Stocks End Up 227 Points as Ukraine Tensions Ease
Business Roundup for Tuesday, March 4.
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are surging after Russia pulled its troops back from the border of Ukraine. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 227 points, or 1.4 percent, to close at 16,395 Tuesday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index set another record high following a slump the day before. The S&P 500 rose 28 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,873. The Nasdaq composite rose 74 points, or 1.8 percent, to 4,351.Traders were relieved that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops participating in military exercises near Ukraine to return to their bases. Small-company stocks rose even more than the rest of the market as investors moved money into riskier assets. That shift also pushed the prices of bonds and gold lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.70 percent.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has sent Congress a $3.9 trillion budget. Obama is pitching it as “a roadmap for creating jobs,” with money for road building, education and other programs aimed at bolstering the economy. House Speaker John Boehner (BAY’-nur) says Obama is offering “perhaps his most irresponsible budget yet.” Election-year pressures and partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill all but ensure that many of Obama’s proposals will go nowhere.
DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler says it will take steps to build new cars and minivans in Ontario without incentives from the Canadian government. Chrysler has been talking to officials about financial aid to offset higher wages in Canada. But the company says it is withdrawing its requests, because the projects have become a political football. Chrysler says it will start upgrading the factories in Windsor and Brampton with its own capital, but adds that spending the money will depend on Canada’s competitiveness with other global factories.
NEW YORK (AP) — Media reports say Facebook is looking to make another acquisition. CNBC and the blog Techcrunch are reporting that Facebook is in talks to buy the solar drone company Titan Aerospace. The purchase could fit the goals of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet.org project, which aims to provide Internet access to remote parts of the world. Neither company is commenting on the reports.
NEW YORK (AP) — Dove is scrapping its plans for a billboard in New Jersey that tells residents to embrace being called “The Armpit of America.” The ad was intended to promote a new line of Dove deodorants, but it sparked complaints after the New York Times published a story about it last week. The brand’s parent company said today, it won’t be putting up the billboard this summer after all.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s state-controlled natural gas company says it’s canceling a price discount it’s provided to Ukraine. Russia had offered the discount in December following President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to ditch a pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia. Gazprom also says Ukraine owes it $1.5 billion for gas supplies. Meanwhile, the U.S. says it will provide $1 billion in energy subsidies to Ukraine, which is trying to fend off bankruptcy.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — RadioShack plans to close up to 1,100 stores around the country. The announcement came as the electronics retailer reported a wider loss for its fourth quarter after seeing traffic slow during the holiday season. The store closings would still leave RadioShack with more than 4,000 stores in the U.S.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose in January after three months of declines. Real estate data provider CoreLogic says prices rose 0.9 percent. While snowstorms and low temperatures contributed to a sharp drop in sales of existing homes in January, it looks like the relatively low number of homes for sale helped boost prices.
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — The Mall of America has secured financing for a $300 million expansion. Plans include a luxury hotel, an office tower and additional retail and food space. Developers plan to break ground this month, and a mall spokesman says the addition could be finished by August of next year. The Mall of America already has more than 400 stores and one hotel.
MUMBAI, India (AP) — International stock markets rebounded today after tumbling over the Ukraine crisis as Russian troops in border exercises were ordered back to bases and China prepared for a policy meeting that could advance economic reform plans. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell more than a dollar a barrel to just below $104. The dollar inched ahead against the euro and gained against the yen.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dish Network is looking to the future in a deal it’s made with Disney. The landmark agreement envisions the day when Dish will offer a Netflix-like TV service to people who’d rather stream TV over the Internet than put a satellite receiver on their roof. The deal paves the way for Dish to offer live local broadcasts from ABC TV stations and programming from other ABC properties. As part of the new rights deal, Dish Network Corp. agreed to disable the skip commercial feature on its Hopper digital video recorders for three days after the initial broadcast.
GENEVA (AP) — Toyota Europe expects to sell 865,000 units this year and increase its market share to 4.8 percent as the European car market enters what is expected to be a slow recovery from six years of contraction. Didier Leroy the head of Toyota Europe tells reporters that hybrid cars have been attracting new customers with the addition of the smaller Yaris hybrid and sportier Auris, beyond the original Prius.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal officials have filed a lawsuit alleging that Sprint Communications Inc. overbilled government agencies $21 million for wiretap services. The lawsuit alleges that that subsidiary of Sprint Corp. collected unallowable expenses while carrying out court-ordered wiretaps and other electronic intercepts of its customers. Communication companies ordered by courts to intercept customers’ communications are allowed to recoup the cost of installing and maintaining the wiretaps.
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