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Wednesday Morning Business Brief

July 9, 2014, 5:32 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

Last week record highs on Wall Street have been followed by two days of selling this week. On Tuesday, the Dow index fell 117.59 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 16,906.62. The Nasdaq fell 60.07 points to 4,391.46. And the S&P 500 lost 13.94 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,963.71.

  • Asian stocks have fallen for a third day and European markets are trading cautiously ahead of corporate earnings and after record highs on Wall Street. Investors are looking to assess whether the recent run up in stock valuations has been justified. The Dow last week topped 17,000 for the first time in its 118-year history.
  • The government has no major economic reports on the schedule today, but investors' attention is likely to be on the release of the minutes this afternoon from the the Federal Reserve's June policy meeting. CMC Markets says the minutes are likely to sound more "dovish" that current economic conditions warrant since the Fed's last meeting was before June's strong jobs numbers were released.
  • The price oil is down slightly this morning. Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery was down 5 cents at $103.35 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 13 cents to close at $103.40 on Tuesday.
  • A study Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.puts the United States in the middle of the pack when it comes to the financial knowledge and skills of 15-year-old boys and girls. Among the 18 countries and economies studied, Shanghai had the highest average score. An OECD official says Shanghai schools identify students who are struggling and provide the support they need to be successful.

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