Wednesday, April 23, 2014
From news service reports
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 23.65 points, or 0.2 percent, at 14,833.96. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 6.80 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,639.77. The Nasdaq composite climbed 22.74 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3,612.61.
Benchmark crude for October delivery gained 89 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $108.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the benchmark for international crudes, rose $1.35, or 1.2 percent, to $115.68 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Wholesale gasoline dropped 3 cents to $2.86 per gallon. Heating oil rose 1 cent to $3.15 per gallon. Natural gas climbed 9 cents to $3.67 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Orders rise and factories expand to meet demand
U.S. factories expanded last month at the fastest pace since June 2011 on a jump in orders. The report signals that manufacturing output could strengthen in coming months.
The Institute for Supply Management says its manufacturing index rose to 55.7 in August from 55.4 in July. That topped the index's 12-month average of 52. A reading above 50 indicates growth. The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers.
A gauge of new orders rose nearly five points to 63.2, the highest level in more than two years.
Construction spending rises with housing gains
Spending on construction projects rose in July, led by strong gains in housing and nonresidential projects. Construction spending increased 0.6 percent in July compared with June when activity was unchanged, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The June performance represented an upward revision from an initial estimate that spending had fallen 0.6 percent.
Home prices jump up 12.4 percent on low supply
U.S. home prices jumped 12.4 percent in July from a year earlier, reflecting a housing market that's increasingly favoring sellers amid a tight supply of available homes for sale.
Real estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that home prices in every state but Delaware climbed on annual basis in July.
Ninety-nine of the 100 largest cities reported annual price gains.
Google names next system after Kit Kat bar
Gimme a break, Google.
The tech giant, which is known for nicknaming its Android mobile operating systems for smartphones and tablets after desserts, has for the first time chosen a brand-name candy for its 4.4 version that's expected to launch this fall: Kit Kat.
That's right, the new version shares a name with the chocolate candy bar with the well-known "Gimme a Break" jingle. Kit Kat packaging will show Android's green robot mascot breaking a Kit Kat bar.
Financial terms weren't disclosed for the sweet deal between Google and Hershey Co., which makes Kit Kat.