Higher oil, bond prices help boost stock market
NEW YORK — Stocks posted a solid advance Wednesday as higher oil prices lifted energy stocks and a better-than-expected earnings report from Oracle Corp. boosted the technology sector.
A weak reading on durable goods helped bonds rally, lowering yields and helping ease investors' interest rate worries as the Federal Reserve's rate policy committee wraps up a two-day meeting today. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 90.07, or 0.68 percent, to 13,427.73. The S&P 500 gained 13.45, or 0.90 percent, to 1,506.34. The Nasdaq composite index rose 31.19, or 1.21 percent, to 2,605.35.
Hanesbrands plans to eliminate 5,300 jobs
CHARLOTTE — Hanesbrands Inc. will cut 5,300 jobs, or 11 percent of its work force, and close nine sewing and assembly operations as it moves production to lower-cost sites, mostly in Asia and Central America.
The underwear and apparel maker said Wednesday it will close plants affecting nearly 5,000 employees, mostly in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Another 350 management and administration jobs will be cut, mostly in the United States.
The company said the closings are part of an effort to make its business leaner and more profitable. The company expects to complete most of the cost-cutting plans by the end of the year.
Bear Stearns fund woes draw SEC examination
WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission is examining the near-collapse of two Bear Stearns hedge funds that made bad bets on the mortgage market.
The SEC inquiry is "informal" at this point and has not resulted in any subpoenas or formal document requests, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry has not been disclosed publicly.
SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said at a House hearing Tuesday that the agency has started roughly a dozen investigations related to securities known as collateralized debt obligations, in which hedge funds increasingly have invested.
Convicted cable execs to report to prison Aug. 13
NEW YORK — A judge Wednesday ordered Adelphia cable TV company founder John Rigas and his son, Timothy Rigas, to report to prison Aug. 13, three years after their convictions in one of the largest corporate frauds in U.S. history.
John Rigas, 82, and Timothy Rigas, 51, had been free while appealing their respective 15- and 20-year sentences, but Judge Leonard Sand said the time had come for the two to start paying their debt to society. In May, a court upheld the fraud convictions.
Guitar Center agrees to $1.9 billion cash buyout
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Guitar Center Inc., the largest U.S. musical instrument retailer, said Wednesday its board has accepted a $1.9 billion cash buyout offer from a private equity firm.
The deal with affiliates of Bain Capital Partners LLC came amid speculation that a buyout was in the works. Guitar Center had hired investment bank Goldman Sachs & Co. to auction the company. Bain Capital offered to pay $63 per share, which represents a premium of 26 percent over Guitar Center's closing price Tuesday of $50.06.