SC business notebook, April 11

April 10, 2013 

Saturday mail delivery to stay

The financially beleaguered Postal Service backpedaled on its plan to end Saturday mail delivery, conceding Wednesday that its gamble to compel congressional approval had failed. With limited options for saving money, the governing board said the agency should reopen negotiations with unions to lower labor costs and consider raising mail prices. Yet the board also said it’s not possible for the Postal Service to meet its goals for reduced spending without altering the delivery schedule. Delaying “responsible changes,” the board said, only makes it more likely that the Postal Service “may become a burden” to taxpayers.

Economic equality still eludes blacks

African-Americans have achieved tremendous gains in education over the past 50 years, but that has yet to translate into major progress toward economic equality, the National Urban League says in its latest State of Black America report. This year’s report, “Redeem the Dream: Jobs Rebuild America,” identifies unemployment as the biggest barrier to that progress. It also marks milestones in black history since 1963, the height of the civil rights movement. According to the report, released Wednesday during the league’s annual legislative conference, 75 percent of black adults had not completed high school 50 years ago, compared with 15 percent of black adults today. At the college level, there are now 3.5 times more blacks aged 18-24 enrolled, and five times as many black adults who hold a college degree. Overall, the standard of living for black Americans improved significantly, due mainly to better access to educational and employment opportunities, the report says. On average, blacks remain twice as likely as whites to be unemployed and earn less than two-thirds the income of whites. For every dollar that whites earn, blacks earn 60 cents, the report said.

Stocks jump thanks to techs

Stocks closed sharply higher on Wall Street, led by gains in technology companies. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 128 points, or 0.9 percent, to 14,802. It was the Dow’s third gain in a row. The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 19 points to 1,587, or 1.2 percent. The Dow and S&P both closed at record highs. The Nasdaq composite posted even bigger gains thanks to the surge in tech stocks. That index was up 59 points, or 1.8 percent, to 3,297.

The Associated Press contributed.

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