Friday Afternoon Business Brief
June 6, 2014, 2:00 PM
- News that U.S. employers added workers at a good clip for the fourth month in a row is helping push the stock market higher. The S&P 500 has been as much as eight points higher in afternoon trading. The benchmark for most investment funds is on track to set record highs in eight of the last 10 days and to gain more than 1 percent for the third week running. The Dow is also in record territory, while the Nasdaq composite is solidly higher too.
- The job market has finally regained all the jobs lost in the Great Recession. The Labor Department says U.S. employers added 217,000 jobs in May, while the unemployment rate remains at 6.4 percent. Monthly job growth has now averaged 234,000 for the past three months. While the jobs lost in the downturn have been replaced, more growth is needed because the U.S. population has grown nearly seven percent since the recession began in December 2007.
- There's a fresh sign of economic recovery in Europe today. Spain says it will start paying back its bailout package early. The European Union provided a $55 billion aid package two years ago to prop up Spain's ailing banks and prevent the nation from descending into financial chaos. Spain wasn't due to make a payment until 2022, but the government says it will be ready to make a $1.8 billion payment soon.
- Colorado's governor has signed legislation aimed at establishing a financial system for the largely cash-only marijuana industry. The law would allow pot businesses to form a network of uninsured cooperatives designed to give them a way to access basic banking services. Banks have not provided marijuana businesses with services out of concern they would be violating federal law. That has led to fears that marijuana businesses could be a target for robberies.
- Gatorade is apologizing for tweets it posted last night after LeBron James was forced to leave Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The Miami Heat star left the game for good with about four minutes to go because of leg cramps, a sign of dehydration. Temperatures inside the arena in San Antonio were close to 90 degrees after the air conditioning failed. Gatorade tweeted: "The person cramping wasn't our client. Our athletes can take the heat." James is a paid endorser of Powerade.
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