The major U.S. stock indexes capped a holiday shortened week with slight gains Thursday, reversing some of the modest losses from a day earlier. The marginal upward move was not enough to keep the benchmark S&P 500 index from snapping a string of three straight weekly gains. The S&P 500 gained 4.58 points, or 0.2%, to 2,905.03. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 110 points, or 0.4%, to 26,559.54. The Nasdaq composite inched 1.98 points higher, or less than 0.1%, to 7,998.06. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap dropped 1.85 points, or 0.1%, to 1,565.75. Major European stock indexes finished mostly higher. Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.56% from 2.59% late Wednesday. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 0.4% to settle at $64 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added 0.5% lower to close at $71.97 per barrel.
Foxconn says it is committed to Wisconsin
Foxconn Technology Group said Thursday it remains committed to “long term” job creation in Wisconsin, after Gov. Tony Evers said it was unrealistic to expect the company to employ 13,000 people as promised. Evers also raised the possibility of renegotiating Foxconn’s contract for a planned factory and development in southeast Wisconsin. The contract may need to be scaled back because Taiwan-based Foxconn has said it will build a smaller plant than originally envisioned, Ever said Wednesday. The original contract would give Foxconn about $4 billion in state and local tax credits if it invests $10 billion and employs 13,000 workers over 15 years. Evers was critical of the deal, the largest government incentive package in U.S. history to a foreign company. Foxconn is the world’s largest electronics provider, with Apple, Google and Amazon among its customers.
Survey: Floods could mean more defaults
A monthly survey of rural bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states shows about one of every five expects an increase in farm-loan defaults stemming from last month’s devastative Midwest floods. The Rural Mainstreet survey for April, released Thursday, shows the survey’s overall index dropping from 52.9 in March to 50 this month. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy, while a score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, said “43.8 percent of bank CEOs indicated that the recent floods were having a negative impact on their local economy.” Bankers also noted that farm loans for April surged as the borrowing index climbed to 81.3, the highest recorded since the survey began in 2006. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.
Surprise! Your bill is for $39 million
A powerful New Mexico regulatory authority is requiring the state’s largest utility to bill Facebook $39 million for a new transmission line construction for its data center — a move the social media giant says it was not expecting. The Public Regulation Commission’s on Tuesday ordered the Public Service Company of New Mexico to charge Facebook for nearly half the cost of the $85 million transmission project for its New Mexico data center that opened this year, the Albuquerque Journal reports . Commission members, who voted 5-0 to approve the order, contend that the utility cannot bill ratepayers for the transmission project because the line will not benefit retail customers. It only helps Facebook and wholesale electric operators who need the transmission capacity to supply renewable energy to other markets, the commission said. But the Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook said that the ruling could affect its long-term operations in the state, raising costs and putting in doubt plans to use 100 percent renewable energy to run the facility, Facebook said.
BMW is adding 185,000 vehicles to recall
BMW is adding nearly 185,000 vehicles in the U.S. to a 2017 recall for possible engine fires. Two years ago the company recommended the vehicles be parked outdoors until problems are fixed. The expansion brings the total number of vehicles recalled for the problem to about 925,000. The recall expansion covers a dozen 3 Series, 5 Series and Z4 models from the 2006 model year. BMW said in documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that moisture can get into the cars’ positive crankcase ventilation valve heater and cause plastic parts to degrade. That can lead to an electrical short and a possible fire even when the engine isn’t on. Dealers will replace the heater at no cost to owners. The recall is scheduled to start May 28.