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Wednesday Morning Business Brief

April 2, 2014, 5:37 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

Wall Street starts the day today at a record high. The S &P 500 gained 13.18 points, or 0.7 percent yesterday, to close at 1,885.52. That's above its previous record of 1,878.04, set on March 7. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 74.95 points, or 0.5 percent, to 16,532.61. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 69.05 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,268.04. Futures point to gains this morning.

  • International stock markets pushed higher today on signs of a pickup in the U.S. economy and expectations of further stimulus in Japan. The dollar gained against the yen and the euro. Benchmark U.S. crude oil slipped but remains above $99.50 a barrel.
  • The Commerce Department's report on factory orders for February is the lone piece of major economic data expected today. Orders fell in both January and December. But in the January report was a sign of a potential rebound in business investment. Orders for core capital goods were up 1.5 percent, recovering after a 1.6 percent drop in December. Monsanto reports quarterly financial results.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is denouncing the use of energy as a weapon, a day after Russia sharply hiked the price for natural gas to Ukraine. Kerry says supplies of oil and gas have to be secured throughout the world in order to prevent their being used as political leverage or tools of aggression. He said no nation should be able to use energy to "stymie a people's aspirations."
  • Chrysler is recalling nearly 870,000 SUVs because corrosion may make the vehicles' brakes harder to use. Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs from the 2011 through 2014 model years are involved. Chrysler says crimp joints in the brake boosters can corrode if they're exposed to water. If the water freezes, the boosters won't aid braking as they usually do. The company knows of one accident, but no injuries.

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