Dow moves toward 14,000...Statement on interest rates coming today...Daimler layoffs


NEW YORK (AP) — With help from drugmaker Pfizer, the Dow is moving closer to 14,000. The index rose 73 points Tuesday to close at 13,954, ending higher for the seventh day in eight. The S&P 500 gained eight points, while the Nasdaq fell less than a point. Pfizer was the biggest gainer in the Dow, advancing 86 cents, or 3.2 percent to $27.70.

LONDON (AP) — Overseas markets are steady today ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's first policy statement of the year. The Fed has operated a super-easy and super-cheap monetary policy since the financial crisis started in 2007, but there is a growing expectation that it may be tempted to reverse its position sometime this year. Last month, the Fed said that as long as inflation remained modest, it could keep short-term rates near zero until the unemployment rate dips below 6.5 percent.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Economists surveyed by Factset are expecting the government's snapshot of fourth quarter economic growth out this morning will show economic growth slowed sharply from October through December to an annual rate of 1.2 percent. That's down from a 3.1 percent rate in the third quarter and would be the slowest in nearly two years. But they say a number of one-time factors may hide some underlying strengths in the economy, such as faster growth in consumer spending and an improving housing market.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Daimler Trucks North America says it's warning thousands of workers that potentially large layoffs could be coming at manufacturing plants in North Carolina, South Carolina, Oregon and Mexico. The company said in a statement yesterday that it was notifying production workers about the layoffs two months in advance, in compliance with federal law. More details are expected to be released Thursday.

TOKYO (AP) — Federal safety regulators have asked Boeing Co. to provide a full operating history of the lithium-ion batteries used in its grounded 787 Dreamliners. The National Transportation Safety Board says it made the request after learning of battery incidents that occurred before a Jan. 7 fire in a 787 parked at Boston's Logan International Airport. All Nippon Airways says it replaced batteries on its 787 aircraft about 10 times because the batteries failed to charge properly or showed other problems.

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