A dentristry watchdog says dental emergencies climb on the day after St. Patrick's Day; American Airlines reports savings from oil prices. Here are the top news stories of the day for March 17, 2015.
Oil Price Drop Helps Airline
American Airlines Group CEO Doug Parker said Tuesday the steep fall in oil prices helped his company more than most of its competitors because it was not locked into higher fuel prices. Parker told CNB that American Airlines has been “very successful since 2008 actually not entering into derivatives, not doing any hedging. The fuel price this year versus last year at today's prices and today's forward curves [is] about $4.5 billion lower than what we paid last year." Parker said the savings in fuel costs will not translate to lower air fares because the drop in crude is supply-driven and demand for air travel remains strong. American Airlines Group is the holding company for American Airlines and US Airways.
Israel Elects a Prime Minister
Israel held elections Tuesday to elect a Prime Minister, and current PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party is considered to be in a significant battle with the center-left political alliance of the Zionist Union coalition, headed by Isaac Herzog. Netanyahu has been in office since 2009, and this is his second general election. The alliance against Netanyahu was formed in December by the Israeli Labor party and the liberal party Hatnuah, formed by former Justice Minister Tzip Livni. Polls suggest the anticipated result of the election was too close to predict heading into balloting.
Craft Beer Milestone
The Brewers Association Monday said that craft brewers in the United States reached 11 percent volume share in 20124, the first time the craft brewers have reached a double-digit share of the marketplace. The 11 percent is up from 7.8 percent market share in the previous year. According to the data released Monday, craft brewers produced 22.2 million barrels last year, representing an 18 percent increase in volume. They also saw a 22 percent rise in retail dollar value in 2014, coming in at an estimated $19.6 billion and accounting for 19.3 percent of the market.
Homebuilder Sentiment Falls Again
According to the National Association of Home Builders, U.S. homebuilder sentiment declined for a third straight month in March but still showed more builders view market conditions as favorable. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index fell to 53 from 55 the month before, the group said in a statement. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the index would edge up to 56. Although the index number fell, readings above 50 mean more builders view market conditions as favorable as poor. The index has not been below 50 since June of 2014.
St. Patrick’s Day Dentistry
According to Sikka Software, a company that provides data to over 10,000 dental practices in the United States, emergency dental visits skyrocket by 64 percent on the day after St. Patrick’s Day, suggesting the day of celebration is a brutal one. The information is based on the average of dental visits on March 18 versus a full one-month average. According to Sikka, every state in the Union saw an increase on March 18 last year. In Delaware, Mississippi, Maryland and Nebraska, the increase was over 150 percent. Utah, Texas, Montana and the District of Columbia saw over 100 percent increase in emergency dental visits on the day after St. Patrick’s Day.
Young NFL Star Retires Due To Concussion Fears
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland Monday said he was retiring from the game at the age of 24 due to concerns about the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma. Talking on ESPN’s Outside the Lines program, Borland said he informed the 49ers on Friday of his decision, and he made it after consulting with family members, friends, concussion researchers and current and former teammates. "I just honestly want to do what's best for my health," Borland said. "From what I've researched and what I've experienced, I don't think it's worth the risk." Borland follows teammate Patrick Willis into early retirement, after Willis announced his plans earlier this month. Borland led the NFL in tackles in the second half of the 2014 season, and becomes the most prominent young player to retire due to concussion concerns.