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Business and Money Friday Morning Preview #Hounews

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Behind the scenes in the News92 FM Newsroom/Photo credit: Brent Clanton

Behind the scenes in the News92 FM Newsroom/Photo credit: Brent Clanton

Wall Street avoids a six-day skid amid the looming government shutdown, with Stocks finishing higher on the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500. Economist Cary Leahy says it was bound to happen. “Some sense you can’t keep a good market down, and after a bit of a problem the last few days the market ended up for the day,” he says.
The government said jobless claims fell close to their lowest level in six years and J.C. Penney and Bed Bath & Beyond delivered encouraging news.
The Dow rose one-third percent to 15,328.
The S&P also added a third to 1,699.
The Nasdaq gained nearly .7% to 3,787.
Gold rose $1 to $1,325/ounce.
Oil dropped 48-cents to $102.55/barrel.

The key to raising the federal debt ceiling could be the Keystone Pipeline, with some Republicans now saying they’ll approve the higher spending if President Obama approves the final segment of the pipeline, which will carry heavy Canadian crude oil from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

KBR is the winner in the International Chamber of Commerce’s arbitration with Pemex Exploration and Production, a subsidiary of the Mexican national oil company. The company will be paid $465-million for past due fees owed from a 1997 contract with PEP.

Auto parts price-fixing cartels have been upping the price of the cars you buy. Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are among nine Japanese companies agreeing to plead guilty and pay more than $740-million in criminal fines for colluding over more than 30 products sold to automakers and installed in cars sold in the US and elsewhere. “Seat belts, radiators, windshield wipers, air conditioning systems, power window motors, power steering parts, and a number of other products were affected by these conspiracies,” says US Attorney General, Eric Holder.

Toyota is recalling 615,000 Sienna minivans in the U.S. because they can inadvertently shift out of park and roll away. The recall involves Siennas from the 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 models years.

The debut of Sugar Land’s Applied Optoelectronics on the Nasdaq stock index is less than enthusiastic. Stocks closed down .4% at $9.96/share–just under its $10 IPO price. The company lost over $66-million last year.

Nike says its first-quarter net income rose 38%, boosted by strong demand for its namesake brand and revenue growth in every region except China.

Industry officials say an advisory committee is urging the Federal Aviation Administration to relax its restrictions on airline passenger use of smartphones and other personal electronic devices during takeoffs and landings. Officials said the committee agreed on the recommendations during a meeting Thursday. The officials asked not to be identified because the FAA has urged committee members not to discuss the recommendations. (These are probably the same guys who leave their cell phones ON after the cabin crew has advised passengers to turn them OFF! -Ed.)

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