US stocks advance as stimulus concerns fade

NEW YORK — Investors have stopped worrying about the Federal Reserve. At least for now. Stocks rose on Wall Street Monday as investors judged that the economy still isn’t growing fast enough for the central bank to cut back on its stimulus program.

U.S. manufacturing grew modestly in June after a pickup in new orders and stronger production, according to a private survey. A separate report on construction spending added to the picture of a gradually improving economy. Construction spending rose 0.5 percent in May compared with April.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 65.36 to 14,974. The S&P 500 index rose 8.68 to 1,614. The Nasdaq rose 31.24 to 3,434.

Mercedes’ Ala. factory is targeted by big labor

VANCE, Ala. — Gov. Robert Bentley says the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance does not need a union. Bentley’s comments are the most pointed public ones to date from a state official about the United Auto Workers’ aggressive campaign, Al.com reported Monday.

The governor said after visiting the plant last week that said it’s a close-knit organization that works well together. He added that Alabama’s status as a right-to-work state helps him recruit new business.

The union campaign is attempting to organize the plant’s 3,000 workers as the factory adds products and capacity.

Tribune to purchase 19 TV stations for $2.73B

CHICAGO — Tribune Co. said Monday that it reached a deal to buy Local TV Holdings’ 19 TV stations for $2.73 billion in cash, significantly boosting its television business.

Tribune currently owns 23 TV stations and cable network WGN America, along with the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and other newspapers it’s trying to sell. It says the deal will make it the country’s largest commercial TV station.

Tribune Co. said it expects the deal to boost profits immediately and result in more than $100 million in annual cost savings within five years. Local TV’s holdings include stations in Denver, Cleveland, St. Louis and other major cities. None is in South Carolina.

Ethiopian Air does fine despite glitches on 787

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The CEO of Ethiopian Airlines says that his company has pocketed a record profit despite the temporary grounding of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes.

Tewolde Gebremariam told the Associated Press on Monday that his company is expecting a record profit with 20 to 25 percent growth in revenue and number of passengers.

He said Ethiopian Air would have been even more profitable, if it had not been for the grounding of its four 787 planes for more than three months.

Ethiopian Air is seeking to be compensated by Boeing and has already notified the manufacturer of the loss it incurred due to the grounding, the CEO said.

Piano legend Steinway accepts $438M buyout

WALTHAM, Mass. — The famed piano maker Steinway is being acquired by private equity firm Kohlberg & Co. for about $438 million.

Steinway, which has been in business for 160 years, said previously that it was looking into selling the company. The deal includes a 45-day “go-shop” period in which Steinway may seek out alternative bids.

Steinway & Sons was founded in 1853 in a Manhattan’s loft. Its products include Bach Stradivarius trumpets, Selmer Paris saxophones, C.G. Conn French horns, Leblanc clarinets, King trombones, Ludwig snare drums and Steinway pianos.

Staff and wire reports