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

New twist in bidding war for Austin’s Forestar Group
New twist in bidding war for Austin’s Forestar Group

The battle to acquire Austin’s Forestar Group has taken yet another turn. Forestar Group said Friday that it has received a revised — and larger — buyout offer from Texas-based homebuilder D.R. Horton, adding a new twist to an ongoing bidding war with Connecticut-based investment group Starwood Capital Group. Forestar Group said the...
EXCLUSIVE: HomeAway plans major expansion, to add 2,000 workers in Austin
EXCLUSIVE: HomeAway plans major expansion, to add 2,000 workers in Austin

Austin-based HomeAway said it is planning a major expansion at The Domain in North Austin, where the nation’s largest vacation rental company will establish its global headquarters in a 16-story office tower that will house more than 2,000 additional employees. With the expansion, the company is “doubling down” on job growth in its...
Business Digest: U.S. jobless aid applications edge higher

ECONOMY U.S. jobless aid applications edge higher WASHINGTON — Slightly more people sought US unemployment benefits last week, but the number of applications remained at a historically low level that suggests the job market is healthy. The Labor Department says weekly applications rose 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 241,000. The less-volatile...
Starwood increases offer for Austin’s Forestar Group
Starwood increases offer for Austin’s Forestar Group

In the wake of a shareholder lawsuit contending its planned merger deal undervalued the company, Austin-based Forestar Group says it has now received a new, bigger buyout offer from Starwood Capital Group. Forestar Group announced in April that it had agreed to be acquired by Starwood Capital Group, a Connecticut-based investment firm, in a deal valued...
It’s a bird, it’s an … electric airplane?

The startup Who they are: Wright Electric, a startup backed by Y Combinator in Mountain View. What they do: Electric airplanes. Why it’s cool: Electric cars are commonplace around the Bay Area, Tesla is working on an electric semi-truck, and now Wright wants to take that technology to the sky. The founders say going electric will make air travel...
More Stories