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Wednesday Morning Business Brief

May 28, 2014, 5:59 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

Wall Street begins the day today on a high, after yesterday's performance. The S&P 500 rose for the fourth straight day yesterday, and ended at another all-time high. It closed up 11.38 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,911.91. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 69.23 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,675.50. And the Nasdaq composite climbed 51.26 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,237.07. Futures point to morning gains.

  • International stock markets mostly rose today on upbeat data that reinforced confidence in the U.S. economic recovery. Benchmark crude oil rose to continue above $104 a barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and fell against the yen.
     
  • The Federal Trade Commission is urging Congress to tighten up rules for data brokers and help consumers control the vast amounts of personal information about them that's being collected. FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez says the amount of information being collected on consumers is "quite astonishing."
     
  • Germany's unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 percent in May, but the traditional springtime decline was smaller than expected. The Federal Labor Office says that 61,000 fewer people were without work compared with April, when the unemployment rate was 6.8 percent. Overall, 2.88 million people were without work in May. Germany's economy grew a robust 0.8 percent in the first quarter of 2014, and is widely predicted to grow about 1.9 percent this year overall.
     
  • Google is building a car without a steering wheel. Sergey Brin, co-founder of the technology titan, told a Southern California tech conference Tuesday evening that Google will make 100 prototype cars that drive themselves - and therefore do not need a wheel. Or brake and gas pedals. Instead, there are buttons for go and stop. A combination of sensors and computing power takes the driving from there.

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