Thursday Evening Business Brief
February 6, 2014, 5:23 PM
- The stock market is finally having a good day. It was the market's best day this year. It nearly erased the steep losses early this week. The Dow and S&P 500 jumped 1.2 percent. The gains came after an encouraging jobs report and some solid company earnings. The Dow jumped 188 points to 15,628. The S&P 500 rose nearly 22 points to 1,773. The Nasdaq gained 45.
- The price of oil is up as more cold temperatures boost expectations of higher demand for fuel. Benchmark crude for March delivery rose 46 cents to close at $97.84 a barrel in New York. The cold weather and snow are having the opposite effect on gasoline demand with fewer cars on the road. The average price for a gallon of gas is $3.27, down 5 cents from Jan. 1.
- The maker of Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers says it'll close a Philadelphia bakery by 2015 as part of a plan to restructure its supply chain and save money. Mondelez International says the closure will affect about 350 employees. It says it'll now make most of its cookies and crackers at bakeries in New Jersey and Virginia. It plans to invest more than $130 million in those plants.
- Illinois Tool Works is selling its packaging division to The Carlyle Group for $3.2 billion and plans to use the money to buy back shares. Carlyle says the packaging division has 88 manufacturing sites on six continents. Carlyle said in the announcement today that it will run the packaging group as a stand-alone company.
- California's power grid operator is asking for voluntary conservation of power because the extreme cold in much of the U.S and Canada is causing a shortage of natural gas supplies to Southern California power plants. The California Independent System Operator issued a so-called Flex Alert until 10 p.m. PST.
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