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Wednesday Morning Business Brief

February 12, 2014, 5:45 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

Investors are hoping Wall Street will continue to move in a positive direction today. Promises from the new Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that she would continue low interest-rate policies sent stocks soaring yesterday. The Dow on Tuesday rose 192.98 points, to 15,994.77. The S&P rose 19.91 points, to 1,819.75 and the Nasdaq composite rose 42.87 points, to 4,191.04. Futures point to gains at this morning's opening.

  • International stock markets were higher today after the new head of the U.S. Federal Reserve vowed a continuation of low interest rates. Stronger Chinese trade figures and the shelving of another U.S. debt limit battle also boosted markets. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $100.50 a barrel. The dollar lost some ground against the euro and the yen.
  • It's a slim day for economic data, but there are a few corporate earnings reports on the calendar. Deere & Co. reports its quarterly financial results before the market opens. Whole Foods Market, Mondelez International and CBS report after the market closes. This afternoon, Treasury releases federal budget figures for January.
  • China's trade growth accelerated in January in a possible positive sign for growth in the world's second-largest economy. Government data today shows imports rose 10 percent, up from January's 8.3 percent. Exports rose 10.6 percent, more than double the previous month's 4.3 percent rate. Trade growth was much stronger than expected and might help to ease concern about China's economic slowdown and global consumer demand.
  • Amazon says it is hiring more than 2,500 full-time workers at its order fulfillment centers around the U.S. Amazon.com Inc. plans to announce today that the jobs are available in Chester, Va., and Petersburg, Va.; Coffeyville, Kan.; Columbia, S.C.; Dupont, Wash.; Murfreesboro, Tenn. The world's largest online retailer says last year it hired more than 20,000 people at its fulfillment centers, with more than half starting out as seasonal workers.

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