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Thursday, December 16, 2021 6:06 PM

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NEW YORK, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. markets turned higher after a shaky start Thursday as the Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell slightly in the week ending Dec. 11.

First-time claims for unemployment benefits dropped by 3,000 in the week, the department said. Although positive news, concerns over debt issues in Europe remain a focal point for investors. European Union leaders began a summit meeting Thursday evening in Belgium to discuss a long-range bailout plan to help weaker European economies.

By close of trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 41.78 points, 0.36 percent, to 11,499.25. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 7.64 points, 0.62 percent, to 1,242.87. The Nasdaq composite index of tech-dominated stock added 20.09, or 0.77 percent, to 2,637.31.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 2,053 stocks advanced and 971 declined on a volume of 4 billion shares traded.

The benchmark 10-year treasury note rose 27/32 to yield 3.434 percent.

The euro rose to $1.3244 from Wednesday's $1.3221. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 83.97 yen from Wednesday's 84.27 yen.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index was flat, rising 0.01 percent or 1.51 to 10,311.29.

In Britain, the FTSE 100 index lost 0.02 percent, 1.06 to 5,881.12.

Southwest upgrades Boeing (NYSE:BA) order

DALLAS, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) said Thursday it had changed its order with U.S. aerospace (OTCBB:USAE) giant Boeing, substituting 20 of its 737-700s with 737-800s.

Southwest's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said the order change "represents many exciting opportunities for our employees and our customers."

The 737-800s, Kelly said in a statement, "sets the stage to bring more destinations into the realm of possibilities for Southwest to operate more economical aircraft, and to offer better scheduling flexibility in high-demand, slot-controlled or gate-restricted markets."

The 737-800 model planes will come with full extended-range twin-engine operational performance standards, a quiet cabin and improved security features, the airline said.

Indiana buys 15 THINK City cars

ELKHART, Ind., Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Indiana purchased 15 electrically-powered, zero-emission THINK City passenger vehicles Thursday that will be tested in state parks.

The vehicles designed in Scandinavia, were assembled at a THINK manufacturing plant in Elkhart, Ind., and are designed to fit into fleet vehicle sales, THINK Chief Executive Officer Barry Engle said.

"Our delivery today is part of a larger effort to help transform the U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet from one that is mostly dependent on imported oil to one that is fueled entirely by domestically produced electric energy," he said.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said, "We're proud to be the first customer."

"We believe that the coming era of electric cars, like the THINK City, will find its home here in Indiana," he said.

The 15 THINK City vehicles will be used by Indiana's Department of Natural Resources. Indiana Department of Administration director Rob Wynkoop said the new cars represented, "an opportunity to test alternative energy vehicles in real-life situations."

The cars with lithium-ion batteries have a driving range of 100 miles.

Former Wachovia reps charged with fraud

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday charged two investment managers with defrauding customers of more than $8 million, court papers show.

The lawsuit filed in a district court in Charlotte, N.C., says former Wachovia Securities representatives William Harrison and Eddie Sawyer, who are related by marriage, told clients their investments were a "sure thing," and to expect returns of 35 percent, the Charlotte Observer reported.

The lawsuit says the investment managers started Harrison/Sawyers Financial Services in December 2007 and used that platform to entice Wachovia clients to the new venture.

Harrison and Sawyer then asked clients to sign blank forms that they filled out, giving them permission to perform trades online and give Harrison's wife, Deana, power of attorney over their client's funds.

They are also charged with setting up accounts so clients would not receive financial statements.

When stock markets soured in 2008, 42 clients lost more than $8 million, the lawsuit says.

(Source: UPI )
(Source: Quotemedia)
 

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