Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Stocks Close Slightly Higher

Business Roundup for Wednesday, February 26.

New York Stock Exchange
New York Stock Exchange (Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is closing slightly higher as investors respond to an increase in new home sales and earnings gains at major retailers. Indexes wavered between small gains and losses for much of the day Wednesday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index edged up a fraction to close at 1,845, three points below the record high close it set six weeks ago. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 18 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,198. The Nasdaq composite climbed four points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,292. Lennar rose 4 percent and PulteGroup rose 3 percent after the government reported sales of new homes increased jumped last month at the fastest pace in more than five years. Lowe’s climbed 5 percent after the home improvement retailer reported higher earnings.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York’s attorney general says 18 Wall Street firms have agreed to stop cooperating with analyst surveys that investigators say favor certain elite clients. The agreements follow the office’s January pact with asset manager BlackRock to end systematic analyst surveys about companies they follow. The surveys were often timed before the official release of publicly available opinions.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has until Saturday to decide whether to sign or veto a bill that would allow business owners to assert religious beliefs in refusing service to gays. But the measure already appears to losing the state some business. The Hispanic National Bar Association says it will cancel its 2015 convention in Phoenix over the legislation. Last year, the group’s convention drew about 2,000 people to Denver.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has ruled that victims of former Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford’s massive Ponzi scheme can go forward with class-action lawsuits against the law firms, accountants and investment companies that allegedly aided the $7.2 billion fraud. The former investors were blocked under federal law from seeking damages from the firms, but filed suit under state law in Louisiana and Texas. The justices rejected the defendants’ claims that those suits were also blocked by a federal law.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has filed a lawsuit against ITT Educational Services. It alleges the for-profit college chain pushed students into high-cost private student loans knowing they would likely end in default. The bureau says the loans had interest rates as high as 16 percent, and ITT projected a default rate of 64 percent. ITT says the claims are without merit.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new homes in the U.S. rebounded in January to the fastest pace in more than five years. The Commerce Department says sales of new homes increased 9.6 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000. That was the fastest pace since July 2008. The numbers offer hope that housing could be regaining momentum after a slowdown last year caused by rising interest rates.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Earnings by U.S. banks rose 17 percent in the October-December quarter from a year earlier. Losses on loans fell to a seven-year low and banks set aside less to cover losses as well as legal costs. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reports the banking industry earned $40.3 billion in the final quarter of 2013, up from $34.4 billion in the same period in 2012. The data provides fresh evidence of the banking industry’s sustained recovery, but the FDIC says banks continue to have difficulty increasing revenues.

NEW YORK (AP) — A massive data breach around the last holiday season has taken a toll on Target, helping push its profit down 46 percent. The discount retailer says sales fell 5.3 percent as the breach scared off customers. Target says it earned $520 million for the three months that ended Feb. 1. That compares with a profit of $961 million for the same period a year earlier.

ATLANTA (AP) — Some big changes are coming to Delta Airlines’ frequent flier program. The SkyMiles program in 2015 will reward those who buy the most expensive tickets rather than those who fly the most miles. It’s a bid to lure the much-sought-after business traveler.

BANGKOK (AP) — Subdued trading reigned in global stock markets today after the S&P 500′s failure to punch through its recent record high for a second day instilled investors with caution. There was little economic or corporate news, which put Wall Street’s lack of momentum into focus. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $102 a barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and gained against the yen.

WASHINGTON (AP) — New home sales come out at 10 a.m. today from the Commerce Department. Other business and economic events include a House hearing on passenger freight and rail safety and company financial results. Lowe’s Companies Inc. and Target Corp will have quarterly financial results out before today’s opening bell, while J.C. Penney reports after the market closes. Airbus is also scheduled to report 2013 earnings today.

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s antitrust authority is closing an investigation against Visa Europe after accepting the firm’s offer to lower some card fees. The EU Commission says its concerns are sufficiently addressed by Visa’s concession to cut inter-bank fees for credit card payments to 0.3 percent of a transaction’s value — a reduction of about 40 to 60 percent. The Commission, which acts as the 27-nation bloc’s antitrust watchdog, says the company has also offered to reform its rules to facilitate competition across Europe.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee is to outline his plan for overhauling the tax code today. The blueprint has been three years in the making and would lower the top income tax rate to 25 percent from nearly 40 percent and impose a new 10 percent tax on some earned income above $450,000. But over in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has already pronounced the legislation dead.

BANGKOK (AP) — Subdued trading reigned in global stock markets today after the S&P 500′s failure to punch through its recent record high for a second day instilled investors with caution. There was little economic or corporate news, which put Wall Street’s lack of momentum into focus. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $102 a barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and gained against the yen.

WASHINGTON (AP) — New home sales come out at 10 a.m. today from the Commerce Department. Other business and economic events include a House hearing on passenger freight and rail safety and company financial results. Lowe’s Companies Inc. and Target Corp will have quarterly financial results out before today’s opening bell, while J.C. Penney reports after the market closes. Airbus is also scheduled to report 2013 earnings today.

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s antitrust authority is closing an investigation against Visa Europe after accepting the firm’s offer to lower some card fees. The EU Commission says its concerns are sufficiently addressed by Visa’s concession to cut inter-bank fees for credit card payments to 0.3 percent of a transaction’s value — a reduction of about 40 to 60 percent. The Commission, which acts as the 27-nation bloc’s antitrust watchdog, says the company has also offered to reform its rules to facilitate competition across Europe.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee is to outline his plan for overhauling the tax code today. The blueprint has been three years in the making and would lower the top income tax rate to 25 percent from nearly 40 percent and impose a new 10 percent tax on some earned income above $450,000. But over in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has already pronounced the legislation dead.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

Best of the Web


Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://nj1015.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!