Nation roundup for April 10


Stabbing spree at Texas college

CYPRESS, Texas (AP) — A student went on a building-to-building stabbing attack at a Texas community college Tuesday, wounding at least 14 people before being subdued and arrested, authorities said.

The attack about 11:20 a.m. on the Lone Star Community College System’s campus in Cypress sent at least 12 people to area hospitals, including four taken by helicopter, according to Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department spokesman Robert Rasa. He said several people refused treatment at the scene.

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said officers responded to the campus after receiving a call about a male “on the loose” stabbing people. He said it was not immediately clear what type of weapon was used.

“Some of the details in the call slip did indicate that students or faculty were actively responding to work to subdue this individual,” Garcia said, describing the man as being about 21 years old and enrolled at the college. “So we’re proud of those folks, but we’re glad no one else is injured any more severely than they are.”

Student Michael Chalfan said he was walking to class when he saw a group of police officers running after the suspect. He said one of the officers used a stun gun to help subdue the man.

Tentative deal on farm workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A tentative deal has been reached to resolve a dispute between agriculture workers and growers that was standing in the way of a sweeping immigration overhaul bill, a key senator said Tuesday. The agreement could smooth the way for release of the landmark legislation within a week or so.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who’s taken the lead on negotiating a resolution to the agriculture issue, didn’t provide details, and said growers had yet to sign off on the agreement. The farm workers union has been at odds with the agriculture industry over worker wages and how many visas should be offered in a new program to bring agriculture workers to the U.S.

But Feinstein said she’s hoping for resolution in the next day or two.

“There’s a tentative agreement on a number of things, and we’re waiting to see if it can get wrapped up,” Feinstein said in a brief interview at the Capitol.

Maryland OKs medical pot bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland General Assembly on Monday approved a measure allowing medical marijuana programs at research centers that choose to participate.

The state Senate approved the measure, 42-4. Ten of the Senate’s 12 Republicans joined 32 Democrats, while two Democrats and two Republicans voted against it.

The action sends the bill to Gov. Martin O’Malley, who indicated he is likely to sign the bill.

“I’d like to read it first, but I probably would,” O’Malley told reporters.

Dow Jones closes at a record high

NEW YORK (AP) — Materials and energy companies led the stock market higher Tuesday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to its second all-time high in a week.

The Dow closed at 14,673.46, a gain of 59.98 points, or 0.4 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index also rose 0.4 percent, closing less than two points below its own all-time high set April 2.

The prices of metals like copper, gold and silver have rebounded this week after slumping for the first three months of the year on waning demand. Oil is also rising following a sharp decline last week.

“You’re seeing some pretty decent action in the overall market, with today’s leadership coming from the basic materials sector,” said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Banyan Partners.

“It’s an area of the market that does represent some value because it’s underperformed.”

The rise in basic materials such as precious metals was caused by a weakening of the dollar against other currencies, HSBC analyst Howard Wen said. Commodities are typically priced in dollars and a decline in the currency allows overseas buyers to purchase materials at lower prices.

Materials companies were the biggest gainers of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500, rising 1.1 percent. Energy companies posted the second best return, increasing 0.8 percent. Those two groups have been among the weakest in the market this year.

On Tuesday the S&P 500 rose 5.54 points to 1,568.61. The index closed at a record high of 1,570.25 on April 2. The Nasdaq composite gained 15.61 points, or 0.5 percent, to 3,237.86.

The gains suggested that the Dow and S&P 500 may be poised to break out of a trading pattern they’ve followed for the last three weeks.

Stocks have mostly moved sideways since the middle of March. The Dow has alternated between small gains and losses after starting the year on a tear. Signs of slowing growth and concerns about the outlook for Europe had checked investors’ confidence.

As companies report results this week, investors will be looking to see whether they are feeling any impact from government spending cuts that kicked in recently, said Jim Russell, investment director at U.S. Bank. They will also want to know what effect there will might from the ongoing debt crisis in Europe.

“The market is looking for companies to fill in those blanks,” said Russell.

Alcoa, traditionally the first company in the Dow to report results, was flat at $8.39 after the company posted its earnings late Monday. Online auto retailer CarMax, home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond and the banks Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase report later this week.

On Tuesday, Cliff’s Natural Resources, an iron ore mining company, rose $1.66, or 8.8 percent, to $20.45. The company’s stock is still down 47 percent this year. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, another mining company, was up $1.34, or 4.1 percent, at $33.76.

First Solar soared after the solar panel maker issued a better-than-expected forecast for its 2013 results and solid predictions for the following two years, helped by continued growth in shipments. The stock price rose $12.31, or 46 percent, to $39.35.

Small company stocks lagged the market. The Russell 2000 index two points, or 0.2 percent, to 929.34. The index has slumped this month after rising 12 percent in the first quarter and performing better than both the Dow and S&P 500.

While stocks are struggling to extend their gains from the start of the year, bonds have rallied.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was unchanged at 1.75 percent Tuesday. However, the benchmark rate has fallen from a high of 2.06 percent reached March 11 as demand for low-risk assets increases.

 

Rules for posting comments