NEW YORK — An encouraging report on the labor market and better sales from Costco and other retail stores helped push the stock market higher Thursday.
The government said 367,000 Americans sought unemployment benefits for the first time last week, an increase from the previous week but fewer than economists had forecast.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 80.75 to close at 13,575.36. Aluminum giant Alcoa led the 30 stocks in the Dow with a 3.3 percent surge, rising 29 cents to $9.07. The S&P 500 index climbed 10.41 to 1,461.40. The Nasdaq rose 14.23 to 3,149.46.
SAN FRANCISCO — Google and major book publishers have settled a lengthy legal battle over digital copyrights, but a bigger dispute still looms with thousands of authors who allege that Google is illegally profiting from their works.
The truce announced Thursday ends a federal lawsuit filed in 2005 by several members of the Association of American Publishers after Google began stockpiling its Internet search index with digital duplicates of books scanned from libraries.
Google has maintained that its scanning is covered by fair-use provisions of copyright law, although it offered to remove specific books from its index upon request. It also showed only snippets of the copyrighted books unless permission was given to show more.
Publishers and authors insisted that Google needed explicit permission from them before making the digital copies, let alone showing even snippets of text from the books on Google’s website.
Terms of the new settlement were not divulged.
WASHINGTON — Orders to U.S. factories fell in August, mostly because of a sharp drop in volatile aircraft orders. The decline offset an increase in orders that reflect corporate investment plans.
The Commerce Department said factory orders fell 5.2 percent in August, the biggest drop in more than three years. The decline was largely because demand for commercial aircraft plunged 102 percent.
In one positive sign, orders for business equipment and software, often considered a proxy for investment plans, rose 1.1 percent, after two steep declines.
NEW YORK — Want to leave your barista a tip? Starbucks is making an app for that.
The coffee company said a digital tip function will be added to its mobile payment application starting next summer. A similar option also will be available on Square, a new payment app that Starbucks customers will be able to use starting in November.
To use either of the programs, customers download the app, then link a credit or debit card to the account. When it comes time to pay at the register, they open the app and wave their phone in front of the scanner.
The Starbucks app can be used only at the company’s cafes. The Square app can be used wherever it is accepted.
WASHINGTON — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell to record lows for the second straight week. The declines suggest that the Federal Reserve’s stimulus efforts are having an impact.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the rate on the 30-year loan dropped to 3.36 percent. Last week’s rate of 3.40 percent was the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.
The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage dipped to 2.69 percent, down from last week’s record low of 2.73 percent.