From our wire services
The price of oil marched 2 percent higher to finish at $103.22 per barrel after a positive report on U.S. hiring and ongoing concerns about the crisis in Egypt. At the pump, the national average for a gallon of gas stayed at $3.48 for the third straight day.
Germany's Conergy AG has become the latest victim of a global solar-panel price war, filing for insolvency while seeking an investor to continue the business. More than one-fifth of all jobs - or about 24,000 - in Germany's once-burgeoning solar panel industry have been lost since 2011.
A see-saw start for stocks ended with a rally, as traders decided that a healthy job market mattered more than the Federal Reserve scaling back its economic stimulus. "In general, I think our economy is standing on its own two feet right now," said David Brown, chief market strategist at Sabrient, a Santa Barbara, Calif., research firm for institutional investors.
Whole Foods Market Inc. is recalling Crave Brothers Les Freres cheese in response to an outbreak of a bacterial infection that has sickened people in several states and killed at least one in Minnesota. Whole Foods says the cheese may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. It was sold in 30 states and Washington, D.C..
Chrysler is recalling 282,000 minivans from the 2013 model year because the side air bags can deploy on the wrong side in a crash. Side air bags are supposed to deploy on the side of the vehicle that's involved in a crash. Chrysler said a software problem is causing its air bags to deploy on the opposing side of the vehicle.
China bank reform
China promised sweeping changes to its state-run banking industry, including allowing the creation of private lenders, to support its credit-starved entrepreneurs and curb what regulators worry are growing financial risks. Analysts, including the World Bank, said an overhaul of a Chinese banking system that lends little to private businesses is needed to keep economic growth strong.
Shares of Dell slid on reports that founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners don't plan to raise their $24.4 billion buyout offer for the company. Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal and other media organizations reported that there won't be an increase in the bid, as Michael Dell and Silver Lake believe the offer they made in February represents fair value for the company.
China drug probe
China took aim at prices of two high-profile necessities - baby formula and medicines - as communist leaders try to contain surging living costs that threaten to inflame political tensions.
News reports said a Cabinet agency is looking into the cost of drugs made by 60 foreign and domestic suppliers.
Samsung Electronics Co. reported record quarterly profit but its shares tumbled on doubts its mainstay smartphone business can maintain rapid growth. Analysts said high marketing costs probably weighed on Samsung's mobile business despite the robust sales in the first month.
Ratings agency Standard and Poor's downgraded Nokia Corp.'s credit rating, citing the deal this week to buy out Siemens from its Nokia Siemens Networks joint venture for $2.21 billion. The agency lowered the Finland-based company's long-term corporate credit rating to B+ from BB-, warning that its strong balance sheet will weaken as a result of the acquisition.