Monday Evening Business Brief
May 5, 2014, 5:38 PM
- Stocks closed up marginally today as enthusiasm about an improving U.S. service sector outweighed concerns about China. The market started the day lower on news that manufacturing contracted in China in April for the fourth month in a row. Indexes erased their losses in mid-morning trading after a U.S. trade group reported that service firms grew more quickly last month. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose three points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,884. Utilities stocks rose the most in the index, a sign that investors remain cautious.
- Target says Chairman and CEO Gregg Steinhafel is out, nearly five months after the retailer disclosed a massive data breach that hurt its reputation. The nation's third-largest retailer says Steinhafel has agreed to step down as the company's chairman, president and CEO, effective immediately. He also has resigned from its board of directors. Target, based in Minneapolis, says Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan has been appointed interim president and CEO. Roxanne S. Austin, a member of Target's board, has been named as interim nonexecutive chair of the board.
- PepsiCo has joined Coca-Cola in saying it's working to remove a controversial ingredient from all its drinks, including Mountain Dew. The company had announced last year that it was removing the ingredient from Gatorade. Then today, Coca-Cola said it was dropping the ingredient from all its drinks, including Powerade. Brominated vegetable oil was the target of petitions by a Mississippi teenager who wanted it out of Gatorade and Powerade.
- Another high-ranking General Motors engineer is leaving the company in the wake of its delayed recall of small cars with faulty ignition switches. Jim Federico, who most recently headed safety, vehicle performance and testing labs, is retiring after almost 36 years with the company. GM said he's leaving on his own to work outside the auto industry. Federico was GM's highest-ranking executive with safety in his title in February, when the company began recalling 2.6 million older-model small cars to replace the defective ignition switches.
- McCarran International Airport is set to welcome a Swiss airline's inaugural flight from Zurich to Las Vegas. An Edelweiss Air flight from Kloten Airport is expected to arrive just before 1 p.m. next Monday. Airport officials plan to give the plane a ceremonial water cannon salute as it comes into town. Edelweiss plans to offer round trips between Las Vegas and Zurich twice a week.
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