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Wednesday Morning Business Brief

April 16, 2014, 6:04 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

Wall Street opens this morning following yesterday's rebound - the second late-afternoon recovery in two days. The S&P 500 rose 12.37 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,842.98. All ten industry sectors in the S&P 500 increased, led by utilities. The Dow Jones industrial average added 89.32 points, or 0.6 percent, to 16,262.56. The Nasdaq composite rose 11.47 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,034.16. Futures point to an upbeat start to trading today.

  • International stock markets gained today. Shares rose in Asia as positive sentiment from strong corporate earnings outweighed Ukraine's crisis and slower economic growth in China. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $104.24 a barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and fell against the euro.
  • The Commerce Department leads off today's economic reports with March housing starts. February's report had a ray of hope as applications for building permits had risen a solid 7.7 percent. We'll also get some updates from the Federal Reserve. In the morning, the central bank releases data on industrial production for last month. This afternoon, the Fed releases its Beige Book survey of regional of business conditions. There are several earnings reports also due.
  • A federal oversight board told Canadian Pacific Railway and BNSF Railway that they have until Friday to report their plans to ensure delivery of delayed fertilizer shipments for spring planting of U.S. crops. Increased crude oil and freight shipments have largely been blamed for causing the delays. BNSF has also said that rail service has been backlogged because of bad winter weather. BNSF promised to add more trains.
  • China's economic growth slowed further in the latest quarter but appeared strong enough to satisfy Chinese leaders who are trying to put the country on a more sustainable path without politically dangerous job losses. Government data shows the world's second-largest economy grew by 7.4 percent over a year earlier, down from the previous quarter's 7.7 percent. It matched a mini-slump in late 2012 for the weakest growth since the 2008-09 global crisis.

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