Stocks are higher for 2nd straight week; Boeing shutdown weighs on manufacturing index

US manufacturing output hit by Boeing troubles, slips 0.1%

A Boeing worker walks past a 737 model fuselage and a giant mural of a jet on the side of the manufacturing building behind in Renton, Wash.

Big stock indexes up for the week

NEW YORK — Wall Street closed out a wobbly day of trading Friday with the major stock indexes notching their second straight weekly gain.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq eked out tiny gains, good enough to nudge each to an all-time high for the fourth time this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended with a slight loss.

Gains in the technology, real estate and utilities sectors outweighed losses in energy and industrial stocks, and in consumer-centric companies.

The mixed finish for the indexes likely indicates some traders elected to sell and pocket some profits ahead of the long holiday weekend to get ahead of potential negative headlines about the virus, analysts said. U.S. markets will be closed Monday for President's Day.

Boeing woes nick factory output

WASHINGTON — U.S. manufacturing output fell slightly in January, driven lower by Boeing's decision to halt production of its troubled 737 Max aircraft.

The Federal Reserve said Friday that factory output declined 0.1 percent last month after eking out a 0.1 percent gain in December. Excluding the production of airplanes and parts, factory production rose 0.3 percent.

U.S. manufacturing has shown signs of recovering from a year-long downturn but is facing a fresh challenge from Boeing's troubles, which also affect hundreds of suppliers. Manufacturing output is down 0.8 percent in the past year, hurt by the U.S.-China trade war and slower global growth.

Overall industrial production, which includes output from mines and utilities, dropped 0.3 percent in January, held back by a 4 percent drop in utility production because of unseasonably warm weather..

Retail sales up slightly in Jan.

WASHINGTON — U.S. retail sales rose a modest 0.3 percent in January, a slight improvement over December, as unseasonably warm weather boosted sales at hardware stores and furniture stores.

The Commerce Department said Friday that the January advance followed a 0.2 percent rise in sales in December.

The slight January gain was in line with expectations. However, economists were also expecting to see a solid gain in an underlying control group of retail sales which feeds into the government's calculations for overall economic growth.

Instead, sales in the control group showed no gain at all in January and the December performance was revised down to show a gain of just 0.2 percent, slower than the 0.5 percent rise initially reported.

For January, auto sales edged up a slight 0.2 percent, rebounding from a 1.7 percent plunge in December.

Excluding the volatile auto sector, retail sales would have risen 0.3 percent in January, just half the 0.6 percent gain in the ex-auto category in December.

Tesla prices its latest stock offering

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Tesla priced its second offering of stock at $767 apiece Friday.

An announcement Thursday that Tesla would put an additional $2 billion worth of stock on the market surprised almost everyone.

Just two weeks ago, CEO Elon Musk said the company had enough cash to fund its capital programs and that it didn't need to raise any more money. But Tesla is taking advantage of seemingly insatiable demand for its stock. Tesla shares have almost doubled since the start of the year, and it's quadrupled since June.

That demand continued to surge Thursday, even though issuing additional company shares can dilute the value of those already on the market. Shares closed up another 5 percent.

United, American push Max's return

CHICAGO — United Airlines and American Airlines said Friday they are removing the grounded Boeing 737 Max from their schedules longer than previously planned, which means thousands more flights will be canceled during the peak summer travel season.

The reduction in flights could mean slightly higher fares.

United said it took the plane out of its schedule until at least Sept. 4. It had 14 Max jets when they were grounded, but expected to be flying more of them by now. The Chicago-based airline said it will scrap 80 flights a day — about 2,500 a month — over the summer.

American followed a few hours later by saying it won't use the plane until Aug. 18 — more than two months beyond its previous target of returning the plane in early June. American said it acted in response to the latest guidance from Boeing and safety regulators.

Fort Worth, Texas-based American will cancel about 140 flights a day, or about 4,300 a month during the summer.

The other U.S. airline that owns Max jets, Southwest, announced Thursday that it was pulling the plane from its schedule through Aug. 10.

Spirit Air moving ops hub to Tenn.

NASHVILLE — Spirit Airlines and Tennessee officials say the low-cost carrier is moving its operations control center from Florida to the Nashville area.

The project to move the operations center from Miramar, Fla., represents an investment of $11.3 million and will bring 345 jobs to Tennessee over the next five years, officials said Thursday.

Spirit will move more than 240 positions from Florida to Tennessee, officials said.

The center handles flight dispatch, crew scheduling, maintenance control, aircraft routing, air traffic control coordination and other aspects of the business.

Headquartered in South Florida, Spirit entered the Nashville market in October with nonstop flights to several cities.

"Nashville clearly came out on top in a nationwide search due to geographic location, business climate and its growing aviation sector," said Ted Christie, CEO of Spirit Airlines.

Wire reports

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