Tech falters, but stocks end day mostly higher
NEW YORK - Stocks ended mostly higher after the market had a brief stumble in the afternoon. The S&P 500 index edged further into record territory, but weakness in technology stocks held back the Nasdaq composite.
The S&P 500 rose 5 to 1,859 Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 49 to 16,321. The Nasdaq fell 10 to 4,308.
Growth estimate cut to 2.4% for fourth quarter
WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate last quarter, sharply less than first thought, in part because consumers didn't spend as much as initially estimated.
Severe weather is expected to further slow the economy in the current quarter. But as temperatures warm, most economists think growth will rebound beginning in the spring.
The Commerce Department on Friday reduced its estimate of growth in the October-December quarter from an initial 3.2 percent annual rate. The revised estimate of 2.4 percent annual growth is the weakest quarterly showing since the first quarter of 2013.
Bitcoin exchange seeks bankruptcy in Japan
TOKYO - The Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange in Tokyo filed for bankruptcy protection Friday and its CEO said 850,000 bitcoins, worth several hundred million dollars, are unaccounted for.
CEO Mark Karpeles appeared before news cameras, bowing deeply for several minutes.
He said a weakness in the exchange's systems was behind a massive loss of the virtual currency involving 750,000 bitcoins from users and 100,000 of the company's own bitcoins. That would amount to about $425 million at recent prices.
Dick's: Rival CEO posed as exec to get secrets
TRENTON, N.J. - The CEO of a sporting goods chain who once appeared on the TV show "Undercover Boss" pretended to be an executive from a rival company in an effort to get confidential information, according to a lawsuit.
Dick's Sporting Goods says in a lawsuit that Mitchell Modell, CEO of Modell's Sporting Goods, showed up at a Dick's in Princeton in February saying he was a Dick's senior vice president. The lawsuit was first reported Friday by The Record newspaper.
Dick's alleges Modell told employees he was to meet the Dick's CEO there and persuaded workers to show him the backroom and answer questions about the business. A spokesman for Modell declined to comment.
Mattel to buy Canadian toymaker Mega Brands
TORONTO - Mattel has made a friendly takeover offer for Canadian toymaker Mega Brands, which has the world's No. 2 line of construction sets after Lego. The deal values the company at $460 million.
Mattel makes Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars. It says Mega Brands will help it expand in two of the fastest-growing segments: construction sets and arts and crafts.
Expansion planned at Maker's Mark distillery
LORETTO, Ky. - The producers of Maker's Mark bourbon announced a distillery expansion to pump up production and keep pace with growing demand for the Kentucky whiskey, known by its distinctive bottles sealed in red wax.
The $67 million expansion comes barely a year after the brand created a backlash by saying it was cutting the amount of alcohol in each bottle to stretch its whiskey supplies. Producers quickly scrapped the idea.