Wednesday Morning Business Brief
September 4, 2013, 8:50 AM
- Concerns about the impact of a U.S.-led attack on Syria have been weighing on stocks. Yesterday, they snuffed an early rally on Wall Street. The Dow rose 123 points in the opening minutes of trading, but as congressional leaders began voicing support for military action, the gains evaporated. The Dow closed up 23.65 points to about 14,834. The S&P 500 rose 6.8 points to 1,640, while the Nasdaq added 23 points to 3,612.
- The possibility of a U.S. military strike in Syria is sending global stocks lower in Wednesday trading. Japan's Nikkei was the exception, reversing early losses to gain 0.5 percent. But other Asian benchmarks fell, and the main indexes in Europe have begun the day lower.
- The government releases July trade figures this morning. In June, the trade deficit narrowed sharply as exports rose to an all-time high. The Federal Reserve issues the Beige Book this afternoon, its survey of regional of business conditions, covering July through mid-August. And Automakers will be releasing August sales numbers.
- An annual economic survey finds the United States' competitiveness rising again after four years of decline. The World Economic Forum says the U.S. economy's overall competitiveness rose two spots to fifth place. Switzerland is No. 1, followed by Singapore, then Finland and Germany immediately ahead of the U.S.
- Bank of America has sold the last of its stake in one of China's four big state-owned lenders for $1.47 billion. Over the past decade, a number of Western banks bought stakes in China's major state-owned commercial lenders ahead of initial public share offerings. The investments were aimed at building relationships to help the banks expand in China, but most were disappointed.
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