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Wednesday Morning Business Brief

February 19, 2014, 5:32 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

Wall Street has started a shortened week in mostly higher territory. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 24 points to 16,130.40. But the S&P 500 rose 2.13 points to 1,840.76 and the Nasdaq also rose 28.76 points to 2,272.78. Futures point to a slow start at this morning's opening.

  • International stock markets are lackluster today as investors wait for major earnings reports and take stock of a torrid start to the year for global markets. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose but remained just under $103 a barrel. The dollar slipped against the yen and edged up against the euro.
  • The Labor Department unveils its new Producer Price Index this morning. Starting with the January report it will also cover services and construction. Economists say the additions should improve the index's ability to provide an early read on inflation trends. Also this morning, the Commerce Department releases its report on housing starts for January. And this afternoon, the Federal Reserve releases minutes from its January interest-rate meeting.
  • Regulators are investigating whether U.S. technology companies Qualcomm and InterDigital violated China's anti-monopoly law by charging excessive fees for patent licenses. A government spokesman says regulators began separate investigations of the two companies in mid-2013 following complaints.
  • Nasdaq has opened a customer service center in the Philippines in a coup for the country's rapidly growing outsourcing industry. The operator of the namesake U.S. stock exchange says the office will be part of its efforts to provide 24-hour support services for its corporate clients. It says the Manila office has 170 staff. For foreign companies, the Philippines has become the go to country in Southeast Asia for call centers and outsourcing of back office business functions.

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