Indexes jump on solid spending report
U.S. stocks rose again Thursday as investors were pleased with a report that showed spending by U.S. consumers grew in July, along with wages and salaries. Health care and technology companies lead the way and the Nasdaq composite closed at a record high. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 14.06 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,471.65, its highest close in three weeks. That allowed the index to finish August with a tiny gain. The Dow Jones industrial average added 55.67 points, or 0.3 percent, to 21,948.10. The Nasdaq composite gained 60.35 points, or 1 percent, to 6,428.66, above the record high it set in late July. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 13.95 points, or 1 percent, to 1,405.28. Already at two-year highs, wholesale gasoline prices climbed at an even faster pace as some refining operations and pipelines around the Gulf Coast region remained offline. The price of wholesale gasoline surged 26 cents, or 13.5 percent, to $2.14 a gallon.
Protests grow against Enbridge pipelines
Protests are ratcheting up against Enbridge Energy’s plan to replace its Line 3 oil pipeline from Canada to Wisconsin, and against a separate Enbridge pipeline through the Great Lakes waterway that links upper and lower Michigan. Six protesters were arrested Tuesday near Superior, Wis., where Enbridge is working on a short segment that’s part of its bigger plan to replace Line 3. The line carries Canadian tar sands crude from Alberta across North Dakota and Minnesota to its terminal in Superior. Opponents of both pipelines now plan Labor Day weekend actions in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
TRAVEL AND HOSPITALITY
Motel 6 to pay $250K to settle lawsuit
Motel 6 has agreed to pay $250,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by Los Angeles that alleged one of the chain’s locations was a base for human traffickers, drug dealers and gang members, prosecutors said. Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said on Wednesday that the money will be used to help deter human trafficking. The city in November sued the managers of a motel in the city’s Sylmar neighborhood and G6 Hospitality Property LLC, which operates the Motel 6 chain, seeking to quell what city officials called “unrelenting crime and nuisance activity.” Los Angeles police had made more than 60 arrests at the location since 2013 for prostitution, battery, firearms possession and drug-related charges, authorities said.
Tesla starts solar-cell production in Buffalo
Tesla Inc. is starting production of the cells for its solar roof tiles at its factory in Buffalo, N.Y. The company has already begun installing its solar roofs, which look like regular roofs but are made of glass tiles. But until now, it has been making them on a small scale near its vehicle factory in Fremont, Calif. Tesla’s Chief Technical Officer, JB Straubel, said the company now has several hundred workers and machinery installed in its 1.2 million-square-foot factory in Buffalo. “By the end of this year we will have the ramp-up of solar roof modules started in a substantial way,” Straubel told the Associated Press Thursday. “This is an interim milestone that we’re pretty proud of.” The Buffalo plant was originally begun by Silevo, a solar panel startup, on the site of an old steel mill.