NEW YORK — An encouraging manufacturing report nudged the stock market higher Friday, giving it a slight gain for the week, even as a deadline for avoiding sweeping government spending cuts loomed.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 35.17, or 0.3 percent, to close at 14,089.66. The S&P 500 index rose 3.52, or 0.2 percent, to 1,518.20. The Nasdaq composite gained 9.55, 0.3 percent, to 3,169.74.
The Dow was down as much as 117 points in early trading but recovered following news that U.S. manufacturing expanded in February at the fastest pace since June 2011. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index reached 54.2, up from January’s reading of 53.1. Any reading above 50 signals growth.
Belk department store hasn’t been in downtown Charleston for years, but it will return March 9 for a three-week run as part of the Charlotte-based chain’s 125th anniversary celebration.
Belk will open a temporary shop called Belk @ 341 King at 10 a.m. one week from today, and it will be open through March 31, said Susan McWatters, Belk regional vice president.
It will feature designs by seven of the 15 winners in the chain’s Southern Designer Showcase competition, including those of dress designer Megan Masters of Mount Pleasant, as well as a line designed exclusively for Belk by Cynthia Rowley, who has a shop at 178 King St.
WASHINGTON — U.S. consumers increased spending modestly in January but cut back on major purchases that signal confidence in the economy. The decline in spending on goods suggests higher tax rates that kicked in on Jan. 1 may have made consumers more cautious in some buying.
The Commerce Department said Friday that consumer spending rose 0.2 percent in January compared with December. The gain was driven by an increase in spending on services, partly reflecting higher heating bills. Spending on durable goods, such as cars and appliances, fell 0.8 percent. Spending on non-durable goods, such as clothing, was essentially flat.
Income plunged 3.6 percent in January, the biggest drop since January 1993. But it followed a 2.6 percent rise in December, which reflected a rush by companies to pay dividends and bonuses before income taxes increased on top earners.
WASHINGTON — Spending on U.S. construction projects fell in January by the largest amount in 18 months as home construction stalled and spending on government projects fell to the lowest level in more than six years. The dip was viewed as temporary, with construction expected to keep moving higher this year.
Construction spending fell 2.1 percent in January compared with December, when spending rose 1.1 percent. It was the biggest one-month decline since July 2011, the Commerce Department said Friday.
NEW YORK — Best Buy Co. lost less money in the fourth quarter as efforts by new CEO Hubert Joly to make the company more efficient showed glimmers of paying off.
The struggling electronics chain also said Friday it did not receive a buyout bid from co-founder Richard Schulze by a Thursday deadline, eliminating one question mark that had been hovering over the company.
The retailer’s fourth-quarter results beat expectations, but Best Buy gave a cautious outlook on the first quarter because it is ramping up investments and the timing of some sales has changed from last year.
Staff and wire reports