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Wednesday Morning Business Brief

June 25, 2014, 6:00 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

Investors are still shaking off yesterday's biggest decline in two weeks, led by a sell-off in blue-chip bank and energy stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 119.13 points, or 0.7 percent, to 16,818.13. The S&P 500 lost 12.63 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,949.98 and the Nasdaq composite fell 18.32 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,350.36. Futures point to a flat opening today.

  • International stock markets slumped today after Wall Street's biggest decline in two weeks and ongoing violence in Iraq dampened sentiment. A report that new U.S. home sales rose in May to the highest in six years helped homebuilders, but wasn't enough to lift the broader market. Benchmark crude oil rose to remain above $106 per barrel. The dollar slid against the yen and the euro.
  • The Commerce Department will release a gross domestic product later today, as well as the durable goods report for May. A GDP report released last month showed that the economy took a beating from an especially harsh winter during the January-March quarter. Business growth actually contracted for the first time in three years. But with the arrival of spring, there were signs the chill might have been only temporary.
  • An Android update, wearable gadgets and so-called smart home devices are just some of the innovations Google is likely to show off at its two-day developer conference, which begins today in San Francisco. Pacific Crest analyst Evan Wilson believes Google will unveil a new version of its Android operating system - possibly called Lollipop - with a "heavy focus" on extensions for smartwatches and smart home devices. Google's event comes at a time of transition for the company.
  • German consumer optimism is increasing, driven by a greater willingness to spend caused by this month's European Central Bank interest rate cut. The forward-looking GfK consumer climate index released today, based on 2,000 interviews, rose to 8.9 points for July following an upwardly-revised 8.6 points in June. GfK says the ECB's cut of its key rate to 0.15 percent and introduction of a penalty rate on bank deposits "provided an important boost to the consumer climate."

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