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Saturday Business Brief

March 29, 2014, 5:40 PM

Saturday Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Investors are feeling a bit better this weekend after a positive report on U.S. consumer spending yesterday helped push stocks mostly higher for the first time in three days. But the gains were modest. The Dow Jones Industrial average climbed 59 points to 16,323. The S&P 500 index rose 8 1/2 points 1,857. The Nasdaq composite closed up 4 ½ points to 4,155.

  • Stronger economic growth in the U.S. and global supply concerns are pushing the price of oil higher. The price rose slightly yesterday and finished the week with a 2 percent gain. Benchmark U.S. crude oil for May delivery gained 39 cents to $101.67 a barrel in New York. Meanwhile, drivers are paying an average of $3.54 a gallon. That's 11 cents higher than a week ago.
  • General Motors is expanding its ongoing recall tied to defective ignition switches. GM has added 971,000 vehicles worldwide from the 2008-2011 model years to a recall that initially covered cars only through the 2007 model year. The Chevrolet Cobalt, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac G5, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky are all involved in the recall.
  • General Motors is recalling 172,000 Chevrolet Cruze compact cars because the right front axle shaft can fracture and separate while being driven. The recall affects cars from the 2013 and 2014 model years equipped with 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engines. If a shaft fractures, the wheels would lose power without warning and the cars would coast to a stop.
  • New York's governor says an agreement has been reached to let electric car maker Tesla Motors keep its five retail locations in the state as part of a compromise to strengthen auto dealer franchise protections while allowing Tesla's direct sales. Tesla says the deal protects franchise dealers' existing business while letting Tesla keep trying to build a market for "sustainable transportation."

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