Stocks climb on jobs data, earnings
NEW YORK — A solid jobs report and company earnings spurred U.S. stocks broadly higher Friday, driving the S&P 500 to its second straight weekly gain.
The Nasdaq composite hit an all-time high for the second time this week. The benchmark S&P 500 index closed less than 0.1% below the record high it reached Tuesday.
Technology and consumer-focused companies did the most to push the market higher. Stocks in the communications, industrial, financial and health care sectors also notched solid gains as traders cheered surprisingly good earnings from United States Steel, Weight Watchers and other companies.
Investors also welcomed the government's latest snapshot of U.S. employment, which showed that job growth surged in April past economists' forecasts and unemployment fell to a five-decade low.
"Overall, this was a solid report that should assuage fears that the U.S. economy is losing momentum," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.
Buffett gives Amazon shares a boost
NEW YORK — Billionaire investor Warren Buffett called himself an "idiot" for not buying stock in Amazon, but said someone at his investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, is making up for his lack of foresight.
Buffett told CNBC on Thursday that a money manager at Berkshire Hathaway has been buying shares in Amazon lately. On Friday, shares of Amazon jumped more than 3%.
"Yeah, I've been a fan, and I've been an idiot for not buying" Amazon shares, Buffett said on CNBC Thursday. "But I want you to know it's no personality changes taking place."
In 2017, Buffett told CNBC that "stupidity" was to blame for his not seeing Amazon's potential.
While the famously technology-averse investor admits he made a mistake, he also made it clear that Berkshire's Amazon buy was not directed by him. Details about the transactions are expected to be revealed in a future regulatory filing.
Shares in the Amazon.com Inc. rose to $1,962.46 Friday, its high for the year. The stock is up about 30% so far in 2019.
Berkshire Hathaway, based in Omaha, Nebraska, owns a range of businesses including insurance, railroads, jewelry stores as well as major investments in American Express and Wells Fargo. Its annual shareholder meeting is Saturday.
Tesla raises goal in capital hunt
DETROIT — Just one day after announcing plans to sell notes and stock to raise much-needed capital, Tesla boosted the size of its offering to as high as $2.7 billion on Friday.
The Palo Alto, California, electric car and solar panel maker said it's increasing the offer due to the positive response from Thursday's announcement that it would try to raise $2.3 billion.
Also, CEO Elon Musk more than doubled the amount of stock he would buy from $10 million, to $25 million.
The offer, detailed in a filing Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, includes up to $1.84 billion in notes that pay 2% annual interest and convert to Tesla common stock in 2024. Also included are more than 3.5 million new shares worth as much as $866 million. The new numbers include underwriting brokers exercising their full options to buy additional notes and shares.
Last week, Tesla reported its cash balance at the end of the first quarter shrunk by $1.5 billion since December, to $2.2 billion. Musk said during a conference call that Tesla might need to raise capital again.
The company will use the proceeds to "further strengthen our balance sheet, as well as for general corporate purposes," the filing says.
But the offerings would raise the company's debt from $9.79 billion to as high as $11.63 billion, with the company admitting in its filing that it may not be able to generate enough cash to make all of the payments.
American expands at its Dallas hub
FORT WORTH, Texas — American Airlines is expanding at its most profitable airport, opening 15 new gates at Dallas-Fort Worth International.
American said the gates that opened Friday in Terminal E will let it add more than 100 daily flights on its American Eagle affiliate.
By early June, Fort Worth-based American plans to operate more than 900 daily flights from DFW, up from 800 last summer. It is adding 23 new destinations and increasing flights to existing ones.
The move is freeing up room for six gates for larger American Airlines planes at Terminal B.
Robert Isom, American's president, said last week that DFW will account for most of the carrier's growth this year. Isom says early bookings and revenue for the new flights are higher than American's systemwide average.
Growth at service firms slow in April
WASHINGTON — U.S. service companies grew at a slower pace in April, as business activity generally showed a leveling off.
The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, reported Friday that its service index fell to 55.5% last month, down from 56.1% in March. Any reading above 50 signals growth.
Companies surveyed for the index were mostly optimistic about overall business conditions but expressed continuing concern about finding qualified employees, the ISM said.
The service sector, which is where most Americans work, has been expanding for 111 straight months, according to the ISM index.
"The services sector has leveled off a bit," said Anthony Nieves, chair of the ISM non-manufacturing business survey committee. However, "We still have strong and steady growth," he said in a telephone interview.