The Dow closes at a record high, and the S&P within two points of its record close. Learn more about this and other top news stories of the day.
S&P 500 Closes 2 Points Below its All-Time High
The S&P 500 Index rose 1 percent on Tuesday and closed two points away from its record closing high of 1.565.15, CNN Money reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent to end at a record closing high of 14,559.65, and the Nasdaq was up 0.5 percent. Trading volume was light due to Passover and the upcoming Easter holiday.
Stocks rose on better-than-expected durable goods orders and strong gains for home prices in February. Concerns over the Cyprus debt crisis subsided.
Fed: China Economy Faces Headwinds
The U.S. Federal Reserve yesterday reported that growth in China could slow to anywhere from 6.5 percent to less than 1 percent by 2030, according to Reuters. Growth in China has averaged 10 percent a year for the past 10 years and helped buoy the world economy when the United State and Europe experienced weak and slowing growth. A slowdown in China could put a drag on jobs, productivity and profits around the world.
Headwinds to the China economy include an aging population and a leveling off of worker productivity, Reuters said.
T-Mobile offers iPhone with no Contract
Wireless carrier T-Mobile USA yesterday announced it would start selling the Apple iPhone5 on April for $100 down and $20 a month for 24 months, The New York Times reports. Other smartphones will be available for similar payment plans.
Customers will not be bound to a T-Mobile contract, but will be required to pay off the balance owed on their phone if they end service in less than two years. The carrier – fourth largest by market share – is also replacing contracts with new monthly plans that offer customers unlimited minutes, text messages and 500 megabytes of data for $50. An extra $20 a month provides unlimited data.
The new plans offer consumers hundreds of dollars in savings and service over two years, the Times said.
South Africa Getting Thick with BRICS
As leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) convened Tuesday for a two-day summit in the South African coastal resort of Durban, South Africa signed several agreements with Russia and China. The economic bloc accounts for 27 percent of global purchasing power and 45 percent of the world’s workforce. The BRICS nations are driving half of global economic growth, according to the World Bank. Among the agreements signed by South Africa and Russia include one creating the first accredited African facility to maintain and service Russian helicopters, The Associated Press reports. Brazil and China also signed an agreement Tuesday to do up to $30 billion of trade in their local currencies, a step toward cutting dependence on the U.S. dollar and euro
Wal-Mart to Test In-Store Lockers
Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, announced Tuesday that it is testing an initiative to set up lockers in about a dozen stores for the convenience of online shoppers who would be able to pick up their items without having to wait in a checkout line. The test will be conducted during the summer in an undisclosed market. With the new lockers, online shoppers will get a password they can use when they pick up the items at in-store lockers.
Scottish Government to Donald Trump: Go Blow
Despite a threatened lawsuit by Donald Trump, the Scottish government Tuesday approved development of a $349 million offshore wind farm that has drawn the ire of the real estate mogul and reality show host, The Associated Press reports. The development planned for off the coast near Aberdeen would consist of 11 wind turbines. Trump has raised concerns the turbines would spoil the view of his nearby luxury golf resort, which opened last summer. "We will spend whatever monies are necessary to see to it that these huge and unsightly industrial wind turbines are never constructed," he said in a statement. Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing said the project will boost the local economy, test new technologies and be capable of providing energy to meet the electricity needs of 49,000 homes, the AP reports. Trump contends he was given assurances that a wind farm would not be approved close to his development, and that the turbines would ruin tourism. Residents have, in turn, criticized Trump for his resort’s impact on the area’s coastal sand dunes and wildlife.