NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed moderately higher on Wall Street. The S&P was helped to a new high today by large technology companies that benefitted from lower bond yields. Bank stocks and energy companies fell, which muted the market’s overall gains. The S&P 500 index gained 0.4% to 4,097.17. The Dow rose 0.2% to 33,503.57 and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 1% to 13,829.31. Stocks have benefited this week from a cooling off in the bond market. The easing yields have taken some pressure off of technology stocks. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 19.54 points, or 0.9% to 2,242.60.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says the U.S. economy is headed toward a strong recovery, though he cautioned not all will immediately benefit. He cited quickening vaccinations and signs of rapid hiring in a speech Thursday during the virtual spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Still, Powell says that many of those out of work will struggle to find new jobs. He says some industries will likely be smaller than they were before the pandemic, and in other cases employers are seeking to use technology instead of workers where possible.
NEW YORK (AP) — New York lawmakers have created a $2.1 billion fund to aid workers who lost jobs or income during the coronavirus pandemic but were excluded from other government relief programs because of their immigration status. The program is the largest of its kind in the U.S. It passed this week as part of the state budget. The fund will give payments of up to $15,600 to workers living in the country illegally who weren’t eligible for federal stimulus checks, unemployment aid or other benefits.
NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon is recalling 2.5 million mobile hotspots after some reports of overheating and two reports of minor burns. The 4G hotspots were used by schools and sold by stores. They are called Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspots and were imported by Franklin Wireless in San Diego. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says the lithium ion battery in the hotspots can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards. Out of the 2.5 million units, there have been 15 reports of devices overheating, including two reports of minor burns.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee has become the latest state to soon allow most adults 21 and older to carry handguns without first clearing a background check and training. Gov. Bill Lee initially proposed the National Rifle Association-backed legislation last year before the COVID-19 pandemic caused lawmakers to narrow their focus. The Republican governor renewed that effort when lawmakers returned for this year’s legislative session. Nearly 20 other states currently don’t require permits for concealed carry. However, law enforcement groups have largely opposed the move and consider the state’s existing permit system an important safeguard for knowing who should or shouldn’t be carrying a gun.