S&P 500 trades above 1,900 for the first time
NEW YORK - The S&P 500 index traded above 1,900 for the first time but closed just shy of that milestone.
The closely watched stock market indicator traded as high as 1,902, but closed at 1,897.45, up 0.45 on the day. It's still an all-time high for the index.
The Dow Jones industrial average also reached another all-time high. It gained 19.97 to 16,715.44. The Nasdaq composite was the laggard on a mostly quiet day of trading. It fell 13.69 to 4,130.17.
DirecTV rose $1.08 to $86.08. Some industry analysts say that not only is it likely that AT&T will buy the satellite television company, but that it's also a great idea.
Airbus' airplane orders down in 1Q, profits up
PARIS - Airbus Group said Tuesday that orders for its jets slumped in the first quarter, but profits rose and it hopes to put its A350 long-range jet into service by the end of the year.
The European plane-maker, Boeing's chief rival, said it took in 103 orders in the quarter valued at $28.9 billion. That is down from 410 orders in the first quarter of 2013.
CEO Tom Enders said Airbus isn't changing its 2014 outlook, which predicts a stable year compared to 2013.
Aircraft deliveries were down slightly in the quarter to 141 from 144 last year.
Airbus is pinning hopes on success for the A350, a competitor to Boeing's 787, and said Tuesday the A350 should complete certification in the third quarter.
US retail sales climbed scant 0.1 % last month
WASHINGTON - U.S. retail sales growth slowed in April, with consumers shopping less online and cutting back on purchases of furniture and electronics.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that retail sales rose just 0.1 percent last month, after surging 1.5 percent in March following a harsh winter that had curtailed shopping.
Auto sales increased 0.6 percent in April, and purchases at clothing stores were up 1.2 percent. But most of those gains were offset by declines in spending at restaurants, online retailers and furniture and electronics stores.
The modest sales suggest that consumers continue to be cautious during the still-slow, nearly 5-year recovery.
Coca-Cola is boosting stake in Keurig maker
NEW YORK - Coca-Cola has raised its stake in Keurig Green Mountain, the beverage dispenser maker, as it looks to bring its drink brands to the fast-growing at-home market.
The world's biggest beverage company disclosed in a filing Tuesday that a subsidiary now has a 16 percent stake in Keurig Green Mountain.
Keurig is known for its single-serve coffeemakers. Keurig Green Mountain is developing a machine that is expected to let people make sodas, sports drinks and other beverages with the touch of a button.
Microsoft unbundling Kinect from Xbox One
LOS ANGELES - In a move to spur sales of the Xbox One and catch up with rival Sony's PlayStation 4, Microsoft says it will start selling the console without the Kinect sensor, which cuts $100 from the price. The new price of $399 begins June 9.
Microsoft says it is also allowing entertainment apps like Netflix to be used without having to pay for a $60 a year Xbox Live Gold membership. The membership will continue to be required for multiplayer games but will also provide discounts on games and free games.
Small business owners still wary, surveys say
NEW YORK - Small business owners are keeping a cautious approach to running their companies, even as they grow more optimistic.
Two surveys released Tuesday, one by Wells Fargo & Co. and the other by Bank of America Corp., found many owners still have conservative hiring plans and little appetite for loans.
Stronger revenue and cash flow are behind the increasing optimism. In the Bank of America spring survey, 68 percent of owners said they expect revenue to increase in the next 12 months. They feel confident about their local economies but have their eye on national and international issues.
About three-quarters cited health care costs and the federal government's effectiveness, or lack thereof, as potential problems.
The Bank of America survey questioned 1,000 small business owners in March. The Wells Fargo survey questioned 600 owners from March 31 to April 4.