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Wednesday Morning Business Brief

March 12, 2014, 5:33 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

Investors are looking for something to excite the lackluster markets after yesterday's poor showing. Investors didn't see enough that they liked yesterday to drive up a market that hit three record highs last week. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 9.54 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 1,867.63. Futures point to lower opening this morning.

  • International stock markets sank today as recent falls in Chinese copper and iron prices added to jitters that the world's No. 2 economy is continuing to slow. Market angst about China has been fueled by weak exports for February, the first-ever default in the domestic corporate bond market and the central bank permitting the tightly controlled yuan currency to weaken. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell to just above $99 a barrel. The dollar fell against the yen and was nearly unchanged against the euro.
  • The global airlines industry has lowered its profit forecast for 2014 due to rising jet fuel prices, but says Venezuela's financial policy, Ukraine's political upheaval and a vanished Malaysian jetliner add to the uncertainty. Tony Tyler, director-general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association, says the profit this year is expected to be $18.7 billion, a downgrade from the $19.7 billion it forecast in December. It's still beats the 2010 record of $17.3 billion.
  • The Food and Drug Administration has halted operations at a Delaware cheese plant after an outbreak of listeria linked to the company's cheese killed one person and sickened seven others. This is only the second time the FDA has used its authority to shut down a plant after gaining that authority in a 2011 food safety law. The agency says its inspectors found unsanitary conditions at Roos Foods in Kenton, Del.
  • The agency that oversees public transportation in Chicago is suing American Airlines. The suit claims that the airline has falsely claimed to buy "vast amounts of jet fuel" from a small office in a rural community to avoid paying tens of millions of dollars in taxes in the nation's third-largest city, where the actual work is done.

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