LOCAL BUSINESS

New substation online

A new $2.1 million Ohio Edison substation in Medina County has gone online.

The substation on Wadsworth Road in Montville Township will improve service reliability and meet the growing demand for electricity in the area, the utility said. The southern part of Medina County is one of Ohio Edison’s high-growth areas.

The new substation is part of Ohio Edison’s $275 million in investment in 2013 to further strengthen the electrical system and enhance reliability in its northern and central Ohio service areas this year.

Major projects include completing three new substations, enhancing circuits and substations, inspecting and replacing utility poles and conducting ongoing tree trimming, the utility said.

WALL STREET

Dow rises 16 points

Positive news on the U.S. economy outweighed worries about Syria Thursday, sending the stock market higher for a second straight day. The Dow Jones industrial average added 16.44 points, or 0.1 percent, to 14,840.95, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 3.2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,638.17. The Nasdaq composite posted a bigger gain, rising 27 points, or 0.8 percent, to 3,620.30.

The Dow has gained 64 points over the past two days, not nearly enough to make up for its 170-point loss Tuesday.

Verizon Communications was the biggest gainer among the blue chips after Britain’s Vodafone confirmed it was in talks with Verizon to sell its 45 percent stake in their joint venture, Verizon Wireless.

LEGAL

Blackstone pays in suit

Blackstone has agreed to pay $85 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a group of investors that accused it of misrepresenting some investments ahead of its 2007 initial public offering. The settlement closes a five-year legal battle with investors who contended that the firm misrepresented the value of three investments in its prospectus. Blackstone denied any wrongdoing or liability. In June 2007, at the peak of the private equity boom, Blackstone raised $4.1 billion in a share offering on the New York Stock Exchange with much fanfare. But the shares quickly fell in value amid wider market volatility.

Frito label challenged

PepsiCo Inc.’s Frito-Lay unit must face a consumer lawsuit alleging it deceptively labeled products as “all natural,” a federal judge ruled. Frito-Lay lost its bid to throw out the case over labeling on various snacks. U.S. District Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf in New York narrowed the number of claims in the suit and dismissed allegations specifically filed against corporate parent PepsiCo.

“Plaintiffs all purchased certain Tostitos, SunChips and Bean Dip products,” Mauskopf wrote in her ruling. “They were injured as a result of those purchases because they paid higher prices than they would have otherwise paid, or not paid at all, for a product that they contend is not, in fact, all natural.”

Plaintiffs allege that the Frito-Lay North America Inc. products labeled as “all-natural” contained unnatural, genetically-modified organisms.

PepsiCo and Frito-Lay requested that the judge dismiss or delay the litigation to allow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine whether bioengineered ingredients could be labeled as “natural.”

REAL ESTATE

Rates drop slightly

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan fell to 4.51 percent. That’s down from 4.58 percent last week, the highest since July 2011.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage dipped to 3.54 percent from 3.60 percent, also the highest since July 2011.

Compiled from staff and wire reports