WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers created a surprisingly robust 379,000 jobs last month. This is a sign that the economy is picking up as the numbers of viruses decline, vaccinations increase, Americans spend more, and states relax business restrictions. The February gain spiked the 166,000 jobs added in January and a loss of 306,000 in December. However, it’s only a fraction of the 10 million jobs lost as a result of the pandemic. The unemployment rate fell to 6.2%, the Ministry of Labor said in its monthly employment report on Friday.
Tech Rebound pulls stocks out of a slump and into weekly profit
A late-day rally in tech companies pulled the stock market out of a slump and helped the S&P 500 make its first weekly profit in three weeks. The index rose 2% on Friday. Investors were encouraged by a government report that US employers accelerated the hiring pace last month. However, they remained concerned about a recent surge in long-term bond market rates, which can slow the economy and hinder borrowing. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note retreated from a noon rise to 1.56%, just slightly higher than the day before.
The US trade deficit rose 1.9% in January on record imports of goods
SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) – U.S. goods imports broke a record in January, increasing the trade deficit by 1.9%, despite the coronavirus pandemic continuing to disrupt global trade. The gap between the goods and services the United States sold and what it bought overseas increased from $ 67 billion in December to $ 68.2 billion, the Department of Commerce reported on Friday. Exports rose 1% to $ 191.9 billion, while imports rose 1.2% to $ 260.2 billion. Goods imports rose $ 3.4 billion in January to a record $ 221.1 billion, led by pharmaceuticals, which rose $ 5 billion, or 39%, to $ 17.4 billion.
The investigation revealed several cracks in part of United Jet’s engine
WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal security officials are updating their investigation into the engine failure on a United Airlines plane that rained portions of the engine casing on the Denver neighborhoods last month. The National Transportation Safety Board said Friday that a microscopic examination confirmed that a broken fan blade showed tell-tale signs of fatigue – tiny cracks caused by wear and tear. The safety agency says the engine has been used on nearly 3,000 flights since its last inspection. Following the February 22nd incident, the Federal Aviation Administration ordered that certain blades on the same engine model be inspected for cracks before their next flight.
Credit card borrowing has dropped to its lowest level in 4 years
WASHINGTON (AP) – American borrowing fell for the first time in five months in January as credit card use fell to its lowest level in four years, which offset gains on auto and student loans. The Federal Reserve reported Friday that consumer credit fell $ 1.3 billion in January, the first setback since a $ 9 billion decline in August. The weakness resulted from a $ 9.9 billion decrease in credit card borrowing. Credit card activity has been reduced to its lowest level since January 2017. Consumer borrowing is closely monitored for clues as to Americans’ willingness to borrow more to finance their spending, accounting for two-thirds of the US economy.
Airline IT provider hacked, frequent flyer data breached
BOSTON (AP) – A company that manages ticket processing and frequent flyer data for major global airlines has disclosed the personal information of an unspecified number of travelers. According to SITA from Geneva, the hackers were in servers for up to a month before the seriousness of the incident was confirmed on February 24th. SITA wouldn’t say how many airlines were affected. According to the company, it serves more than 400 airlines.
The Boeing CEO waived payment but received $ 21 million in compensation
CHICAGO (AP) – Boeing’s CEO has been giving up his salary for most of last year, but he’s still received stock benefits that add the value of his compensation to over $ 21 million. That emerges from a filing that Boeing filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. Boeing had a bad year in 2020. The company lost nearly $ 12 billion as its best-selling aircraft, the 737 Max, lay on the ground for most of the year and the pandemic hurt demand for new aircraft. Calhoun’s 2020 compensation includes rights to $ 7 million to get the Max back online after two accidents that killed 346 people.
Dems draw on civil rights history to drive Amazon union voting
BESSEMER, Ala. (AP) – Some Democratic Congressmen and national union leaders have rallied to build union formation support at a massive Amazon facility outside of Birmingham, Alabama. The postal vote of around 6,000 workers in the distribution facility began in February and ends at the end of March. It is the largest organizational attempt in the history of Amazon, the second largest employer in the country. The company says workers are already getting what they would expect from a union: benefits, career growth, and a starting salary of $ 15 an hour.
The S&P 500 rose 73.47 points, or 2%, to 3,841.94. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 572.16 points, or 1.9%, to 31,496.30. The Nasdaq network rose 196.68 points, or 1.6%, to 12,920.15. The Russell 2000 Smaller Company Stocks Index rose 45.29 points, or 2.1%, to 2,192.21.