BUSINESS NEWS MARCH 7TH, 2016
OIL AT 2016 HIGH ABOVE $40 PER BARREL AFTER PRODUCER PRICE SUPPORT TALK
Global oil markets jumped more than 5 percent on Monday, with Brent hitting a 2016 peak above $40 a barrel, after Ecuador said it was holding a meeting of Latin American crude producers as OPEC sought a higher anchor price for oil. Technically-driven buying in crude and a commodities rally also boosted oil. Industry data showing a smaller-than-expected build in stockpiles at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub for U.S. crude futures was another supportive factor. Oil has rallied more than 50 percent since hitting 12-year lows less than two months ago. The rally began after Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries floated the idea of a production freeze to support prices in an oversupplied market.
S&P 500 TICKS ABOVE 2,000 AS ENERGY OFFSETS TECH SLIDE
The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 index closed higher on Monday as a spike in energy shares offset sharp declines in large-cap technology names, which dragged down the Nasdaq. Crude prices, which have largely dictated the direction of the stock market this year, were up more than 5 percent. The S&P 500 energy sector .SPNY, up 2.4 percent, rose for the fifth consecutive session, a streak not seen since October. It is up more than 23 percent from its 2016 low in mid-January. "The market worked itself to fair value and has taken the scare out. People were far too pessimistic," said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management in New York. He said the oil market is finding a footing and that is allowing stocks in the sector to bounce.
SEC CHARGES WELLS FARGO, RHODE ISLAND AGENCY WITH SECURITIES FRAUD
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday charged a Wells Fargo & Co unit and a Rhode Island agency with civil fraud stemming from a bond deal for a now-bankrupt video-game company founded by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. Wells Fargo Securities and Rhode Island's economic development agency defrauded investors to finance the company, called 38 Studios, the SEC said. The company was named after Schilling's Major League jersey number. The charge stems from a $75 million bond offering in 2010 that was part of a Rhode Island program intended to spur economic development, the SEC said. Wells Fargo disputes the SEC's allegations and will respond to them in court, a spokesman said.
FIAT CHRYSLER SHUTDOWN OF MIDSIZE CAR PLANT EXTENDED TO NINE WEEKS
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU.N)(FCHA.MI) said on Monday it will extend the shutdown of its midsize Chrysler 200 sedan plant by three weeks, keeping it idled for a total of nine weeks. The plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, which was shut on Feb. 1, will be closed until April 4, a Fiat Chrysler spokeswoman said. The plant had earlier been scheduled to return to production on March 14. In late January, company Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said Fiat Chrysler would stop making the Chrysler 200 as well as the compact Dodge Dart made in Belvidere, Illinois. He said he is looking for a partner to outsource the production, but through Monday none has emerged. The company spokeswoman said the additional weeks of shutdown of the Sterling Heights plant were to match supply with demand.
SUPREME COURT REJECTS APPLE E-BOOKS PRICE-FIXING APPEAL
The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear Apple Inc's challenge to an appellate court decision that it conspired with five publishers to increase e-book prices, meaning it will have to pay $450 million as part of a settlement. The court's decision not to hear the case leaves in place a June 2015 ruling by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that found Apple (AAPL.O) liable for engaging in a conspiracy that violated federal antitrust laws. Apple, in asking the high court to hear the case, said the June appeals court decision that the company had conspired with the publishers contradicted Supreme Court precedent and would "chill innovation and risk-taking."