US stocks move broadly higher … China’s ZTE wants to end ban on buying American tech … Nestle to sell Starbucks products
NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stocks moved broadly higher in early trading today, adding to solid gains at the end of last week. Technology companies accounted for a big slice of the gains. Energy stocks rose as crude oil prices traded above $70 a barrel for the first time since November 2014. At 10:37 a.m. Eastern Time, the S&P 500 index rose 14 points, to 2,677. The Dow gained 182 points, to 24,444. And the Nasdaq added 64 points, to 7,273. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 7 points, to 1,572.
HONG KONG (AP) – Chinese tech company ZTE says it has applied to the U.S. Commerce Department asking that it suspend a seven-year ban on doing business with U.S. technology exporters. The company says it has submitted a request to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security to lift the order. The sales ban came amid worsening trade tensions between the US and China.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Investor Warren Buffett says the economy remains strong and business has been improving lately. Buffett told CNBC today that the reports he gets from Berkshire Hathaway’s many businesses show that the economy is doing well. Buffett says most of Berkshire’s businesses are hiring, and several of them are having trouble finding workers. For instance, carpet installers and certain construction workers are especially hard to find.
SEATTLE (AP) – Nestle has entered into an agreement to bring Starbucks products to millions of homes worldwide. The Swiss-based company says that Starbucks will receive an up-front cash payment of $7.15 billion for a business which generated annual sales of $2 billion. Approximately 500 Starbucks employees will join Nestle, and operations will continue to be located in Seattle. The agreement excludes ready-to-drink products, and all sales of any products within Starbucks coffee shops.
YOAKUM, Texas (AP) – A Texas company has recalled nearly 25 tons of smoked sausage products because of possible contamination with plastic. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the recall by Eddy Packing Co. of Yoakum involves smoked sausage products ranging from 2 1/2 pounds to 30 pounds that were processed April 5 with packing dates of April 5-6. The products have “EST. 4800” in the USDA mark and were shipped to California, Georgia, Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.