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Wednesday Evening Business Brief

August 13, 2014, 6:49 PM

Wednesday Evening Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are closing higher today, despite a mixed batch of economic news and a pullback in Japan's economy. The S&P 500 rose 13 points to close at 1,946. The Dow industrials climbed 91 points to 16,651. The Nasdaq rose 45 points, to 4,434. Also, benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 22 cents to $97.59 a barrel today in New York.

  • Cisco says it will lay off up to 6,000 workers, or 8 percent of its workforce, as part of a restructuring. The company, which makes routers, switches and software, made the announcement during a conference call discussing its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. The San Jose, California-based company reported a 1 percent decline in profit, to $2.25 billion, for the latest quarter.
  • A Canadian drugmaker working on an experimental drug for Ebola says it is not ready to make the treatment available in Africa, though it continues discussions with governments and international agencies trying to contain the deadly outbreak. Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is one of a handful of companies worldwide developing drugs to treat the Ebola virus.
     
  • Merck & Co. has won federal approval for a new type of sleeping pill designed to help people with insomnia stay asleep. The Food and Drug Administration approved Belsomra in four different doses for various degrees of insomnia.
     
  • Burger King is getting rid of the lower-calorie french fries it introduced less than a year ago. Overall sales of the french fries, called "Satisfries," have remained weak in the U.S. and Canada, with the figure up just 0.4 percent in the latest quarter. The fries used a different type of batter to prevent some oil from being absorbed by the potatoes in the frying process.

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