The stock market has extended its longest, deepest slump of the year. The Dow today lost nearly 1.7 percent of its value, or 214 points, to 12,716. The S&P was down 24, while the Nasdaq dropped 56 points.
- Since the closing bell, Alcoa reported a surprise profit for the first quarter. The company sold more aluminum as demand improved from automobile manufacturers, aerospace and commercial transportation. In after-hours trading, Alcoa shares jumped 5 percent.
- The Labor Department says employers posted slightly more job openings in February, hinting that modest hiring gains will continue in coming months. Employers advertised 3.5 million job openings in February. During the month, more people quit their jobs and companies stepped up hiring.
- The federal regulator who oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is softening his position against allowing the mortgage giants to reduce principal for U.S. borrowers at risk of foreclosure. The acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency says thought is being given whether to allow Fannie and Freddie to offer principal reductions. He said such reductions would lower Fannie and Freddie losses and help stabilize home prices faster.
- Gannett says that David Hunke is relinquishing his position as president and publisher of USA Today to become the newspaper's chairman and then retire in September. USA Today also has been searching for a new editor-in-chief since November, when John Hillkirk stepped down to help oversee investigative reporting projects as a senior editor.