Stocks rally from lows after report from Fed
NEW YORK — Investors drew some comfort Wednesday from signals that the Federal Reserve, worried about the slow pace of the U.S. economic recovery, feels more urgency about providing help.
Minutes from a meeting July 31-Aug. 1, showed “many members” of the Fed’s Open Market Committee felt that additional action would be warranted unless the economic recovery shows “substantial and sustainable strengthening.”
Stocks climbed back from lows after the minutes were released. The S&P 500 index, down most of the day, eked out a gain of 0.32 to 1,413.49. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 30.82 at 13,172.76. The Nasdaq index added 6.41 to 3,073.67.
Airbus power failures not fixed on some jets
NEWARK, N.J. — As United Flight 731 climbed out of Newark with 107 people aboard, the pilot and first officer were startled to find screens that display crucial navigational information were blank or unreadable and radios were dead.
They had no way to communicate with air traffic controllers or detect other planes around them in the New York City area’s crowded airspace.
Within minutes the pilots had turned around and safely landed the Airbus A320 at Newark Liberty airport. They later told investigators that clear weather might have been the only thing that saved them from a crash.
The January 2008 emergency was far from the first of such multiple electrical failures in the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, and it wasn’t the last, according to records reviewed by The Associated Press. More than 50 episodes involving the planes, which first went into service more than two decades ago, have been reported.
Uptick in home sales reflects improvement
WASHINGTON — The recovery of the U.S. housing market is looking steadier and more sustainable, a trend that will likely add to economic growth in 2012 for the first time in seven years.
Purchases, construction and prices are gradually but consistently increasing, though they remain far below levels seen in a healthy economy.
Sales of previously occupied homes rose 2.3 percent in July from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. Over the past 12 months, sales have jumped more than 10 percent.
PayPal offers payments in stores thru Discover
SAN JOSE, Calif. — PayPal is expanding its brick-and-mortar payment services to more than 7 million stores across the U.S. in a partnership with Discover Financial Services.
EBay Inc.’s payments unit said Wednesday that retailers that take Discover cards will be able to process PayPal payments beginning next year. People will be able to pay using PayPal cards and later, mobile devices.
The move marks the latest step in PayPal’s push into traditional retailers as it expands from offering online payments.
China’s solar firms face anemic sales, price war
BEIJING — Chinese solar panel makers that grew fast over the past decade are suffering big losses due to slumping global sales and a price war that threaten an industry seen by communist leaders as a role model for hopes to transform China into a technology leader.
Another looming challenge: Moves by the U.S. and Europe toward imposing anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels that might further depress sales.
Financial problems could force painful changes in the Chinese industry including mergers, bankruptcies, factory closures or layoffs, industry analysts say.