Nation roundup for March 1


Dow edges near record, sputters

NEW YORK (AP) — It came oh so close.

The Dow Jones industrial average came within 15 points of its all-time high Thursday afternoon. But the momentum petered out, and the Dow and other indexes broke a two-day winning streak and closed lower.

Economic data and company reports reflected an economy beating investors’ low expectations, rather than one growing like gangbusters. Impending government budget cuts also cast a pall for some investors.

“There was no dramatic, great news,” said Leon LaBrecque, CEO of LJPR in Troy, Mich. “There’s no remarkable economic information. Earnings are pretty much mixed.”

The day started with the stock market plodding along before sending investors on a whipsaw day. After gaining a combined 291 points on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Dow spent Thursday morning darting between small gains and losses.

It took a decisive turn upward in the early afternoon. Around 2:30 p.m. EST, it hit 14,149 — just 15 points from the Oct. 9, 2007 record of 14,164.53.

Then the rally sputtered and stocks turned lower in the final few minutes of trading.

The Dow ended down 20.88 points, or 0.2 percent, to 14,054.49.

SpaceX is set for space station trip

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The International Space Station is about to get another commercial shipment.

The California company known as SpaceX is set to launch its unmanned Falcon rocket on Friday morning, hoisting a Dragon capsule containing more than a ton of food, tools, computer hardware and science experiments.

There won’t be any ice cream, though, for the six-man station crew. The freezers going up are filled with mouse stem cells, protein crystals and other research items. On the previous Dragon delivery in October, chocolate-vanilla swirl was tucked inside.

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said snacks straight from the orchard of an employee’s father are on board — and not just apples.

“It’s a little bit healthier, I think, than the one that NASA sent last time,” she told reporters on the eve of the flight.

Forecasters put the odds of good weather at 80 percent. Launch time is 10:10 a.m.

This will be the third space station visit for SpaceX, or more formally Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the creation of Elon Musk of PayPal and Tesla electric carmaker fame.

Gen. Schwarzkopf is buried in N.Y.

WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, the no-nonsense Desert Storm commander famously nicknamed “Stormin’ Norman,” graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, soaking up its values: “Duty, Honor, Country.”

He married here. He taught here. And on Thursday he was buried here.

His family and friends joined Kuwaiti officials, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Vice President Dick Cheney, gray clad cadets and a detail of New Jersey state troopers for a memorial service in the academy’s gothic chapel Thursday afternoon. His remains were buried afterward at the cemetery on the grounds of the storied military institution.

GI pleads guilty in Wikileaks case

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — A U.S. Army judge has accepted an offer by a private to plead guilty to violating military regulations in the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history.

Pfc. Bradley Manning admits to sending hundreds of thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports, State Department diplomatic cables and other files to WikiLeaks while working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad.

An Army judge accepted the pleas to 10 charges at a hearing Thursday. Manning could face a maximum of 20 years on those charges alone.

Prosecutors say they plan to move forward with an additional 12 charges against him, including aiding the enemy. That charge could carry a life sentence.

 

Rules for posting comments