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Thursday Evening Business Brief

February 20, 2014, 7:21 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are closing higher after news that manufacturing in the U.S. is expanding at a rapid clip. A private survey shows manufacturing grew at the fastest pace in almost four years in February. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 92 ½ points to 16,133. The S&P 500 index rose 11 points to 1,839. The Nasdaq composite rose 29 ½ points to 4,267.

  • The price of oil is below $103 a barrel again. Oil prices dropped today after a survey by HSBC found that China's manufacturing contracted for a second straight month. Crude for March delivery fell 39 cents to close at $102.92 a barrel in New York. Retail gasoline prices continue their seasonal climb. The average price for a gallon rose less than a penny today to $3.38.
  • Employers can't make new hires wait more than 90 days for coverage in the company's health care plan. The new limit is in government rules that carry out a section of the health care Law. The Labor Department issued the rules today. It could make a difference as the economy gets stronger and more jobs open up. For most plans, the 90-day limit will apply starting Jan. 1, 2015.
  • Fannie May Confections is recalling 12,000 boxes of chocolates because one of the chocolates inside contains peanuts, a fact that isn't reflected on the packaging.  The red heart-shaped gift boxes have been sold since Jan. 10 in up to 450 stores, including Walgreens, Hallmark Gift Shops and Jewel Grocers, in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
  • Eastman Footwear is recalling 12,200 pairs of children's shoes because there's a risk of cutting yourself on them. Coleman Runestone shoes are being recalled because e metal rivets where shoelaces are threaded can have sharp edges. Eastman received one report of an adult who scratched or cut his finger. The shoes were sold at Big 5 Sporting Goods stores last year.

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