Business Briefs – March 10, 2016

A Wheezing Bull Market Tries to Keep Running

NEW YORK (AP) – It’s been seven years since one of the stock market’s best-ever runs began, but the anniversary is passing without a party yet again.

This bull market is the third-longest in history, and investors in mutual funds that track the broad U.S. market have more than tripled their money since a 6 percent jump seven years ago Thursday marked the start of the run.

Investors still don’t believe in it. This bull market has been mistrusted and unloved from the start, even though it has managed to stagger higher amid a government shutdown, a debt crisis in Europe and a growth slowdown in China.

 

A Wheezing Bull Market Tries to Keep Running

NEW YORK (AP) – It’s been seven years since one of the stock market’s best-ever runs began, but the anniversary is passing without a party yet again.

This bull market is the third-longest in history, and investors in mutual funds that track the broad U.S. market have more than tripled their money since a 6 percent jump seven years ago Thursday marked the start of the run.

Investors still don’t believe in it. This bull market has been mistrusted and unloved from the start, even though it has managed to stagger higher amid a government shutdown, a debt crisis in Europe and a growth slowdown in China.

Ford Makes Police Car Doors That Stop Armor-Piercing Bullets

DETROIT (AP) – It’s a first for police cars: Doors that can protect against armor-piercing bullets.

Ford will soon be offering the doors, which will be the first in the U.S. to meet the Justice Department’s highest standard for body armor, the equivalent of a bulky SWAT team vest.

Ford has offered factory-installed ballistic panels on its police car doors since 2008. But previous versions protected against handgun fire and non-armor piercing bullets. But the company was getting frequent requests for better protection, particularly from police in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, so engineers developed upgraded panels.

Applications for U.S. Unemployment Aid Fall to 5-Month Low

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid fell last week to the lowest level since October, evidence that employers are confident enough in the economy to hold onto their staffs.

Weekly unemployment benefit applications fell 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 259,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped 2,500 to 267,500, the lowest reading since the week of Oct. 31. And the number of people actually receiving benefits also declined, falling 4,500 to 2.25 million.

Higher Stock Prices, Home Values Lift U.S. Household Wealth

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans’ household wealth jumped in the final three months of last year, pushed higher by rising stock prices and greater home values. That leaves many households, particularly wealthy ones, with more money to spend — a potential boost to economic growth.

The Federal Reserve said Thursday that U.S. household net worth increased 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter to $86.8 trillion. Americans’ stock and mutual fund portfolios grew $758 billion. Home values rose $458 billion.

The overall increase in wealth masks large disparities between richer and less well-off households. And the Fed’s figures aren’t adjusted for population growth or inflation.