Stock market climbs on words from Yellen
NEW YORK - Soothing words from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen helped pull the stock market out of a morning slump Wednesday. But Internet companies and Whole Foods Market plunged, taking the Nasdaq down.
Whole Foods plunged 19 percent after cutting its profit forecast.
Yellen told the Joint Economic Committee of Congress that a tough job market and weak inflation meant that the Fed will likely keep borrowing rates low for a "considerable time." As a result, she said, the economy still needed the Fed's help.
Yellen's comments appeared to ease concerns that the Fed was going to remove more support.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 10.49 points to close at 1,878.21. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 117.52 points to 16,518.54. The Nasdaq fell 13.09 points to 4,067.67.
Whole Foods cut its profit outlook late Tuesday, saying it's facing increased competition as supermarkets, big-box stores and even online retailers step up their offerings of organic foods. It's the third time the grocery chain has reduced its profit forecast in the last six months.
Duke Energy posts loss in 1Q of $97 million
NEW YORK - Duke Energy lost $97 million in the first quarter after reducing the value of a fleet of coal-fired power plants in the Midwest that it is trying to sell.
Duke announced in February that it would try to unload the power plants in the Midwest that sell power into wholesale markets, instead of directly to customers. Wholesale prices have been extremely volatile, but generally low in recent years, due to extremely low natural gas prices.
The company's regulated utility operations, however, performed better than expected due to stronger demand as the economy recovers. It's also able to charge higher rates.
Duke Energy Corp., based in Charlotte, is the nation's largest electric utility by market value and number of customers. It serves 7.2 million customers in the Carolinas, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.
Nintendo sinks to loss on lagging Wii U sales
TOKYO - Nintendo Co. sank to a loss for the fiscal year ended in March as sales of its Wii U game machine continued to lag, but the Japanese manufacturer of Pokemon and Super Mario games promised Wednesday to return to profit this year.
Nintendo reported a $229 million loss. Annual sales fell 10 percent to $5.6 billion.
The company remained upbeat and said it expects to sell 3.6 million Wii U machines for the fiscal year through March 2015, helped by the planned release of popular games for the machine, such as "Mario Kart 8" and "Super Smash Bros."
Sales projections have been lowered repeatedly as people increasingly switch to smartphones and other devices to play games.
Huge containership docks at New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS - Mediterranean Shipping Co.'s MSC Judith became the longest containership ever to dock at the Port of New Orleans when it arrived over the weekend.
Port officials say the 1,066-foot-long, Panamanian-flagged ship docked Saturday at the port's Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. They say it's the longest containership to berth at the port by about 60 feet.
Disney 2Q earnings helped by 'Frozen'
LOS ANGELES - Disney on Tuesday posted second-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street forecasts, helped by the home video sales of blockbuster movies "Frozen" and "Thor: The Dark World."
Consumer borrowing rose $17.5B in March
WASHINGTON - Consumers increased their borrowing in March by the largest amount in more than a year, using their credit cards and taking out more auto and student loans.
Consumer borrowing increased $17.5 billion in March, up from a gain of $13 billion in February, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday.
Gains in borrowing are seen as an encouraging sign that people are more confident and willing to take on debt.