Dow closes at record high on Fed expectations
NEW YORK The Dow Jones industrial average closed at a record high as investors expect the Federal Reserve to keep up its economic stimulus program. The Dow rose 111 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 15,680 Tuesday, four points above the all-time high it set on Sept. 18. Investors expect the Fed will decide to keep up its bond-buying program at its policy meeting that began Tuesday. The Fed will announce its decision Wednesday afternoon. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed at a record high for the seventh time this month. The S&P 500 gained almost 10 points, 0.6 percent, to 1,772. The Nasdaq composite rose 12 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,952. The Nasdaq remains far below the record high of 5,048 it set in March 2000.
Sears may spin off Lands End, auto centers
NEW YORK It’s like watching an old friend slowly fall apart. Sears, once the place where families could go for an afternoon of one-stop shopping for everything from clothing to appliances to car parts, has struggled amid declining sales and stiff competition. Now, Sears, which runs 2,500 Kmart and Sears stores, is considering separating its Lands’ End catalog business and Sears Auto Center businesses from the rest of the company. The retailer also plans to continue closing some of its unprofitable stores and is selling some store leases in Canada. The announcements came Tuesday as Sears warned that it expects a loss of $582 million in the third quarter on another drop in sales. The company said for the 12 weeks that ended Saturday its sales at stores open at least a year fell 3.7 percent.
Thomson Reuters cutting 3,000 jobs
NEW YORK Thomson Reuters is cutting about 3,000 jobs as part of its plan to speed up its cost cuts. Spokesman David Girardin says the cuts are mainly in the company’s financial and risk division and represent about 5 percent of the company’s total workforce. The jobs are in addition to job cuts of about 2,500 announced earlier this year. The news and financial information company also says its third-quarter net income dropped 39 percent, but it managed to beat Wall Street predictions. Thomson Reuters also announced plans to buy back up to $1 billion of its stock by the end of 2014.
Drop in auto sales, attributed to calendar quirk, lowers U.S. retail spending in September
WASHINGTON A sharp drop in auto sales caused largely by a calendar quirk lowered U.S. retail spending in September. But Americans spent more on most other goods, showing some confidence in the economy before much of the government shut down. Overall retail sales dipped 0.1 percent, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That was the weakest showing since March. Auto sales fell 2.2 percent, the largest decline since October 2012. But the drop occurred largely because the sales calendar pulled Labor Day weekend activity into August, automakers have said. That means the drop was likely temporary. Excluding autos, gas and building supplies, sales rose 0.5 percent in September, up from 0.2 percent in August. Economists exclude those categories because they tend to be volatile.
The Associated Press contributed.