NEW YORK — U.S. stocks closed mostly lower after signs emerged that Americans are spending at a slower pace.
Also, China surprised markets with an interest-rate cut, its second in a month. That caused investors to worry that the downturn in the world’s second-largest economy may be worse than expected.
Investors were cautious ahead of today’s U.S. government’s report on hiring for June.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 47.15 to 12,896.67. The S&P 500 fell 6.44 to 1,367.58. The Nasdaq index rose 0.04 point to 2,976.12.
CHICAGO — Boeing Co. said Thursday that it has delivered 287 commercial airplanes so far this year, including 11 of its new 787s.
The 787 deliveries are being closely watched because Boeing is ramping up production of that plane at its Everett, Wash., factory and its new line in North Charleston. Boeing delivered six of those planes in the second quarter, all from Washington.
Boeing said it delivered 150 commercial planes in the second quarter. Besides the 787s, there were 109 737s, seven superjumbo 747s, six long-haul 767s and 22 777s.
FRANKFURT, Germany — The European Central Bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low Thursday to spark economic growth, but gave little sign that it would take further action soon to ease Europe’s financial crisis.
By cutting its key refinancing rate by a quarter percentage point to 0.75, a move that was widely expected, the ECB sought to give Europe’s sagging economy a lift by making it cheaper for businesses and consumers to borrow.
Financial markets were underwhelmed, and even ECB President Mario Draghi conceded that the impact of the rate cut could be “muted,” given the low demand for credit in the slow economy.
NEW YORK — Walgreen took another step Thursday to grow through acquisitions when it announced the $438 million purchase of a regional chain that operates USA Drug, Super D and May’s drugstores.
Walgreen plans to buy 144 stores in a chain focused on the mid-South. The deal will help it expand to smaller communities where USA Drug has developed operational expertise.
BOSTON — A federal judge approved an agreement Thursday by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 billion for criminal and civil violations involving 10 drugs, the largest health-care fraud settlement in U.S. history.
The company pleaded guilty to promoting the popular antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin for unapproved uses.
FOUNTAIN INN — An electronics parts manufacturer said Thursday it plans to create more than 250 new jobs with an expansion to its Greenville County facility.
AVX Corp. said it will spend more than $14 million over the next few years to expand manufacturing and research at its headquarters in Fountain Inn. Officials said AVX is renovating an existing building and expects to create 279 jobs.
Staff and wire reports