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Business news briefs — April 7


Ford recalls 435,000 vehicles

Ford is recalling nearly 435,000 cars and SUVs to fix rusting frame parts or faulty seats.

The biggest of the two recalls covers nearly 386,000 Ford Escapes from the 2001 through 2004 model years. Ford says the subframes can rust, allowing a control arm to separate and hamper steering control. Ford is aware of one crash but no injuries linked to the problem.

The SUVs were originally sold or registered in 20 states and Washington, D.C., where salt is used to clear snow and ice from roads. Six Canadian provinces also are included.

Dealers will install a reinforcement brace to fix the problem.

The second recall covers 49,000 Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, Ford Escape and C-Max vehicles from 2013 and 2014. Dealers will replace seat back frames that weren’t welded properly. No crashes or injuries have been reported from the problem, Ford said.


Lands’ End stock on market

Lands’ End began trading on the stock market Monday. The company was publicly traded before Sears Holdings Corp. purchased it in 2002 for nearly $2 billion.

Sears hasn’t had much success with it and announced in December that it was going to spin off the clothing business as a separate company by distributing stock to its shareholders. Sears received gross proceeds of $500 million from the separation.


U.S. pork prices increasing

The most deadly outbreak of a hog virus in 18 years in Japan is raising pork prices and could boost imports from the biggest buyer, supporting a record rally in Chicago.

The Agriculture Ministry in Tokyo, Japan, said it has discovered 186,825 cases of porcine epidemic diarrhea in 251 farms in 19 prefectures since it confirmed the latest outbreak of the contagious disease in October. As many as 39,285 pigs have died, the highest number of fatalities since 1996.

The United States, Canada, South Korea and Taiwan have also reported outbreaks. More than 5,000 cases have been reported in the U.S., according to the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.

American pork production may drop by the most in three decades this year, Rabobank International estimates. Futures climbed 49 percent last quarter, the biggest rally in 15 years, as the virus threatened U.S. production.


Senators put tax credit in bill

Ohio’s two U.S. senators tucked a measure into a tax bill that would revive a health-care tax credit that helped Delphi salaried retirees whose pensions were cut during the 2008-09 auto bailout. Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman want to extend the Health Coverage Tax Credit, which benefited retirees who lost their health-care coverage when their companies went bankrupt or moved abroad.

Brown said the amendment would help the more than 20,000 Delphi salaried retirees who lost 30 to 70 percent of their pensions in the aftermath of the federal government’s 2009 $50 billion bailout of General Motors.

About 5,000 live in Ohio, Brown said: 2,000 in the Dayton area, 1,500 near Youngstown and 1,500 split between Columbus and Sandusky.


Dow Jones drops 167 points

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 20.05 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,845.04 in Monday trading. It has fallen for three straight days, the longest losing span since late January, and has shed 2.4 percent since its all-time high of 1,890.89 on April 2.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 166.84 points, or 1.02 percent, to 16,245.87. The Nasdaq composite had the biggest decline, falling 47.97 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,079.75.

There were signs of stability in the market. Technology and biotechnology stocks, which were pummeled by investors at the end of last week, were mixed. Facebook edged up 20 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $56.95 on Monday after it dropped 4.6 percent Friday. Netflix, which also slumped last week, gained 69 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $338.

JPMorgan, which has Chase bank operations in Akron, is expected to report earnings of $1.41 per share for the first quarter on Friday, a decline from earnings of $1.59 for the same period a year earlier, according to researcher FactSet’s data.

Compiled from staff and wire reports



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