Investors wade back into stocks; indexes rise

Wall Street finished moderately higher in fitful trading Thursday as investors, still nervous about the economy, decided to buy back into a stock market pummeled by three straight days of losses.

With the market having largely priced in the possibility of a recession, many believe there are plenty of valuable stocks at cheap prices.

The Dow rose 46.90, or 0.38 percent, to 12,247.00 after trading down about 80 points and up about 130. The index remains more than 13 percent below its record close on Oct. 9, 2007, of 14,164.53.

Broader stock indicators also recovered some ground. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 10.46, or 0.79 percent, to 1,336.91. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 14.28, or 0.63 percent, to 2,293.03.


Writedowns lead to loss for D.R. Horton

D.R. Horton, the nation’s largest homebuilder, said Thursday it swung to a loss in the last three months of 2007, hurt by hefty charges to write down inventory and declining land values.

Amid a housing slump, cancellation rates remained high and pushed down sales orders 52 percent from a year ago. In the nation’s biggest market, California, Horton’s sales orders fell 72 percent.

Horton’s losses in the quarter that ended Dec. 31 totaled $128.8 million, or 41 cents per share, compared with profit of $109.7 million, or 35 cents, a year earlier. The most recent quarter, the first in Horton’s new fiscal year, included $245.5 million in pretax charges to write down inventory and the value of land deposits.

Revenue fell 3.9 percent to $1.71 billion from $2.8 billion. The builder closed on 6,549 homes, down 35.9 percent from 10,202 a year earlier.


PepsiCo earnings slide 31 percent in quarter

PepsiCo, the world’s second-largest soft-drink maker, said Thursday its fourth-quarter profit fell 31 percent from a year earlier, when results were boosted by a tax benefit. Without the benefit, earnings rose 8 percent.

The $602 million tax benefit, which added $128 million, or 36 cents per share, to the 2006 bottom line, was the result of a settlement with the Internal Revenue Service over a review of 1998-2002 returns.

Net income fell to $1.26 billion, or 77 cents per share, in the last three months of 2007 from $1.83 billion, or $1.09 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 17 percent to $12.35 billion.


Consumer borrowing slows in December

Consumers increased their borrowing in December at the slowest pace in eight months, additional evidence that economic activity was slowing significantly at the end of last year. For all of 2007, consumer credit rose at the fastest clip in three years.

The Federal Reserve reported Thursday that consumer borrowing rose at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in December, down from an 8.2 percent jump in November.

Economists had forecast that total credit would rise by $8 billion; instead it increased by $4.5 billion to $2.52 trillion.


Plan to cut airport congestion postponed

The government has delayed by at least a month a plan to reduce congestion at the nation’s airports following stiff resistance from airlines.

A new federal policy allowing airports to charge higher landing fees during peak periods, and for other reasons, aims to reduce delays by encouraging airlines to spread their flights more evenly throughout the day. The policy, which also encourages congested airports to include in landing fees the cost of expansion projects, had been scheduled to take effect in March, following a 45-day comment period.

But airline trade groups, which oppose the plan, requested a 30-day extension of the comment period. Their request has been granted, a Transportation Department spokesman said Thursday.


If you’re sad and you know it, hide your cash

If you’re sad and shopping, watch your wallet: A new study shows people’s spending judgment goes out the window when they’re down, especially if they’re a bit self-absorbed.

Study participants who watched a sadness-inducing video clip offered to pay nearly four times as much money to buy a water bottle than a group that watched an emotionally neutral clip.

The study found a willingness to spend freely by sad people occurs mainly when their sadness triggers greater “self-focus.” That response was measured by counting how frequently study participants used references to “I,” “me,” “my” and “myself” in writing an essay about how a sad situation such as the one portrayed in the video would affect them.


Solicitations go out for Tropicana suitors

Single, rich casino seeks compassionate billionaire for fun, games, long-term commitment.

The language will be somewhat more formal, but that’s the bottom line of solicitations about to go out to more than two dozen suitors for the Tropicana.

The gambling hall is under the supervision of a state-appointed trustee and must be sold because the state Casino Control Commission stripped its former owners of their casino license.

Kentucky-based Columbia Sussex Corp. cut more than 900 jobs, leading to problems with cleanliness and service, and was run out of town after less than a year of ownership.

Former state Supreme Court Justice Gary Stein, who is managing the search for a new owner, said offering packets will be mailed Feb. 18 to more than two dozen parties who have expressed interest in the Tropicana.


Facebook unveils version in Spanish

Facebook unveiled a Spanish-language version of its popular online social network Thursday, hoping to expand its audience and catch up to rival

It marks the first time Facebook has been available in a language besides English since founder Mark Zuckerberg started the Web site at Harvard University four years ago.

Facebook plans to add French and German versions before April, said Matt Cohler, the company’s vice president of strategy and operations.

Redbox to put kiosks in Wal-Mart stores

Redbox Automated Retail, the DVD kiosk company co-owned by McDonald’s Corp., signed an agreement with Wal-Mart Stores to install kiosks at most of the retailer’s U.S. sites.

Wal-Mart will expand the number of automated DVD rental kiosks to most of its more than 3,500 locations, Redbox said in a statement today. Almost 800 Wal-Mart stores offer the service now, the DVD company said.


After bond auction, Treasurys sold off

Treasurys sold off sharply on Thursday after an afternoon auction of $9 billion in 30-year bonds attracted disappointing demand.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell 1.09 to 98.13 with a yield of 3.73 percent, up from 3.60 percent late Wednesday, according to BGCantor Market Data.

The 30-year bond closed down 2.56 to 107.22 with a yield of 4.49 percent, up from 4.36 percent late Wednesday.

Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
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