Disappointing reports push U.S. stocks lower
NEW YORK — Disappointing reports about the U.S. economy helped push the stock market lower on Friday. Concerns that the Federal Reserve could announce plans to cut back its stimulus program next week also weighed on the mood.
Americans’ confidence in the economy weakened in June and was lower than economists had estimated, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey out Friday. Another report said factories weren’t as busy as expected.
The International Monetary Fund, a global lender, offered no help. The IMF said Friday that U.S. spending cuts that kicked in March 1 were “ill-designed” and slowed the economy down.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 105.90 to 15,070.18. The S&P 500 sank 9.63 to 1,626.73. The Nasdaq lost 21.81 to 3,423.56.
Microsoft Office is now offered for iPhone use
NEW YORK — Microsoft’s Office package is coming to the iPhone. It will offer the ability to read and edit text documents, spreadsheets and slide presentations at the doctor’s office or at a soccer game.
The company isn’t making an iPad version, though, nor is it offering the app on Android devices.
Microsoft is trying to make its $100-a-year Office subscription more compelling, without removing an advantage that tablet computers running Microsoft’s Windows system now have — the ability to run popular Office programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Office Mobile for iPhone was available free starting Friday, but an Office 365 subscription is required to use it. It won’t be sold separately. Microsoft says the app is meant for lightweight editing.
Chrysler icing pensions for 8,000 employees
DETROIT — Chrysler Group says it is freezing the pension of roughly 8,000 U.S. salaried employees at the end of the year.
The U.S. automaker says it is making the move to stay in line with industry trends and to comply with IRS regulations. Companies in general have moved away from traditional pensions due to the cost.
Chrysler’s affected employees will be shifted to a defined contribution plan. It also lowered the age at which employees can begin claiming all of their retirement savings to 58 from 62.
Feds OK J&J’s newest silicone breast implant
WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration said Friday it approved a next-generation silicone breast implant from Johnson & Johnson unit Mentor.
The MemoryShape implant uses a cross-linking gel design that the FDA says is firmer than previous implants. FDA regulators approved the new implant for breast enhancement and reconstruction in women at least 22 years old.
Silicone gel implants have made a comeback recently after safety concerns kept them off the market for nearly 25 years. In 2006 FDA returned them to the market after most studies failed to find a link between silicone implants and disease.
Penn. company recalls 165,000 baby recliners
WASHINGTON — A children’s product maker is recalling about 165,000 baby recliners linked to at least five infant deaths and dozens of reports of children falling or hanging over the side of the seats.
Baby Matters LLC of Berwyn, Pa., announced the recall of its Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill infant recliners as part of a settlement with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Since 2009, the commission said it received at least 92 incident reports involving the products. The commission said four infants died in Nap Nanny Generation Two recliners and a fifth died using the Chill model. The manufacturer is no longer in business.