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Monday Afternoon Business Brief

April 7, 2014, 1:44 PM

Monday Afternoon Business Brief

The stock market is down heavily in afternoon trading. The tech-heavy Nasdaq continues to show weakness. It's fallen the most among the major U.S. indexes, down about 70 points or more than one and a-half percent. A slump in technology stocks pulled the index down 110 points, or 2.6 percent, on Friday.

  • Ford is recalling nearly 435,000 cars and SUVs to fix rusting frame parts or faulty seats. The bigger of the two recalls covers Ford Escapes from the 2001 through 2004 model years for the rust problem, which the automaker says can hamper steering control. The second recall covers Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, Ford Escape and C-MAX vehicles from 2013 and 2014. Dealers will replace seat back frames that weren't welded properly.
  • U.S. Steel says its largest mill is on limited production, because of a shortage of iron ore. The problem has been the ice covering Lake Superior, which has prevented ships from delivering enough ore. The Gary Works mill in Indiana had to shut down its furnaces for about a week because of the shortage, but U.S. Steel says some shipments got through yesterday.
  • Target is finding it difficult to crack the Canadian market. A year after opening more than 100 stores north of the border, sales have been weak and Target has lost nearly a billion dollars. Among the problems Target is struggling with are Canadian regulations, a slower economy and increasing competition. Some Canadian shoppers say they find the deals and the shopping experience at the Canadian stores just aren't the same as when they cross the border and shop at a Target in the U.S.
  • Sen. Charles Schumer is pushing for a change in the federal tax code intended to give a financial boost to live theater around the country. Schumer's proposal would allow 100 percent of any live theater investment to be deducted up to $15 million per production. That's similar to benefits currently granted to film and TV projects. Schumer say the change would create more shows nationwide, and provide a financial boost to hotels, restaurants and taxis.

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