new yorkDennis Seid 3/13/09
Wall Street closes up
fourth straight session
n NEW YORK – A stunning about-face in bank shares handed the stock market its best week since November.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 53.92, or 0.8 percent, to 7,223.98. The Standard amp& Poor’s 500 index rose 5.81, or 0.8 percent, to 756.55. The Nasdaq composite index rose 5.40, or 0.4 percent, to 1,431.50.
The turnaround began Tuesday as the head of Citigroup Inc. said the bank had managed to turn a profit in the first two months of the year. Traders who last week pounded Citi shares to below $1 began buying the stock again. Citi surged 73 percent for the week, Bank of America Corp. jumped 83 percent and Wells Fargo amp& Co. rose 62 percent.
Viking Range lays off
87 more workers
n GREENWOOD – Viking Range Corp. has laid off 87 more employees, bringing the total since April to 213.
Wednesday’s layoffs were the fourth round for the maker of upscale kitchen appliances since last April. The company let go 57 workers last month.
The latest round of layoffs shaved about 6 percent of the company’s work force. The company now has about 1,150 workers in Mississippi, mostly in Leflore County.
Officials blame the layoffs on decreasing demand during the slow economy. Viking is Greenwood’s largest employer.
Deadline extended for
consumer credit program
n The Federal Reserve is giving investors two extra days to sign up for a $1 trillion program to jump-start lending to consumers and small businesses.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Friday extended the deadline at the request of would-be participants – such as hedge funds and private-equity firms – to give them more time to complete their paperwork. Investors now must have their loan requests in to the Fed by March 19. The Fed will provide the three-year loans on March 25.
The much-awaited program will start off providing up to $200 billion in financing to investors, which in turn will use the money to buy newly issued securities backed by the loans. The program aims to spur lending for autos, education, credit cards and other loans for consumers as well as for small business.
Buffett’s pay stays
at $175,000 in 2008
n OMAHA – The world’s second-richest man, Warren Buffett, wasn’t even the highest-paid employee at Berkshire Hathaway’s 19-person headquarters again last year.
Buffett, chairman and CEO of the company, received a total of $175,000 in compensation in 2008, the same amount he received a year earlier, according to regulatory filing made Friday.
Buffett’s base salary remained at $100,000, the same level it’s been for more than 25 years.
He picked up an additional $75,000 for director’s fees from some outside companies in which Berkshire has significant investments. That pay did not change from 2007 either.