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Dow passes 21,000, dollar jumps as rate hike looms

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 2017, 1:25 P.M.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 300 points to top 21,000 for the first time, the dollar advanced and Treasuries fell as investors grew increasingly confident global economic growth is accelerating, clearing the path for higher interest rates in America.

Washington produces record wine grapes crop in 2016

UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 2017, 2:25 P.M.

In this 2014 photo, Yolanda Gil harvests Merlot wine grapes at the Dineen Vineyards in Zillah, Washington. The state produced a record harvest of wine grapes in 2016. (Gordon King / Associated Press)
The state of Washington produced a record harvest of wine grapes in 2016. The Washington Wine Commission reported Wednesday that the 2016 harvest was 270,000 tons, up 22 percent from the previous year.

Wells Fargo cuts pay for CEO, other top executives

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 2017, 11:38 A.M.

Wells Fargo’s board of directors slashed the bonuses and other compensation of its CEO and seven other top executives on Wednesday, a little more than a week after the board publicly fired four senior managers amid an investigation into the bank’s sales practices.

Demand for trucks, SUVs helps February sales

UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 2017, 10:45 A.M.

In this  Jan. 12, 2017, photo, Chevrolet cars sit on the lot of a dealer in Pittsburgh. Strong demand for pickups and SUVs helped brighten February 2017 for the U.S. auto industry. Overall sales of new vehicles were expected to fall slightly from last February as automakers cut back on deliveries to rental-car companies and other fleets. (Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)
Lured by Presidents Day deals, U.S. buyers snapped up pickups and SUVs in February, brightening what is usually a lackluster month for the auto industry.

Stocks surge in early trading; Dow crosses 21,000 points

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 2017, 10 A.M.

Banks and other financial companies led U.S. stocks sharply higher in morning trading Wednesday, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average above 21,000 points for the first time. Energy and materials companies were also among the big gainers, while utilities and real estate stocks lagged. The rally came a day after President Donald Trump addressed Congress, reaffirming plans to cut taxes and push for other business-friendly policies.

U.S. factories grew last month at fastest pace since 2014

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 2017, 8:16 A.M.

American factories expanded last month at the fastest pace in more than two years. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its manufacturing index came in at 57.7 last month, up from 56 in January and highest since October 2014. Any reading above 50 signals growth.

U.S. construction spending drops 1 percent in January

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 2017, 7:23 A.M.

Builders cut back on construction spending in January by the largest amount in nine months, with weakness stemming from the biggest reduction in government activity in nearly 15 years.

Consumers spend less than forecast as inflation bites

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 2017, 7:18 A.M.

In this Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, file photo, shoppers are shown in Miami. U (Alan Diaz / Associated Press)
Consumer spending rose less than projected in January as rising prices pinched Americans’ wallets, leading inflation-adjusted purchases to fall by the most since 2009. The 0.2 percent advance in spending followed a 0.5 percent increase in the prior month, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday in Washington.

Outage at Amazon Web Services affecting multiple websites

TUESDAY, FEB. 28, 2017, 12:43 P.M.

If you’re experiencing some problems getting around the Internet today, that may be because of an outage currently affecting Amazon Web Services, the Amazon-owned platform that many websites rely on to keep their pages humming.

A great majority of our nation’s small business owners are old, white men

TUESDAY, FEB. 28, 2017, NOON

Two weeks ago the Kauffman Foundation, a well-regarded non-profit group that specializes in entrepreneurism, released its annual State of Entrepreneurship report – and at least in one respect, the news is encouraging. The report found that, despite still being below the peak that preceded the Great Recession, private enterprise is rebounding and entrepreneurs are driving a resurgence of business activity in America.

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Parting Shot — 3.18.17

President Donald Trump speaks while signing various bills in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Monday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)