S&P at 5-year high
The Standard & Poor’s 500 closed at 1,466.47 Friday, its highest level in five years, after a report showed that hiring held up in December. The index began its descent from a record close of 1,565.15 in October 2007, bottomed out in March 2009 at 676.53 before staging a recovery that has seen it more than double in value and move to within 99 points of its all-time peak.
Tribal theft charged
The former chairman of the tribe that runs the Foxwoods Resort Casino is accused along with his treasurer brother of stealing $800,000 from the Mashan-tucket Pequot Tribal Nation. Authorities charged Michael Thomas with stealing $100,000 between 2007 and 2009 during his tenure as the tribe’s chairman, and Treasurer Steven Thomas is accused of stealing $700,000 between 2005 and 2008 when he was assistant director of the tribe’s natural resources department.
Factory orders flat
Factory orders were flat in November, compared with October, when orders rose 0.8 percent, the Commerce Department said. Durable goods, from autos to steel, rose 0.8 percent, and nondurable goods fell 0.6 percent, reflecting falling petroleum prices.
Service sector grows
The Institute for Supply Management said its index of nonmanufacturing activity rose to 56.1 in December from 54.7 in Novem- ber. It’s the highest level since February and above the 12-month average of 54.7. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.
PNC cyber attacks
PNC Bank has warned customers its websites are getting hit with high traffic consistent with computer attacks. PNC Bank said that for several weeks it has worked to block the traffic and maintain online and mobile banking access for the vast majority of its customers.
GM recalls vehicles
General Motors is recalling about 69,000 pickup trucks, SUVs and vans worldwide because they can roll away unexpectedly. The recall affects certain 2013 models of the Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, Avalanche and Express. Also included are the GMC Sierra, Savana and Yukon as well as the Cadillac Escalade.
Buena-based IGI Laboratories Inc. has filed two abbreviated new drug applications for two topical generic drug products. Upon FDA approval, the company will manufacture and package the products under a customer’s label.
Oil, gas prices fall
The price of oil fell slightly to $92.86 a barrel as investors weighed the possibility that the Federal Reserve might end its extraordinary economic stimulus measures later this year. The wholesale gasoline price lost 4 cents to $2.76 a gallon.
The makers of Blekko believe they’ve built an alternative to Google, a search engine called Izik designed for Apple Inc.’s iPads and tablets running Google’s Android software. Free apps for Izik were released for the iPad and Android tablets.
Actor buys coffee
Actor Patrick Dempsey won a bankruptcy auction to buy Tully’s Coffee, a small coffee chain based in Seattle. Among those Dempsey beat out is Tully’s much bigger Seattle neighbor, Starbucks Corp., which wanted to convert the cafes to its own brand.
Lilly profit forecast
Eli Lilly and Co. announced a better-than-expected 2013 earnings forecast, in part because the pharmaceutical company expects growth from several established drugs to help make up for revenue lost to generic competition. The drug developer saw sales for its all-time best-selling drug, the antipsychotic Zyprexa, crater in 2012 after it lost U.S. patent protection.