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Business Digest: Austin adds nonstop flights to tech hubs


AIR TRAVEL

Austin adds nonstop flights to tech hubs

Good news for tech travelers: Austin is getting new nonstop flights to technology hubs San Jose and Raleigh-Durham.

Alaska Airlines will begin new daily nonstop service between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport.

The flight, which will launch on Aug. 27, will depart Austin at 3 p.m. and arrive in San Jose at 4:50 p.m. Flights depart San Jose at 8:45 a.m. and arrive in Austin at 2:02 p.m.

Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines launched new nonstop service between Austin-Bergstrom and Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The new flight brings Delta’s list of nonstop flights to seven.

RETAIL

Yeti competitor RTIC will redesign coolers, mugs

New details are emerging about a now-settled lawsuit filed by Austin-based Yeti against a competing company whose product designs were allegedly a little too close for comfort.

In multiple filings in U.S. District Court, Yeti, which makes higher-end coolers and thermal mugs, says the competitor, RTIC, has agreed to “redesign the accused products.”

In a lawsuit, Yeti had claimed RTIC’s products were “confusingly similar” to the products it manufactures.

As part of an agreement reached earlier this year, Yeti says “accused products” currently in RTIC’s inventory may be imported and sold until May 1. No new “accused products” may be manufactured.

Each side will pay its own attorneys’ fees and court costs, according to court documents.

Yeti has seen its popularity skyrocket in recent years, and has moved aggressively to protect its brand. The company opened a new flagship store on South Congress Avenue last month.

WALL STREET

U.S. stocks flat as bull market turns 8

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks meandered Thursday as the eighth anniversary for the current bull market turned out to be a quiet one.

Large-company stocks finished mostly higher, but declines in smaller stocks across the board meant that more companies fell than rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

The market started out with small gains, then dipped in the early afternoon. Thanks to late gains for energy companies, major indexes turned higher near the end of trading.

Industrial companies dipped as heavy machinery maker Caterpillar continues to slide. Health care companies climbed and banks rose along with bond yields. Trading was light following a three-day losing streak.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index picked up 1.89 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,364.87 Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 2.46 points to 20,858.19. The Nasdaq composite rose 1.25 points to 5,838.81. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks lost 5.92 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,360.12. More than two-thirds of the stocks on the NYSE ended lower.

The S&P 500 is up 250 percent since March 9, 2009, when it bottomed out in the depths of the financial crisis. The current bull run is the second-longest since World War II and it may have a while to go, as wages are growing and hiring appears to be on the rise.

ECONOMY

Claims for unemployment aid edge higher

WASHINGTON — More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, but claims remained low enough to suggest that most workers enjoy job security.

The Labor Department said Thursday that applications for jobless aid rose by 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 243,000, up from a 44-year-low 223,000 the week before. The four-week average, which is less volatile, blipped up by 2,250 to 236,500. Overall, 2.06 million Americans are collecting unemployment checks, down more than 6 percent from a year ago.

Unemployment claims are a proxy for layoffs. They have now come in below 300,000 for 105 straight weeks, longest such streak since 1970. The low level of claims suggests that employers are confident enough in the economy to be holding on to staff. The unemployment rate is 4.8 percent, close to what economists consider full employment.



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