RETAIL

Whitmer's Lighting

confirms stores closing

Whitmer’s Lighting is closing, an office manager confirmed Friday. The lighting business, which according to Beacon Journal/Ohio.com records opened in 1988, has struggled amid competition from online retailers such as Amazon and eBay, the office manager said.

The company has a Montrose showroom at 3900 Medina Road in Copley and another in the Cleveland suburb of Westlake. According to its website, the company's two showrooms have a combined 30,000 feet of display space. Whitmer's sells ceiling lights, lamps, wall lights, outdoor lighting, fans, home accents and furniture.

A final day for the stores’ operations and the number of employees affected by the closure were not provided.

ENVIRONMENT

U.S. to explore recycling

of car and phone batteries

The U.S. government will lead an ambitious effort to develop technologies to recycle lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles, cellphones and other sources to ensure a reliable and affordable supply of metals crucial to battery production in anticipation of soaring global demand and potential shortages, Department of Energy officials said Friday.

Calling the effort a national security issue, the agency announced a $15 billion, three-year research and development project housed at the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago. The collaboration between Argonne, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and several universities also is an attempt to catch up with China and other countries that manufacture and recycle the vast majority of lithium-ion batteries, including those shipped back from the U.S., officials said.

WALL STREET

Dow jumps 443 points

as trade talks pick up

Stocks surged Friday on Wall Street after Chinese and U.S. officials agreed to continue trade talks in Washington next week.

The rally drove the Dow Jones Industrial Average up more than 400 points and helped give the benchmark S&P 500 index its third-consecutive weekly gain.

The Dow climbed 443.86 points, or 1.7 percent, to 25,883.25. The S&P 500 index gained 29.87 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,775.60. The Nasdaq composite rose 45.46 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,472.41. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 24.14 points, or 1.6 percent, to 1,569.25.

MANUFACTURING

U.S. industrial output falls

0.6 percent during January

U.S. industrial production fell 0.6 percent in January, stemming in large part from an 8.8 percent plunge in the making of motor vehicles and auto parts.

The Federal Reserve said Friday that that the manufacturing component of the index dropped 0.9 percent last month, reversing a 0.8 percent gain in December. Over the past 12 months, factory production has increased just 2.9 percent. Manufacturing of wood products, computers, electrical equipment, apparel and chemicals also fell in January.