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Wednesday Evening Business Brief

August 6, 2014, 6:08 PM

Wednesday Evening Business Brief
  • Stocks are closing slightly higher, led by a rebound in consumer staples stocks. The market had fallen to its lowest level since May a day earlier. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 14 points, to close at 16,443 today. The S&P 500 index rose a fraction of a point to end at 1,920. The Nasdaq rose two points to 4,355.
  • A sign of improved demand for gasoline in the U.S. isn't enough to pull oil out of its downward slide. After starting the day trading higher, benchmark U.S. crude fell 46 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $96.92 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the benchmark's 11th loss in the last 13 trading sessions, and the first close below $97 since Feb. 3.
  • A person familiar with the matter says Bank of America has agreed to pay between $16 billion and $17 billion to settle an investigation into its sale of mortgage-backed securities before the financial crisis. It follows earlier agreements with Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says some details still need to be worked out and it's possible the agreement could fall apart.
  • Pfizer will pay $35 million to resolve allegations by 42 states that its subsidiary, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, illegally marketed an organ transplant drug for unapproved uses. The states' attorneys general say Wyeth trained sales representatives to encourage doctors to prescribe Rapamune for uses other than preventing rejection of transplanted kidneys.
  • Twenty-First Century Fox executives say the company won't try to buy any other big content companies, a day after it called off its pursuit of rival media giant Time Warner. CEO Rupert Murdoch says, "If there was something very unique but small, I don't know, I wouldn't say never. But we have no plans to go out on the acquisition trail."

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