Stocks are set to rally following comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and KFC continues to struggle. Those and more are what's in business news Thursday.
The Dow industrials (^DJI) fell 8 points Wednesday, snapping a four-day winning streak. But the S&P 500 (^GPSC) eked out a tiny gain and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) rose 16 points. The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks has set all-time highs for three straight sessions.
Fed Chairman Bernanke says the central bank doesn't plan to raise short-term interest rates for quite a while, even after the unemployment rate falls to the 6.5 percent target rate.
Yum Brands (YUM) -- owner of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell -- reports earnings fell for a third straight quarter, but still topped expectations. China was once again the main culprit as KFC continued to suffer from lingering safety issues involving a chicken supplier, and a separate outbreak of bird flu. But the company issued an upbeat outlook.
Chevron's (CVX) oil production dropped in the second quarter. Even though oil prices are soaring right now, the much lower prices a few months ago are likely to hurt the company's earnings. And analysts say Exxon Mobil (XOM) and other oil giants could suffer from similar problems.
PC sales have now declined for a record five straight quarters. A pair of research firms also say Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) has lost its crown as the world's top seller to China's Lenovo. The big problem is that more and more people are using tablets and smartphones, instead of PCs.
Some leading retailers are reporting sales for June. Costco's (COST) same-store sales increased a better-than-expected 6 percent, but Zumiez (ZUMZ) fell short of expectations.
And Apollo Group (APOL) is set to rally after its for-profit University of Phoenix unit won accreditation for an additional two years.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg
Ways to Make Money on the Side
Market Minute: Stocks Set to Rally on Fed Comments; Yum Tops Forecasts
PA for a day gives users the opportunity to hire a temporary personal assistant to do office work, run errands, walk pets, or do dozens of other jobs. While the website is great for harried professionals, it may be even better for workers looking to bring home a paycheck on a flexible schedule. If you're looking for a good-paying, short-term job where you can set your own schedule, why not drop them a line?
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At this point, Etsy is hardly a moneymaking secret, but most people don't realize how easy it is to turn the do-it-yourself marketplace into a thriving business. As our earlier article on Fifty Shades of Grey demonstrated, the site makes it easy for an enterprising DIY-er to piggyback onto the latest pop culture trend.
If you've ever wanted the joy of hanging out with a dog, but didn't want to sign on for the long-term commitment, you might consider joining Dog Vacay. The website pairs dog owners with dog lovers who are willing to babysit them for a short term. Prices start at $15 per night, but "hosts" can set their own rates. You're also allowed to take care of up to three dogs at a time, which means that -- if you're looking for a way to make some money on the side and don't mind sharing your couch with a furry friend -- this might be a great way to get some extra bucks.