Stocks around the world climbed on Thursday and U.S. indexes hit records as markets continued a rally sparked after the United States and Iran appeared to step away from the edge of war. Money flowed into riskier investments, such as technology stocks, and trickled out of traditional hiding spots for investors when they are nervous, such as gold. A measure of fear in the stock market had its largest drop in a week. The S&P 500 rose 21.65 points, or 0.7%, to 3,274.70 and surpassed its record set last week. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 211.81 points, or 0.7%, to 28,956.90, and the Nasdaq composite rose 74.18, or 0.8%, to 9,203.43. Both also hit records. Technology stocks powered to the biggest gains in the S&P 500 and accounted for more than a third of the index’s gain. Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 5 cents to settle at $59.56 a barrel. Gold fell $5.70 to $1,551.70 per ounce as investors felt less need for safety.


Airbus will expand production in Ala.

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus will expand production at its plant on the U.S. Gulf Coast in Alabama, where it will spend $40 million to construct new facilities and add 275 jobs, the company said Thursday. As part of a plan to build 63 aircraft in its A320 family of planes per month, Airbus said it would increase production at its factory in Mobile to seven airplanes monthly by early next year. Airbus, which began producing aircraft in Mobile in 2015, employs about 1,000 people at the site assembling A220 and A320 models. The company added about 600 jobs in the city last year.


Chinese delegation to visit Washington

China’s economy czar will visit Washington next week for the signing of an interim trade deal, the government said Thursday. Vice Premier Liu He, Beijing’s chief envoy in talks with Washington over their tariff war, had been expected to attend the signing but the Commerce Ministry’s statement was the first official confirmation. Washington postponed planned tariff increases following the announcement of the “Phase 1” deal in October.


Pension protests continue in France

French rail workers, teachers, doctors, lawyers and others joined a fourth day of nationwide protests and strikes Thursday to denounce President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to overhaul the pension system. Street protests were staged in Paris and other French cities as the government and labor unions pushed on with negotiations aimed at ending railway strikes over the proposed changes that started on Dec. 5.

News services