Stocks gain, pushing S&P 500 to 5-year high
NEW YORK — The Standard & Poor’s 500 closed at its highest in five years Friday after a report showed that hiring held up in December, giving stocks an early lift.
The S&P 500 finished up 7.10 points at 1,466.47, its highest close since December 2007.
The index began its descent from a record close of 1,565.15 in October 2007, as the early signs of the financial crisis began to emerge. The index bottomed out in March 2009 at 676.53 before staging a recovery that has seen it more than double in value and move to within 99 points of its all-time peak. The Dow Jones industrial average finished 43.85 higher at 13,435.21. It gained 3.8 percent for the week, its biggest weekly advance since June. The Nasdaq closed up 1.09 at 3,101.66.
Kilar to step down as CEO of Hulu by March
LOS ANGELES —Jason Kilar will step down by the end of March as the chief executive of Hulu, the online video service owned by the parents of ABC, NBC and Fox.
Kilar, 41, broke the news to staff in an email, which he posted on the Hulu blog Friday. While he didn’t state a reason, the video site has been losing money despite posting nearly $700 million in revenue last year. But it’s growing fast, and added 200,000 paying subscribers in the last seven days alone, Kilar said.
The company’s CEO since its 2007 founding, Kilar has at times clashed with Hulu’s owners. Spawned in part to offset Internet piracy, Hulu got its start showing reruns of ABC, NBC and Fox shows free on the web with minimal ads.
PNC taking steps to prevent cyber attacks
NEW YORK — PNC Bank has warned customers that its websites are getting hit with high traffic consistent with computer attacks.
In an email sent to nearly 5 million customers, PNC said the traffic is meant to cause delays for legitimate online banking customers. It said other banks are experiencing similar traffic spikes but did not identify them.
PNC says that for several weeks it has worked to block the traffic and maintain online and mobile banking access for the majority of its customers. The company says it may have blocked access for a small percentage of its legitimate customers for an extended period.
PNC has two local branches, in downtown Charleston and Mount Pleasant.
Lilly’s earnings forecast tops most expectations
INDIANAPOLIS — Eli Lilly and Co. unveiled a better-than-expected 2013 earnings forecast Friday, in part because the pharmaceutical company expects growth from several established drugs to help make up for revenue lost to generic competition.
The drug developer saw sales for its all-time best-selling drug, the antipsychotics Zyprexa, crater in 2012 after it lost U.S. patent protection. Lilly will take another hit next December when it loses patent protection for its current top seller, the antidepressant Cymbalta.
But Lilly executives told analysts Friday they still expect Cymbalta and the insulin drug Humalog to help drive revenue growth.
Ex-Buffett exec won’t face SEC actions, lawyer says
NEW YORK — The lawyer for former Berkshire Hathaway executive David Sokol has told The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times that Sokol won’t face charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Sokol always denied any wrongdoing.
Sokol’s trouble began when he bought nearly 100,000 shares of Lubrizol in 2011 when he knew Berkshire was in talks to buy the chemical maker.
Before Sokol resigned from Berkshire in 2011, many investors considered him a leading candidate to eventually replace Warren Buffett as CEO.