Stocks recover on Wall Street after a 2-day plunge
Traders decided that the stock market has suffered enough, at least for now.
After a two-day plunge, stocks ended the week with an advance on Friday, suggesting that Wall Street may be successfully weaned from the Federal Reserve’s easy money after all.
“Saner heads are prevailing,” said Jim Dunigan, chief investment officer at PNC Wealth Management. “People are looking a little deeper into the message from the Fed — the economy is getting better,” he said. “At the end of the day that’s a positive.”
Investors had known that sooner or later the Fed would quit spending $85 billion per month pumping money into the U.S. economy.
FAA moving toward easing electronic device use
WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is moving toward easing restrictions on airline passengers using electronic devices to listen to music, play games, read books, watch movies and work during takeoffs and landings, but it could take a few months.
An industry-labour advisory committee was supposed to make recommendations next month to the Federal Aviation Administration on easing the restrictions. But the agency said in a statement Friday the deadline has been extended to September because committee members asked for extra time to finish assessing whether it’s safe to lift restrictions.
The agency is under public and political pressure to ease the restrictions as more people bring their e-book readers, music and video players, smartphones and laptops with them when they fly.
Air travel changes at less than supersonic speed
LE BOURGET, France (AP) — When the Concorde started flying in the 1970s, hopes were high that the travelling masses would soon streak through the air faster than the speed of sound or soar in planes that hurtled like missiles above the earth’s atmosphere. Instead, jetliners still look the same as they did five decades ago and travel times have barely budged.
To consumers who have watched the world’s technological imagination shift to Silicon Valley, the airline industry seems plodding. Computers and cellphones are obsolete almost as soon as they’re unwrapped. The aviation industry looks stuck in time by comparison.
Restricted by huge costs, rising fuel prices and safety concerns, the aviation industry is unable to make the same leaps and bounds. It has instead turned its eye to less obvious advances, ones that companies say have allowed more people to fly than ever before.
One of the most talked about innovations at the show in Le Bourget this week was the use of composite materials — including carbon fibers and plastics; Airbus’ newest jet, the A350, relies heavily on composites. But to the naked eye, it looks just like all the other Airbuses on display.
First Apple computer could fetch $500,000 or more
NEW YORK (AP) — It’s the kind of electronic junk that piles up in basements and garages — an old computer motherboard with wires sticking out.
But because it was designed and sold by two college dropouts named Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, it could be worth more than half a million dollars.
An Apple 1 from 1976, one of the first Apple computers ever built and forerunner of today’s MacBooks, IPads and IPhones, goes on the auction block at Christie’s next week. The bidding starts at $300,000, with a pre-sale estimated value of up to $500,000.
Unemployment fell in half of US states in May
WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rates fell in half of U.S. states last month, led by drops in California, West Virginia, New York and Hawaii.
The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates rose in 17 states and were unchanged in eight.
Hiring has been steady nationwide, leading to a better job market in many areas of the country. Employers added jobs in 33 states last month. The biggest gains were in Ohio, Texas and Michigan.
House’s rejection of farm bill leaves few options
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House’s broad rejection of a massive farm bill could signal a shift in the way Congress views agriculture policy.
Farm issues once had enormous clout on Capitol Hill, but the healthy agriculture economy and an increased interest in cutting spending have worked against farm-state lawmakers who are now trying to push a farm bill through for a third year in a row.
The five-year, half-trillion dollar measure would have expanded some subsidies while saving about $4 billion annually overall, including a 3 per cent cut in the almost $80 billion-a-year food stamp program. The vote Thursday was 234-195 against the bill, with 62 Republicans voting “no,” arguing it was too expensive.
Ex-Enron CEO gets 10 years cut from sentence
HOUSTON (AP) — One of the country’s most notorious financial scandals came to a protracted legal conclusion Friday as ex-Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling — already in prison for his role in the once-mighty energy giant’s collapse — was resentenced to 14 years as part of a court-ordered reduction and a separate agreement with prosecutors.
Skilling’s sentence was reduced by 10 years, and his attorneys say it’s likely that with time off for good behaviour and other factors he will be released in 2017.
Skilling has been in prison since 2006, when he was sentenced to more than 24 years by U.S. District Judge Sim Lake. But an appeals court vacated his prison term in 2009, ruling that a sentencing guideline was improperly applied. That meant a reduction of as much as nine years.
Starbucks hiking prices despite lower bean costs
NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks wants a little extra change for that latte.
The Seattle-based coffee company says it’s hiking prices on average by 1 per cent nationally starting on Tuesday. But it says the price for many drinks, such as medium and large brewed coffees and Frappuccinos, won’t change in most its 11,000 U.S. cafes.
For a small brewed coffee, the price will increase by 10 cents at most. Other drinks could increase by more than that.
Olive Garden luring diners with cheaper prices
NEW YORK (AP) — If the free breadsticks and unlimited soup and salad aren’t enough, Olive Garden is hitting the gas on other promotions to get customers through its doors.
Darden Restaurants Inc., which has been struggling to hold onto customers in recent years, said deal offers like “2 for $25” dinner special helped drive up customer traffic at its flagship Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains in the latest quarter. The company said it will keep stressing the affordability of its food in the year ahead to attract more diners.
The strategy raises concerns among some investors, who worry that it’s a short-term fix that only hurts profit margins.
Food Network won’t renew Paula Deen’s contract
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The Food Network said Friday it’s dumping Paula Deen, barely an hour after the celebrity cook posted the first of two videotaped apologies online begging forgiveness from fans and critics troubled by her admission to having used racial slurs in the past.
The 66-year-old Savannah kitchen celebrity has been swamped in controversy since court documents filed this week revealed Deen told an attorney questioning her under oath last month that she has used the N-word. “Yes, of course,” Deen said, though she added, “It’s been a very long time.”
The news came as Deen worked to repair the damage to her image, which has spawned a vast empire of cookbooks, a bimonthly cooking magazine, a full line of cookware, food items like spices and even furniture.
By The Associated Press=
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 41.08 points, or 0.3 per cent, to close at 14,799.40. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 4.24 points, or 0.3 per cent to close at 1,592.43. The Nasdaq composite index, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, fell 7.39 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 3,357.25.
U.S. benchmark crude fell $1.71, to $93.69 in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price oil used by many U.S. refineries to make gasoline, fell $1.24 to $100.91.
Wholesale gasoline fell 3 cents to $2.75 a gallon. Heating oil fell 3 cents to $2.84 per gallon. Natural gas fell 11 cents to $3.77 per 1,000 cubic feet.