Stocks up slightly to end good week

NEW YORK -- The stock market ended a strong week with modest gains after investors found good news in the Federal Reserve's decision to begin dismantling emergency lending measures for banks.

Stocks initially fell in response to the Fed's announcement late Thursday that it is raising the rate it charges banks for emergency loans, known as the discount rate. Stocks turned higher in late morning trading as investors saw the Fed's move as a vote of confidence that the financial system was recovering and that banks didn't need as much support. A tame report on consumer prices brought reassurance that the Fed would be able to hold down more important rates for consumers and business loans.

Port adds 3 days of furloughs for staff

All State Ports Authority employees were told Thursday that they must take three additional unpaid days off before the current fiscal year ends June 30, bringing the total to five days. The move will save the SPA an estimated $500,000.

The maritime agency announced in August that employees had to take two furlough days. Workers can give back vacation time instead.

In response to a dropoff in container business, SPA chief executive Jim Newsome said Tuesday the agency is looking to cut $7 million in costs and to restructure. Four managers who were given more responsibilities also received raises of nearly $63,000 combined.

Boeing might lay off 1,000 tech workers

CHICAGO -- Boeing Co. said Friday that it sent layoff notices to more than 1,000 people, mostly technology workers in Washington state and California. The notices mean the workers are at risk of being laid off April 23. Spokesman Tim Healy said it's possible the number of layoffs could shrink.

Healy said 500 of the workers are in the Puget Sound area in Washington, where Boeing's commercial airplanes division is based. Roughly 300 are in California, with the rest of the affected workers scattered in other states.

JCPenney's profit beats projections

NEW YORK -- JCPenney posted a fourth-quarter profit that surpassed expectations and issued an upbeat forecast Friday following a holiday season when it did all it could to avoid clearance discounting.

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The chain's profit fell 5.2 percent to $200 million, dragged down by a big pension expense. But by reducing holiday inventory and sticking to its promotions, Penney said it boosted its profit margin from a year ago.

Sales slipped 3.6 percent to $5.5 billion. Sales at stores open at least a year fell 4.5 percent. Penney expects 2010 to be a better year, forecasting sales and profit increases.

Nevada casinos ailing, new report finds

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- A new report shows Nevada's major casinos posted a net loss of $6.8 billion in fiscal year 2009, more than a 1,000 percent plunge from the $721 million earned in the prior year. The annual "Gaming Abstract" released Friday by the state Gaming Control Board tracks casinos statewide that gross $1 million or more in gambling revenue.

The 260 casinos included in this year's report had total revenue of $22 billion.