Markets slide, tensions build in the Ukraine
NEW YORK - Stocks fell and gold rose Monday tensions build over Russia's military presence in the Ukraine.
The price of crude oil rose as traders feared that Russian oil exports might be disrupted if Western governments impose sanctions on Moscow.
The S&P 500 index fell 13.72 to 1,845.73, the biggest drop since Feb. 3. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 153.68 to 16,168.03. The Nasdaq composite fell 30.82 to 4,277.30. .
The price of gold rose to a four-month high as traders sought safety.
Zucker again makes Forbes billionaires list
NEW YORK - Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is back on top of the list of the world's richest people. Charleston busineswoman Anita Zucker also again made the list, released Monday by Forbes magazine.
Gates' net worth is estimated at $76 billion. Forbes says a record 1,645 billionaires made the list this year.
Zucker was ranked No. 663 worldwide, with a net worth estimated at $2.6 billion. She was No. 237 in the United States.
Zucker, 62, is CEO of The InterTech Group Inc., a North Charleston-based company her husband, Jerry, founded in 1982. After he died in 2008, she inherited the maker of specialty chemicals, high-tech fibers and precision aircraft parts. Her son, Jonathan Zucker, is president.
TIG Sun Energy, a subsidiary of InterTech, opened the largest solar farm in S.C. in January near Walterboro. Her family also owns the Carolina Ice Palace and half of the South Carolina Stingrays minor league hockey team.
Olive Garden pins hope on new logo and menu
NEW YORK - Olive Garden has a plan to win back customers: a new logo and yet more menu changes.
Executives at Darden Restaurants on Monday expressed confidence they could bring about a "brand renaissance" at the Italian chain with a new look and updated menu that presents food with "flair and sophistication." The changes include more small dishes and the option to mix and match pastas and sauces.
Darden executives also continued to make the case for why it made sense to hold onto Olive Garden and spin off or sell only Red Lobster.
Darden Restaurants reported preliminary quarterly results that fell short of Wall Street expectations as sales continue to slide at its two flagship chains. It said sales are expected to drop 5.4 percent at Olive Garden restaurants open at least a year. At Red Lobster, the figure is expected to fall 8.8 percent.
The company partly blamed rough winter weather for the results.
Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank are talking
NEW YORK - Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers are moving a bit closer to a possible combination, announcing they are exchanging certain confidential information. Men's Wearhouse said Monday that it's also received a draft merger agreement from Jos. A. Bank.
The news comes four days after Jos. A. Bank rejected the latest acquisition bid of $1.78 billion from Men's Wearhouse.
Apple's iPhone getting more car-compatible
SAN FRANCISCO - Apple is accelerating the race to make smartphone applications easier and safer to use in cars. Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo are previewing Apple's iPhone technology for cars this week at an auto show in Geneva.
The partnerships give Apple an early lead over Google's family of Android phones in a duel to make mobile applications more accessible while drivers are behind the wheel.
Apple last year unveiled its "iOS in the Car" initiative - a reference to the operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad. Apple is renaming the technology "CarPlay."
The system announced Monday enables iPhones to plug into cars so drivers can call up maps, make calls and request music with voice commands or a touch on a vehicle's dashboard screen.
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