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Saturday Afternoon Business Brief

June 7, 2014, 3:26 PM

Saturday Afternoon Business Brief

Investors like the fact that employers added workers at a good clip for the fourth month in a row. The May jobs report from the government helped send the stock market higher yesterday. The S&P 500 index gained nine points to close at 1,949, its eighth record high in the past 10 days. The Dow also rose 88 points to 16,924 and the Nasdaq climbed 25 points to 4,321.

  • The price of oil is holding steady. Crude traded in a narrow range all week and ended with a decline of 15 cents. But solid U.S. employment numbers gave the price a slight boost on Friday. Benchmark crude for July delivery rose 18 cents to close at $102.66 a barrel in New York. Meanwhile, drivers are paying an average of $3.66 a gallon at the pump this weekend.
  • Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn is urging Family Dollar to explore ways to boost its value. Icahn has acquired a 9.4 percent stake in the discount retailer. Family Dollar's low-income shoppers are still struggling as the economic recovery wears on. The company says it plans to close 370 underperforming stores and permanently cut prices on about 1,000 basic items.
  • Hershey is suing a Colorado company that makes four marijuana-infused candies that Hershey says closely resemble its iconic products. Hershey has filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit in Denver against TinctureBelle. The lawsuit alleges some of its products mimic Hershey's Almond Joy, Heath, Reese's peanut butter cups and York peppermint patty candies.
  • Hemp is now legal to cultivate, but farmers are having mixed success navigating red tape on everything from seed acquisition to processing the plant. Hemp is prized for oils, seeds and fiber. But its production was prohibited for decades because the plant can be manipulated to enhance a psychoactive chemical making the drug marijuana. The new Farm Bill ended required federal permission to raise hemp, but only with state permission. Farmers and regulators say it will take years before there's a viable market.

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