Business update: Job openings highest in 16 months

Job openings jumped in April to the highest level in 16 months, a sign that private employers may boost hiring in coming months. The number of jobs advertised at the end of April rose to 3.1 million from 2.8 million in March, the Labor Department said today. That’s the most openings since December 2008. Private employers accounted for the entire net gain.

Stocks stabilize after Bernanke talk, euro climb: Stocks steadied today after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he doesn’t expect the economy to slide back into recession. A rebound in the euro also helped support the market. The Dow Jones industrial average rose about 45 points in midday trading after falling almost 440 over the previous two days. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell after chipmakers slid on downbeat analyst comments.

Crude prices rise as pump prices fall again: Oil prices moved higher today as traders tried to get a handle on whether weak, short-term demand for crude could eventually push prices down. Drivers found gasoline pump prices sliding still lower after a month of declines. Benchmark crude for July delivery rose 66 cents to $72.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

GM recalling 1.5 million vehicles over fire concerns: General Motors Co. said today it was recalling about 1.5 million vehicles worldwide to address a problem with a heated windshield wiper fluid system that could lead to a fire, its second recall over the issue in two years. The recall affects several pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles, crossovers and passenger car models from the 2006 to 2009 model years. GM said it would disable the heated washer fluid system module that could lead to fires.

McDonald’s sales climb, but euro may hit profit: McDonald’s Corp. extended its winning streak in May as customers bought more of the fast-food chain’s cheap eats, the world’s largest burger chain said today. McDonald’s also said it will take a hit to its full-year profit because of the weak euro, which accounts for about 25 percent of its operating income. The burger chain said the effect will be minimal in the second quarter.


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