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Stock market today, July 29, 2014: U.S. stock market numbers were up modestly on Monday ahead of a critical round of data that the federal government will release this week. This morning, the Federal Open Market Committee meeting begins.
On Wednesday, the markets will see their first glimpse of second-quarter GDP, while Friday centers on the July unemployment rate. Here's what you should know to make your Tuesday profitable:
- Sanction Problems: Global oil multinational BP PLC (NYSE: BP) announced a boost in second-quarter profits, citing its investment in Russian energy producer OAO Rosneft (OTC: RNFTF). Compared to the same period last year, profits increased from $2.4 billion to $3.18 billion. The company warned that profits would likely be weaker in the third quarter due to increased maintenance around the world. The company also warned that increased economic sanctions on Russia could dampen global growth and reduce production.
- Inversion Surge: International mergers and acquisitions designed to reduce American corporate tax bills are on the rise. Shares of U.S. injectable drug maker Hospira Inc. (NYSE: HSP) were up marginally on news that the company is looking to purchase the medical nutrition business of French yogurt-manufacturer Danone SA (OTC: DANOY) for nearly $4 billion.
- Changes at the Top: Shares of Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) were up more than 3.5% in after-hours trading on news that Chairman and CEO Clarence Otis will step down. A shake up at the top will separate these roles in the coming months. The company continues to struggle in its turnaround of its Olive Garden restaurants and its board has faced increased criticism over the sale of its Red Lobster locations.
- Up in the Air: The Federal Aviation Administration announced plans to fine Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) approximately $12 million after the company made unapproved repairs on a number of its Boeing 737 fleet in 2009. The company maintains its innocence and plans to appeal. If this fine is upheld, it will be the second-largest fine ever levied by the agency.