WASHINGTON – U.S. manufacturing grew in November at the fastest pace in 2 1/2 years as factories ramped up production, stepped up hiring and received orders at a healthy clip.
The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity rose to 57.3. That was up from 56.4 in October and was the highest since April 2011. A reading above 50 signals growth.
One component of the index, a measure of hiring, rose to its highest level in nearly 18 months. And a gauge of export orders reached its highest level in nearly two years. Overseas demand is benefiting from modest recoveries in Europe, Japan and China.
The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers.
Missouri session aimed at Boeing
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers have convened a special session aimed at persuading the Boeing Co. to produce the 777X plane in the state.
The session started Monday with the introduction of a bill in the House and in the Senate. Gov. Jay Nixon called it to approve an incentives package of up to $150 million annually using four existing Missouri programs that help finance job training, infrastructure improvements and reward companies for expanding their payrolls.
Any incentives approved by Missouri likely will face competition from other states.
Apple buys Topsy for undisclosed price
SAN FRANCISCO – Apple has bought Topsy Labs in a deal that will provide the iPhone maker with more insights about the chatter on Twitter. The acquisition price wasn’t disclosed.
Topsy pores through the stream of conversations occurring on Twitter to identify trends and people influencing public opinion.
Getting a better grasp on the hottest topics on Twitter could help Apple sell more advertising on iPhones and iPads.
Hilton claims IPO would raise billions
NEW YORK – Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. said Monday that it could raise as much as $2.37 billion, making it one of the year’s biggest IPOs.
The hotel operator said in a regulatory filing that the offering of 112.8 million shares is expected to price between $18 and $21 each. Hilton is offering about 64.1 million shares, and selling shareholders are offering 48.7 million shares.
Saab releases first car since bankruptcy
STOCKHOLM – Two and a half years after Saab shut down production due to financial trouble, the Swedish car rolled a new sedan off its assembly lines in Trollhattan, in south-west Sweden, on Monday.
National Electric Vehicle Sweden, the Hong Kong-based company that bought the brand out of bankruptcy in September last year, presented its new 9-3 Aero Sedan as the first in a series of new cars it will produce.
The company, also called NEVS, said the first 200 cars will be delivered in the spring and will cost $42,500 each. Next year, it will also launch a 9-3 wagon, followed by convertible and electric models.