You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Business Digest: U.S. stocks bounce back with strong day


WALL STREET

U.S. stocks bounce back with strong day

Solid gains among phone companies and some retailers helped nudge U.S. stocks higher on Thursday, a day after the stock market had its biggest drop in eight months. Banks also recouped some of their losses. Energy and materials stocks fell.

The rally came a day after the market’s worst drop since September as political tumult deepened in Washington, stoking worries among investors that President Donald Trump may have trouble enacting tax cuts and other business-friendly policies.

“People may be wanting to put money to work in stocks, but the bonds they bought yesterday, they’re still going to keep those as a little bit of a hedge, just in case,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 8.69 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,365.72. The Dow Jones industrial average added 56.09 points, or 0.3 percent, to 20,663.02. The Nasdaq composite index gained 43.89 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,055.13. The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks picked up 5.19 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,361.08.

Bond prices slipped. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.23 percent from 2.22 percent.

ECONOMY

Jobless aid applications fall to 3-month low

WASHINGTON — Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, a sign Americans are benefiting from solid job security.

Applications for weekly unemployment aid fell 4,000 to 232,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s the lowest level in nearly three months. The four-week average, a less volatile figure, declined 2,750 to 240,750.

The number of people receiving aid fell to 1.9 million, the lowest level since 1988. The figure has fallen 12 percent in the past year.

The rock-bottom figures add to evidence that companies are holding onto workers and hiring at a steady pace. Americans are spending more, factories have cranked up output and home sales are strong, boosting the economy after it barely expanded in the first three months of the year.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook fined $122M by EU over WhatsApp deal

Facebook was fined $122 million for giving European Union antitrust regulators misleading or incorrect information about its acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp in 2014.

The fine is one of the largest that Facebook has received from an antitrust regulator, but officials said Thursday it also sends a warning message to other companies.

“Today’s decision sends a clear signal to companies that they must comply with all aspects of EU merger rules, including the obligation to provide correct information,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s Commissioner for Competition.

The Menlo Park tech firm told the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, in 2014 that it couldn’t automatically match Facebook’s users’ accounts to WhatsApp users’ accounts. But the commission found out that wasn’t true and said that Facebook’s staff knew about the possibility but failed to inform them.

Facebook purchased WhatsApp, which now has more than 1 billion users in over 180 countries, for $22 billion in 2014.

MORTGAGE INDUSTRY

Rate on 30-year loan dips to 4.02%

WASHINGTON — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates inched lower this week. It was the fifth straight week that the benchmark 30-year rate hovered around the key threshold of 4 percent.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate home loans slipped to 4.02 percent from 4.05 percent last week. The rate stood at 3.58 percent a year ago and averaged 3.65 percent in 2016, the lowest level in records dating to 1971.

The rate on 15-year mortgages eased to 3.27 percent from 3.29 percent last week.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway could face fines over Texas dealership law
Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway could face fines over Texas dealership law

It’s a good thing Warren Buffett has deep pockets. The billionaire’s holding company – Berkshire Hathaway Inc. – could be liable for civil fines in the range of $350,000 a day if an ongoing investigation by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles determines it to be in violation of Texas law prohibiting the owner of an automobile...
Business Digest: Office building planned for West Austin

REAL ESTATE Office building planned for West Austin Cushman & Wakefield said Tuesday it has been hired to lease Davenport 360, an office building planned for West Austin that will break ground as soon as a major tenant commits to the project. The 33,900-square-foot building will be located at 6001 Bold Ruler Way off Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360)...
Business Digest: Citigroup to pay $97.4 M in money laundering case

FINANCE Citigroup to pay $97.4 M to settle money laundering case For years, Citigroup employees feared that millions of dollars the bank was moving to Mexico might be suspicious. Yet in many cases, the bank did not alert regulators or step up its monitoring for money laundering, federal prosecutors said Monday. Even as the Citigroup unit Banamex USA...
2 more Blue Bell flavors return to stores this week
2 more Blue Bell flavors return to stores this week

Blue Bell’s slow return to normalcy continues following a nationwide recall prompted by listeria fears nearly two years ago, with the Brenham-based creamery rolling out two more flavors this week. Lime sherbet and orange sherbet are both once again available beginning Monday, the company said. Blue Bell has been gradually adding back...
Up the Ladder

Financial services Citizens Inc. has named Jeff Conklin chief accounting officer company. Health care St. David’s Medical Center has named Esther Chung chief operating officer and Lynn O’Neill chief nursing officer. Medical Elligo Health Research has named Rebecca Kush scientific innovation officer. Retail Whole Foods Market has named the...
More Stories