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Wednesday Morning Business Brief

August 27, 2014, 5:53 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

International stock markets were mixed today after the latest record close for the Standard & Poor's 500, with Europe off to a shaky start despite a strong day in Asia. Analysts say investors remain cautious over the outlook for China and Japan. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $94 a barrel.

  • Investors can wonder what's next after another milestone for the S&P 500. It closed yesterday slightly above 2,000 points. And the record was reached 16 years after the S&P closed above 1,000 points for the first time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 29.83 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 17,106.70. And the Nasdaq composite gained 13.29 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 4,570.64. Futures point to a higher Wall Street opening today.
     
  • Malaysia is preparing to unveil the latest overhaul of its beleaguered state-owned airline, which is reeling from twin disasters months apart that killed hundreds of passengers. The state investment company that owns 69 percent of Malaysia Airlines, said in early August it will announce details of the overhaul by the end of this month. Analysts expect the company to slash jobs, drop money losing routes to Europe and China, and replace top management.
     
  • A closely-watched survey shows economic expectations among German consumers have "completely collapsed" over concerns about the conflicts in Iraq, Israel and Ukraine. The GfK institute says its latest index of economic expectations slid 35.5 points in August to 10.4 - the largest one-month decline since the survey began in 1980.
     
  • West Coast dockworkers and their employers say they have reached a tentative agreement on the difficult issue of health care, a major hurdle in contract negotiations at the ports that are vital to U.S. trade. In a joint statement announcing the tentative deal, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and an association representing shipping lines said it depended on resolving other issues.

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