NEW YORK — The Dow Jones industrial average notched its third record high close in a row Wednesday, even as other indexes ended lower.
Trading was relatively subdued as investors reviewed the latest corporate earnings news. Utilities stocks were among the biggest decliners. Energy stocks rebounded as oil prices broke a five-day slide and climbed back above $50 a barrel.
Wall Street also kept an eye on Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen’s second appearance before Congress in two days. Her remarks didn’t generate any major market-moving news. A day earlier, Yellen suggested that the Fed is not in a hurry to raise interest rates.
The Dow ended up 15.38 to 18,224.57. The S&P 500 index slipped 1.62 to 2,113.86. The Nasdaq shed 1 to 4,967.14.
Hewlett-Packard and Boston Beer slumped early. Both reported disappointing quarterly results late Tuesday. Hewlett-Packard tumbled 9.9 percent, while the brewer of Samuel Adams beer sank 10.3 percent.
NEW YORK — Lowe’s fourth-quarter profit climbed as an improving economy gave homeowners more confidence to take on home projects.
For the three months ended Jan. 30, Lowe’s posted earnings of $450 million. A year earlier it earned $306 million.
Revenue for the North Carolina company rose to $12.54 billion from $11.66 billion.
On Tuesday rival Home Depot reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on strong holiday sales.
NEW YORK — Target delivered a cautious profit outlook for the first quarter and reported a loss in its fourth quarter, dragged down by costs to end its money-losing foray in Canada. But the retailer recorded stronger-than-expected sales during the holidays.
The results show how Target is successfully moving past a big data breach disclosed a week before Christmas 2013 that compromised millions of credit and debit cards. That caused shoppers to flee for months and hurt profits.
NEW YORK — Motorola is updating its low-cost smartphone, the Moto E, as it targets first-time smartphone buyers worldwide.
Among the improvements over last year’s model: The camera now has auto-focusing, whereas the older model had a fixed-focus lens. The new Moto E will also have a front-facing camera for selfies, though images won’t be as sharp as the 5 megapixels on the rear. There’s also a model with 4G cellular connectivity. Last year’s model was available only for 3G.
In the U.S., Motorola will target prepaid customers, as well as those looking to buy children their first smartphones. The 4G model will cost $150, while the 3G will go for $120, both without contract requirements. .
NEW YORK — MetLife’s home lending unit will pay $123.5 million to end an investigation into allegations it gave government-backed mortgages to people who didn’t meet federal requirements.
The Justice Department said Wednesday that MetLife knew the business was issuing hundreds of loans that didn’t meet federal requirements, which means they were not eligible for insurance by the Federal Housing Authority. But MetLife granted the mortgages anyway, and the agency says the FHA and taxpayers were stuck with the bill when defaults followed.
NEW YORK — Uber is partnering with hotel chain Starwood to give riders a bit more incentive to choose the ride-hailing service over a taxi.
Uber passengers can now earn one Starwood rewards point for each dollar they spend on a ride in a car found through the San Francisco-based company’s mobile app. Guests spending the night at one of Starwood’s 1,200 hotels will earn two to four points per dollar spent, depending on their level of status with Connecticut-based Starwood. Points can’t be earned until the Uber passenger spends at least one night during the calendar year at a Starwood hotel.
This is the first global deal where ground transportation passengers can earn hotel points for trips.
The hotel company, known for its Sheraton, Westin and W brands, already has similar partnerships with Delta Air Lines and Emirate Airline.