Business Highlights

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 15, 2014 at 4:50 pm •  Published: August 15, 2014
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Why death, destruction and disease haven't sunk US markets. Yet.

NEW YORK (AP) — Europe appears on the brink of another recession. Islamic militants have seized Iraqi territory. Russian troops have massed on the Ukraine border, and the resulting sanctions are disrupting trade. An Ebola outbreak in Africa and Israel's war in Gaza are contributing to the gloom.

It's been a grim summer in much of the world. Yet investors in the United States have largely shrugged it off — so far at least.

A big reason is that five years after the Great Recession officially ended, the U.S. economy is showing a strength and durability that other major nations can only envy.

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SeaWorld plans bigger killer whale environments

NEW YORK (AP) — After more than a year of public criticism of its treatment of killer whales, SeaWorld said Friday that it will build new, larger environments at its theme parks and will fund additional research on the animals along with programs to protect ocean health and whales in the wild.

The Orlando, Florida, company said the renovations have been in the works for some time and that they are not a response to the documentary "Blackfish" or the criticism of the company that followed the release of the film.

The company's shares, which are trading near their lowest point since SeaWorld listed its stock on public markets last year, rose Friday. But it remains to be seen if the renovations will fully address concerns about keeping large marine mammals in captivity.

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Three-wheeled Elio gets closer to going on sale

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — Your next commuter car could have two seats, three wheels and get 84 miles to the gallon.

Elio Motors wants to revolutionize U.S. roads with its tiny car, which is the same length as a Honda Fit but half the weight. With a starting price of $6,800, it's also less than half the cost.

Phoenix-based Elio plans to start making the cars next fall at a former General Motors plant in Shreveport, Louisiana.

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US factory output surges in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory output rose for the sixth consecutive month in July, led by a jump in the production of motor vehicles, furniture, textiles and metals.

Manufacturing production rose 1 percent in July compared with the prior month, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. Factory output in June was revised slightly higher to a 0.3 percent increase.

Overall industrial production, which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities, rose 0.4 percent in July, dragged down by a 3.4 percent drop in production at utilities.

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Ebola puts focus on drugs made in tobacco plants

NEW YORK (AP) — It's an eye-catching angle in the story of an experimental treatment for Ebola: The drug comes from tobacco plants that were turned into living pharmaceutical factories.

Using plants this way — sometimes called "pharming" — can produce complex and valuable proteins for medicines. That approach, studied for about 20 years, hasn't caught on widely in the pharmaceutical industry.