Dow Jones could break record with a good day

Talk of more deal-making sent the stock market higher Tuesday, putting the Dow Jones industrial average within close reach of its all-time high.

Reports that retailers Office Depot and OfficeMax are discussing a merger came after big corporate deals for Heinz and Dell were announced in recent weeks. Some investors are betting that more deals could be on the way as buyers pay premium prices for publicly traded companies.

The Dow rose 53.91 points to close at 14,035.67. All it would take now is one good day to push the average above 14,164, the record high reached in October 2007.

“It seems that investors are more comfortable with taking risk right now,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago. That’s despite the $1.2 trillion in automatic federal spending cuts that are scheduled to start March 1 unless Congress and the White House find a way to avoid them. Congress returns from vacation next week.

Previous budget battles in Washington have rattled financial markets. But this time out, many investors seem unfazed by the prospect that Congress won’t stop the “sequester” from kicking in. One reason is that the cuts are spread across the board for a decade, instead of all at once.

In other trading Tuesday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 11.15 points to 1,530.94. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index gained 21.56 points to 3,213.59.

 

Ford moving production of small engine to Ohio

Ford is moving production of a popular small engine from Spain to Cleveland as sales of four-cylinder motors rise.

Later this week, Ford will announce a $200 million investment at its factory in Brook Park, Ohio, so it can make the four-cylinder, 2-liter “EcoBoost” engine, according to a person briefed on the matter. The move will add about 450 jobs at the factory that now employs about 1,300 hourly and salaried workers.

The factory now makes two larger six-cylinder engines.

The person didn’t want to be identified because the official Ford announcement won’t be made until Thursday.

Ford and other carmakers are looking to four-cylinder turbocharged motors to help meet stricter U.S. fuel economy rules. And as pump prices again surge toward $4 a gallon, the engines satisfy driver demand for better mileage. In the U.S., new vehicles will have to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, twice the mpg they get today

Ford’s 2-liter EcoBoost engine now is manufactured in Valencia, Spain, and shipped to the U.S., where its sales are growing.

 

Jeep’s Twitter account hacked like Burger King’s

Someone hacked his way into Jeep’s Twitter account on Tuesday, posting fake tweets about the brand being sold to Cadillac and that it was suspending factory production.

The move was similar to an incident involving the Burger King restaurant chain on Monday. A spokesman for Chrysler Group LLC, which owns Jeep, said he had no idea if the two cases were linked, although he said the visuals looked similar.