Markets fall sharply on more inflation worries
NEW YORK — Stocks finished a bruising week with a loss Friday after a jump in consumer inflation raised concerns about how much more the Federal Reserve can cut interest rates.
The Labor Department said the Consumer Price Index rose more than expected in November, with large increases in the cost of energy, clothing, airline tickets and prescription drugs. The news followed a similar report Thursday on wholesale prices and raised questions about the Fed's options for priming the economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 178.11, or 1.32 percent, to 13,339.85. The S&P 500 lost 20.46, or 1.37 percent, to 1,467.95. The Nasdaq composite index fell 32.75, or 1.23 percent, to 2,635.74.
Slower automotive sales force parts plant closing
WINNSBORO — An automotive supplier says slow car sales will force it to close a plant here in February, putting 220 people out of work.
The work will be moved to Plastech Engineered Products Inc.'s other plants, said Matthew DeMars, president of the company's interior parts division.
Dearborn, Mich.-based Plastech makes plastic parts for companies such as General Motors, Chrysler and automotive supplier Johnson Controls, and has annual sales of more than $1 billion. The closing will hurt the local economy, said Tiffany Harrison, Fairfield County's economic development director.
Nintendo, retailers work to get Wii onto shelves
NEW YORK — To deal with frustration among holiday shoppers hunting for its Wii game console, Nintendo Co. and retailer GameStop Corp. are launching a rain-check program.
The rain checks will be available at the regular Wii system price, $249.99, on Dec. 20 and 21, and will entitle buyers to get the Nintendo console before Jan. 29.
The company said it is working with other retailers, such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Best Buy Co., to push inventory to shelves as quickly as possible before Christmas.
Exec says housing slump will last at least to 2009
WASHINGTON — Fannie Mae's chief executive officer told shareholders Friday he does not expect a housing market recovery until late 2009 "at the earliest" but said the mortgage-finance company is strong enough to ride out the downturn.
"This is the worst housing and mortgage market in recent memory, and we are still working our way to the bottom, in our view," CEO Daniel Mudd said.
Fannie Mae "will weather the turbulence of today's mortgage market and prosper when better conditions return," he said.