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Stock market news today, August 29, 2014: U.S. stock markets today (Friday) are on track to post their fourth consecutive week of gains, and 3% to 4% gains in August. The S&P 500 has hit several record highs over the course of the month. After major indexes closed down on Thursday, U.S. stock futures this morning are edging higher.
Here's what you should know to make your Friday profitable:
- The Drone War Begins: In an effort to establish itself in the lucrative e-commerce and home-delivery segment, Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) revealed a two-year, ongoing project to bring delivery drones to the skies under the name "Project Wing." The company has been testing unmanned aerial drones with the hope that the machines will be able to deliver packages to consumers and businesses in the future. The secret project is a direct attempt to compete in the aerial delivery market against e-commerce competitor Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), which is also testing drones. Google anticipates it will still be several years before these machines are capable of flying in domestic skies.
- The Spin-off Cometh: Rumors of a split between eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) and its vaunted e-commerce payment platform PayPal Inc. heated up recently. The former parent company told applicants for PayPal's CEO position that the spin-off could take place within months. And according to multiple analysts on Wall Street, the term "split" would actually be fairly accurate. The spin-off would effectively cut eBay in half. According to recent company revenue data, PayPal and Braintree earned nearly $1.74 billion in net revenues in the second quarter, while eBay's online marketplace earned $1.72 billion.
- Banks Behaving Badly: Shares of Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) ticked up a bit in pre-market hours, despite its ongoing sagas in the courtroom. Yesterday, the company asked a federal judge to toss out a jury verdict that found it responsible for a $1.27 billion penalty levied over faulty mortgages issued by its Countrywide unit. The company argued that prosecutors failed to provide clear evidence that the faulty mortgages products originated from Countrywide. Bank of America recently agreed to pay a record $16.65 billion settlement with the Department of Justice over charges it misled customers into buying faulty mortgage-backed securities.