Tunica casinos generated
$1.05 billion in 2008
n JACKSON – The Tunica/Lula market in the Mississippi Delta was the nation’s sixth largest casino market in 2008, generating $1.05 billion, according to an American Gaming Association report released Monday.
The Biloxi market came in eighth with $951.3 million, according to AGA’s 2009 State of the States survey of 75 markets in the 12 states with land-based or riverboat casinos. The Las Vegas Strip ranked first with $6.1 billion.
The report did not include the casino in Neshoba County run by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
Mississippi’s 29 casinos had 28,740 employees in 2008, the nation’s third highest number of workers.
Overall in 2008, casinos nationwide earned $32.5 billion in revenue and employed 357,314 workers.
Stocks jump on renewed optimism on housing
n NEW YORK – Reassuring news about housing and banking on Monday convinced investors to return to the stock market.
The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 235 points to 8,504.08, making up three-quarters of last week’s losses. All the major indexes rose about 3 percent.
The Samp&P 500 index rose 26.83, or 3 percent, to 909.71, putting it back into positive territory for the year. The Nasdaq composite index rose 52.22, or 3.1 percent, to 1,732.36.
Crude rose $2.69 to $59.03 a barrel as investors made bets that demand would be strong throughout the summer driving season, which kicks off this weekend with the Memorial Day holiday.
Dealer group, Chrysler
in franchise closing talks
n NEW YORK – A group representing Chrysler dealers said Monday it is in talks with the automaker in hopes of getting it to scale back plans to terminate the franchise agreements of about a quarter of its dealers.
Michael Bernstein, an attorney for the Chrysler National Dealer Council, said that while it’s unlikely that Chrysler LLC will change its mind about eliminating dealer franchises, he’s optimistic that the company will at least agree to end fewer than the 789 originally listed in its court motion.
In addition, he said the group wants to ensure that the dealers whose franchise agreements ultimately are terminated get the help they need from Chrysler for a smooth transition.
American Express to cut
4,000 jobs internationally
n NEW YORK – American Express said Monday it is eliminating about 4,000 jobs as part of a plan to slash another $800 million in costs for the remainder of the year.
The layoffs represent about 6 percent of the credit card issuer’s current global work force.
Many of the affected workers were notified in recent days and the remainder will be notified in coming weeks, company spokeswoman Joanna Lambert said.
Lambert could not specify how many U.S. workers would be laid off, but said the cuts will be across the board.
Homebuilders more optimistic in report
n LOS ANGELES – Homebuilders are growing more optimistic about the state of housing and say they see signs that the end of the housing market’s three-year downward spiral may be near.
The increasingly upbeat mood was reflected in an index of builders’ confidence released Monday, which rose for the second month in a row in May.
A separate report by the industry’s trade group showed housing affordability improved in the first three months of this year amid falling home prices and low interest rates.
The Associated Press