Tuesday Evening Business Brief
October 1, 2013, 6:04 PM
- An increase in manufacturing last month has encouraged investors and helped stocks to a positive finish on Wall Street today. The Dow rose 62 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 15,191. The S&P 500 rose 13 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,695, while the Nasdaq gained 46 points, or 1.2 percent, to 3,818. Investors mostly shrugged off the federal government's shutdown.
- Automakers are reporting a drop-off in their U.S. sales for September, but analysts say the declines don't reflect a trend. General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota all report declines, with GM's sales down 11 percent compared with a year ago. Analysts blame it on a quirk in the calendar, with the typically strong Labor Day weekend counting in August totals this year. Even with the unusual calendar, Ford and Chrysler saw gains, with Ford sales up 6 percent and Chrysler's 1 percent.
- The Internal Revenue Service says not only will it accept tax returns and payments during the federal government shutdown, but those payments are required by law. However, the agency says it will issue no refunds until the government resumes normal operations. While most Americans file their taxes in the spring, more than 12 million asked for a six-month extension, and those returns are due Oct. 15. For those with questions, IRS call centers will not be staffed but automated lines are available.
- Texas is dropping out of the lawsuit against the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways. Attorney General Greg Abbott had led the state into the suit with the U.S. Justice Department and five other states, citing expectations that consolidation would lead to higher fares and fees. But Abbot says the airlines have agreed to maintain present levels of service in Texas and to keep the Fort Worth headquarters. American is a major employer in the state, and Abbott is seeking the Republican nomination for governor.
- Lorillard has acquired British-based electronic cigarette maker SKYCIG for about $49 million. The nation's third-biggest tobacco company says the move will expand its global presence in the fast-growing business. Several million people worldwide now use electronic cigarettes. The battery-powered devices heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating vapor that users inhale.
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