Jobs data push indexes to record highs
A broad-based push higher for stocks sent indexes to records on Thursday following yet more signs that the job market continues to improve. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index pierced the 2,420-point level for the first time during the morning and kept going. It ended at 2,430.06, up 18.26 points, or 0.8 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 135.53, or 0.6 percent, to 21,144.18, and the Nasdaq composite rose 48.31, or 0.8 percent, to 6,246.83. All three indexes set record highs. Smaller stocks had even bigger gains, and the small-cap Russell 200 index jumped 25.85, or 1.9 percent, to 1,396.06, though it remains shy of its record. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 4 cents to settle at $48.36 per barrel. Gold fell $5.30 to settle at $1,270.10 per ounce, silver dropped 13 cents to $17.28 per ounce and copper added a penny to $2.59 per pound.
$3.8B Dakota Access pipeline starts service
The $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline began shipping oil for customers on Thursday, as American Indian tribes that opposed the project vowed to continue fighting. Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners announced that the 1,200-mile line carrying North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a distribution point in Illinois had begun commercial service. The Dakota Access pipeline and the Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline from Illinois to the Gulf Coast together make up the $4.8 billion Bakken Pipeline system, which ETP said has commitments for about 520,000 barrels of oil daily. Four Sioux tribes in the Dakotas are still fighting in federal court in Washington, D.C., hoping to persuade a judge to shut down the line.
Walmart tries employee home delivery
Walmart is testing a delivery service using its own store employees, who will deliver packages ordered online while driving home from their regular work shifts. The “associate delivery” program would use Walmart’s 4,700 U.S. stores and roughly 1.2 million employees to speed delivery and cut costs, the company said Thursday. The announcement came just a day before the company’s annual meeting. The world’s largest retailer said workers can choose to participate and would be paid. The service is being tested at two stores in New Jersey and one in Arkansas.