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Friday Afternoon Business Brief

May 30, 2014, 1:46 PM

Friday Afternoon Business Brief
  • Stocks are drifting between small gains and losses on the last trading day of May. But the month has been a relatively strong one for the markets. The S&P 500 is up 1.8 percent, which would be its best month since February. The Nasdaq is up 2.9 percent and the Dow is up 0.5 percent. 
  • A private survey finds consumer confidence wavering as Americans grow more pessimistic about future pay increases. The University of Michigan says that its index of consumer sentiment dropped to 81.9 this month from 84.1 in April. Nearly half of all households surveyed expect their inflation-adjusted income to decline over the next 12 months. Among those that do anticipate gains, most expect increases of just 1 or 2 percent.
  • Google's Motorola Mobility smartphone unit will shutter its Texas factory by the end of 2014, barely a year after it opened with much fanfare as the first smartphone factory in the U.S. A Motorola Mobility spokesman says sales of its flagship handset the Moto X were too weak and the costs of running the plant too high to keep operations going. The Fort Worth factory employs about 700 workers.
  • Federal prosecutors have accused 10 people of participating in a kickback scheme at an Arch Coal mine in West Virginia. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says companies were forced to pay kickbacks to Arch employees to do business with the coal company at its Mountain Laurel mining complex in Logan County. Goodwin says Arch employees are accused of taking nearly $2 million in kickbacks from 2007 to 2012.
  • Officials in a New Mexico city are working on a plan to let film companies, museums and the public get Atari video games that were dug up from an old landfill last month. Workers for a film production company recovered more than 1,300 of the games from the garbage heap in Alamogordo, including "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial." The search for the "E.T." cartridges will be featured in an upcoming documentary.

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