government reports the economy grew at a robust annual rate of 4 percent this spring. The S&P 500 closed little changed at 1,970. The Dow industrials lost 32 points to 16,880. The Nasdaq rose 20 points to 4,462.
  • The price of oil is down as inventories of gasoline and diesel continue to build. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 70 cents today to close at $100.27 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell $1.21 to close at $106.51 on in London.
  • A federal judge is imposing a $1.3 billion civil penalty against Bank of America for its role in selling risky mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that were advertised as safe investments. The fine is against Countrywide, which Bank of America purchased in 2008 as the financial crisis was unfolding. It is the latest legal ruling against Wall Street.
  • Chrysler is recalling just under 30,000 Fiat 500L small cars in the U.S. and Canada to fix a problem with air bags that protect knees in a crash. The company says the bags may not inflate in the proper position if the driver isn't wearing a seat belt. Chrysler says it doesn't know of any injuries from the problem. The recall covers cars from the 2014 and 2015 model years.
  • Cargill says it plans to close a Milwaukee beef-processing plant which employs about 600 people on Friday due to a shortage of cattle. The plant slaughters live cattle and packages beef products. A separate plant at the site, which produces ground beef and employs about 200 will remain open. Cargill says the US beef cattle herd is at its lowest level since 1951.

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