Chevron vaults into new league on $33B Anadarko acquisition

Chevron is in a buying mood. File/AP

S&P posts its 3rd weekly gain

NEW YORK — Stocks notched solid gains on Friday, erasing most of the losses the market sustained after an uneven week of trading.

The strong finish gave the S&P 500 its third straight weekly gain. The benchmark index is now just under 1% from its most recent all-time high set on September 20, reflecting the strong rebound for the market this year after a dismal slide in December.

Banks led the gains Friday after a solid quarterly profit report from JPMorgan Chase opened the latest round of highly anticipated company earnings. Banks have been benefiting from higher interest rates, which allow them to book fatter profits from making loans.

Disney surged to an all-time high after it announced plans to offer its own video streaming service. Disney will be going head-to-head with Netflix, which declined.

The market was coming off a wobbly week as investors worried that the early first-quarter earnings reports would come in even weaker than the low expectations analysts already have.

The solid results from major banks Friday were encouraging, but investors need to see more, said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.

"In general, you need to have the financial companies participate in order for a market advance to continue," Stovall said. "Investors will be waiting, listening for other news that would be beneficial not only to banks, but to industrial and technology stocks."

Chevron to buy Anadarko for $33B

SAN RAMON, Calif. — Chevron is buying Anadarko Petroleum in a $33 billion cash-and-stock deal as the company seeks to grow stronger in deep water exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and the energy-rich southwest region of Texas called the Permian Basin.

The deal, announced Friday, arrives with U.S. crude prices up 40% this year. The companies put the enterprise value of the deal at $50 billion.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year.

FCC to hold big 5G auction

NEW YORK — The U.S. communications regulator will hold a massive auction to bolster 5G service, the next generation of mobile networks, and will spend $20 billion for rural internet.

5G will mean faster wireless speeds and has implications for technologies like self-driving cars and augmented reality. The rollout started last week in the U.S. and South Korea, but it will take years.

The Federal Communications Commission said Friday that it would hold the largest auction in U.S. history, of 3,400 megahertz, to boost wireless companies' networks.

The FCC also says it will repurpose funds from existing programs to provide $20.4 billion connecting up to 4 million rural homes and small businesses to high-speed internet. There are 24 million Americans without access to broadband, and the problem is worst in rural areas.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said Friday that he hopes to start the auction in December.

Southwest revises 737 Max plan 

DALLAS — Southwest is removing flights with the troubled Boeing 737 Max aircraft from its schedule through Aug. 5, a period that includes the peak of the airline's busy summer travel season.

The company did not specify how many flights would be cancelled because of the new schedule. It removed all 34 of its Max 8 jets from service on March 13 following two deadly crashes involving other airlines. The grounded aircraft account for a small percentage of the more than 750 Boeing 737 models in the airline's fleet.

Regulators around the world have grounded the aircraft and Boeing has been working to fix the plane's technical issues. Airlines have had to scramble to put other aircraft into service while dealing with flight cancellations.

Southwest Airlines has already warned that flight cancellations are cutting into bookings and revenue.

Southwest president Tom Nealon said the amended schedule will affect a limited number of customers "who have already booked their travel."

China's exports rebound in March

BEIJING — China's exports rebounded from a contraction in March and sales to the United States grew strongly despite President Donald Trump's tariff hikes.

Customs data on Friday showed exports rose 14.2% over a year ago to $198.7 billion, recovering from February's 20.8% contraction. Imports fell 7.6% to $166 billion, decelerating from the previous month's 5.2% decline.

A government spokesman announced exports to the United States rose 10.6% measured in Chinese currency, but gave no dollar figure. The official, Li Kuiwen, said imports of American goods fell 21% in yuan terms.

The export slump has added to pressure on Chinese leaders to make peace in a tariff war with Washington over Beijing's technology ambitions.

Sleepers recalled after 30-plus deaths

NEW YORK — Fisher-Price is recalling nearly 5 million infant sleepers after more than 30 babies rolled over in them and died since the product was introduced in 2009.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that anyone who bought any models of the Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play sleeper should stop using it right away and contact Fisher-Price for a refund.

The recall covers about 4.7 million of the sleepers, which cost between $40 and $149.

The recall comes a week after the CPSC warned people not to use the sleepers for infants older than three months old, since they are more likely to roll over.

Wire reports