Markets finish mixed as Dell crimps tech sector

NEW YORK — Stocks finished a solid week with a mixed close Friday after comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stoked investors' hopes for more interest rate cuts, but a disappointing outlook from computer maker Dell Inc. depressed the technology sector.

Bernanke said Thursday that tight credit, the housing slump and high energy prices might cause some "headwinds for the consumer," and the Fed must be "exceptionally alert and flexible."

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 59.99, or 0.45 percent, to 13,371.72, after gaining more than 150 points early in the session. The S&P 500 gained 11.42, or 0.78 percent, to 1,481.14. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 7.17, or 0.27 percent, to 2,660.96.

One of Wall Street's most powerful women leaves

NEW YORK — Morgan Stanley said late Thursday that Zoe Cruz, its co-president and one of the most powerful women on Wall Street, will retire immediately in the latest investment bank shakeup amid credit turmoil.

Cruz had been with the bank for 25 years and was promoted to co-president when Phillip Purcell was chief executive. There were expectations that current CEO John Mack would give someone else the job.

FedEx ground shipment prices to rise about 5%

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FedEx Corp. said Friday it will increase its ground shipping rates by an average of 4.9 percent starting in January. FedEx announced last month that it planned to raise its air shipping rates by the same amount.

The actual price increase for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery service will be an average of 6.9 percent, but it is offset by a fuel surcharge cut.

Data breach at TJX leads to $41 million settlement

BOSTON — TJX Cos., owner of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, will pay as much as $40.9 million in a settlement with Visa Inc. and the bank that processes its credit card payments over a breach of customers' card data, the retailer said Friday.

The funds will be used to help credit card issuers recover costs related to the breach, which is believed to be the largest ever. Issuers of at least 80 percent of eligible cards must accept the offer by Dec. 19 for the settlement to take effect.