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View Count: 59 |  Publish Date: February 13, 2013
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Dow gets close to record high
stocksDow gets close to record high
The Dow rose to its highest close of the year Tuesday, ending 146 points from a record. Stocks gained after impressive results from two big consumer brands.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 47.46 to 14,018.70, putting it within 1 percent of the record close of 14,164.53 set in October 2007. The Standard & Poors 500 index gained 2.42 points to 1,519.43, also close to its record.
In a quiet day of trading, stocks were driven higher by beauty products maker Avon and luxury clothing and accessories company Michael Kors, whose results impressed investors. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity in the U.S. Financial and home building stocks also lifted stocks, led by Bank of America and Masco Corp, which notched some of the days biggest gains.
The Dow has surged at the start of the year, logging its best January in almost two decades, after lawmakers reached a last-minute deal to avoid the fiscal cliff of sweeping tax increases and spending cuts. Investors are also becoming more optimistic that the housing market is recovering and that hiring is picking up.
marketsNasdaq, Carlyle speculation
Nasdaq Groups talks with Carlyle Group about taking the company private are spurring speculation among investors and analysts that a $50 billion wave of attempted exchange deals in the past three years isnt over.
The discussions between Nasdaq, the second-largest owner of U.S. exchanges, and Carlyle broke down over price, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. The company trades at the second-cheapest multiple relative to earnings among 25 exchanges after U.S. equity trading volume dropped for a third year.
Exchange companies have been the subject of takeover bids amid shrinking profits for securities trading, leading to IntercontinentalExchanges offer for NYSE Euronext last month. Nasdaq Chief Executive Officer Robert Greifeld has been reorganizing business units and reducing expenses after the companys U.S. cash equity trading revenue fell 21 percent last year.jobsOpenings fall in December
Job openings in the U.S. dropped in December from a four-year high, a sign employers put expansion plans on hold as lawmakers wrangled over tax and spending programs.
The number of positions waiting to be filled fell by 173,000 to 3.62 million, the fewest since September, from a revised 3.79 million the prior month that was the most since May 2008, the Labor Department said Tuesday. The pace of hiring cooled, and firings were the lowest on record.
The threat of tax increases and government spending cuts that constituted the fiscal cliff raised concerns the economy would stumble at the end of 2012. Further progress may continue to be delayed this year as Congress debates how much to reduce federal outlays.mediaComcast buying GEs NBC stake
Comcast will buy out General Electrics stake in NBC Universal for $16.7 billion in cash.
The deal also involves Comcast buying GEs 30 Rock building and CNBCs headquarters for $1.4 billion, the cable company said Tuesday. The enterprise value of NBC Universal is now $39.1 billion, up from $37.5 billion when Comcast bought a controlling stake in 2011.
Comcast bought a 51 percent stake in NBC for $13.8 billion in cash and assets. Since then, the company has benefited from improving prime-time ratings among 18- to 49-year-olds at the broadcast network and better-than-expected advertising revenue from the Olympics.
Comcast Chief Financial Officer Michael Angelakis had said in September that the company was considering purchasing the remainder of NBC. The network has relied on hit shows such as Sunday Night Football, The Voice and Revolution to boost ratings over the past year, following years of last-place showings.
Chronicle News Services

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Time: 4:44  |  News Code: 135746  |  Site: San Francisco Chronicle
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