LOCAL BUSINESS

$170,000 tax break awarded

A $170,000 state tax break was approved for the Certech Inc. facility in Twinsburg. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved the credit at its meeting Monday.

Certech — based in New Jersey and a maker of ceramics used by the aerospace and power-generation businesses — expects to create 80 full-time positions at its Twinsburg facility with an expansion project that will get a boost from the tax credit. The credit will be spread over six years.

Energy jobs available

A Texas company is hiring people in the Canton area for its Utica shale-related business.

McClinton Energy Group is holding a three-day job fair and seeks to initially hire 20 to 25 people for various positions. The East Odessa, Texas, company provides wellhead equipment and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, equipment.

The job fair runs 2 to 7 p.m. today and Wednesday at the LaQuinta Inn, 5335 Broadmoor Circle NW, Plain Township.

Most of the initial hires are for field and shop technicians, said Travis Emfinger of SWECO Wellhead, a McClinton Energy Group company. Some jobs are entry level. The company intends to hire 75 to 100 people three to six months from now.

People are asked to bring a resume. They can also fill out job applications at the fair.

Candidates ideally will be mechanically inclined with a background in such areas as construction or machine shops, Emfinger said.

For additional information, email ?temfinger@swecowellhead.com or call 304-641-6399.

AGRICULTURE

Forecast on corn prices

Corn futures that held steady last week after the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast record domestic production might signal price gains, according to economist Dennis Gartman, a Cuyahoga Falls and University of Akron graduate.

The USDA forecast corn output at 14.27 billion bushels and planting might total 94 million acres, the highest since 1944.

Farm income last year totaled $98.1 billion, the USDA said. Income is expected to fall to $91.7 billion this year, it said on Feb. 13. Farmers have built “enormous” amounts of storage for crops and with the second-highest income on record last year can afford to hold supplies and wait for prices to rise, said Gartman, who wrote that he’s “quietly turning bullish.”

“Simply put, it would be possible for America’s farmers to store nearly all of this year’s corn crop on farm … ” he said. “The pressure to sell grain is falling and their ability to sit tight and await higher prices is rising.”

EARNINGS

Lowe’s net income rises 13%

Lowe’s reported net income of $322 million, or 26 cents per share, for the period ended Feb. 3. That’s up 13 percent from $285 million, or 21 cents per share, a year earlier.

The results included 3 cents per share for store closings and other items. Removing those items, earnings were 29 cents per share. Revenue rose to $11.63 billion from $10.48 billion, topping Wall Street’s estimate of $11.35 billion.

Cooper Tire’s profit climbs

A one-time tax event helped push Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.’s fourth-quarter earnings to $209 million, much higher than the year prior. The Findlay-based tire maker said it earned $3.33 per share in the fourth quarter of 2011. Of that, $167 million, or $2.66 per share, was attributable to a tax move. For the same period in 2010, Cooper earned $40 million, or 64 cents per share. Cooper reported net sales of $3.9 billion in 2011, with North American sales up 18 percent and international sales up 22 percent.

ECONOMY

Survey predicts job growth

Payrolls will rise 170,000 a month on average in 2012, up from a November projection of 127,000, according to the results of a survey by the National Association for Business Economics. Unemployment will average 8.3 percent, down from 8.9 percent in the prior forecast. Economists maintained forecasts for consumer spending, which could rise 2.1 percent, and predicted economic growth of 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, unchanged from the November survey. The cost of living index was predicted to rise 2.1 percent, less than the 2.2 projected in November.

S&P up, Dow down

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index advanced 1.85 points Monday to close at 1,367.59, while the Nasdaq composite index increased 2.41 points to close at 2,966.16. The Dow Jones industrial average declined 1.44 points to close at 12,981.51 after a sell-off in the final moments of trading. The index rose as high as 13,027.52 during the day.

Compiled from staff and wire reports