Dow and S&P close at all-time highs

U.S. stocks rose Wednesday, with benchmark indexes closing at all-time highs.

Phone companies led gains, while technology stocks rose as Hewlett-Packard advanced to the highest level since May 2011 even after missing analyst earnings estimates.

Energy producers decreased as Seadrill suspended dividends amid the lowest oil prices in more than four years.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.3 percent to 2,072.83. The Dow Jones industrial average added 12.81 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,827.75. Both gauges ended at records. The Nasdaq 100 index climbed 0.7 percent to extend a more than 14-year high.

U.S. regulators leaning on Japanese air bag maker

A dispute between U.S. safety regulators and air bag maker Takata Corp. escalated Wednesday when the government threatened fines and legal action if the company fails to admit that driver’s air bag inflators are defective and to agree to a nationwide recall.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Japanese company until Tuesday to file paperwork declaring a defect and expand the recall from high-humidity states to the full nation. The letter is the first step in a legal process to compel a nationwide recall.

EU hopes to stimulate boom with seed money

The European Union’s executive has proposed a plan to boost investment in the bloc’s flagging economy by 315 billion euros, or about $380 billion, by attracting reluctant private investors with guarantees and seed money.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the long-awaited plan will use 21 billion euros in money from EU institutions to entice spending on projects in education, transport, the digital economy and the environment.

Juncker estimated that every euro invested in the three-year scheme could attract private and public investment of about 15 euros.

– From news service reports