Stocks flat on Wall St. on a quiet trading day

An early gain was gone by the early afternoon on Wall Street on Friday as the market flattened out after six days of gains. Trading was quiet with many investors out on vacation.

Bond yields continued to rise. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note hovered climbed above the 3 percent mark.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.47 to 16,478.41. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 0.62 to 1,841.40. The Nasdaq composite fell 10.59 to 4,156.59.

There are only two trading days left in 2013, and most of Wall Street remains on vacation for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Production begins at Nucor iron plant in La.

CONVENT, La. - Nucor Corp. says it has started production at its direct-reduced iron plant in Convent, the first phase of what could become a $3.4 billion complex employing as many as 1,250 workers. The Charlotte-based company says production began on Tuesday and has been increasing since.

The Times-Picayune reports Nucor and affiliates are manufacturers of steel products, with operating plants primarily in the United States and Canada.

The Convent site is being developed with public subsidies. Louisiana's incentive package includes a river port terminal, infrastructure assistance, tax breaks and other elements.

In addition to the direct-reduced iron ore plant, Nucor has said it could build a coke plant, blast furnace, pellet plant and steel mill at Convent.

Nucor has a big steel mill in Berkeley County that's getting $130 million in upgrades.

Apple's CEO pay edges up slightly to $4.3M

Apple CEO Timothy Cook received a compensation package valued at nearly $4.3 million this year, up slightly from 2012.

Cook's pay for fiscal 2013, which ended in September, consisted of $1.4 million in salary and a bonus of $2.8 million, according to a filing Friday. Cook's compensation also includes $52,721 in company contributions to his 401(k) account, life insurance premiums and a vacation cash-out.

The year's pay was relatively modest compared with 2011, when he took the company's helm. That year, Apple's board set him up with stock now worth $510 million.

GE: No need to expand Hudson River cleanup

General Electric Co. said Friday a study requested by New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli shows no need for it to voluntarily expand dredging already underway in a portion of the upper Hudson River contaminated with PCBs.

GE said the scientific and legal analysis shows wildlife in the area is healthy, and any concern about the company getting hit with future liabilities for environmental damage is speculative.

DiNapoli had asked for the review in a shareholder resolution as trustee of the state pension system. He withdrew the resolution after Fairfield, Conn.-based GE agreed to the study earlier this year.

Environmentalists have long been pressing for additional dredging of contaminated sections outside the current Superfund cleanup site north of Albany.

GM to recall 1.5M cars in China over bracket

General Motors Co. and its main Chinese partner will recall almost 1.5 million cars to replace a bracket that secures a fuel pump, China's product quality agency said Friday.

The agency said the recall affects 1.2 million Buick Excelles made from 2006 through part of 2012 and 250,000 Chevrolet Sails produced between April 2009 and October 2011 and some made last year.

The recall is GM's second this year in China. In May, the government announced a recall of 2,653 imported Cadillac SRX vehicles to adjust wheel nuts.

Staff and wire reports