CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – As suitors across the country line up hoping to land a new Boeing Co. commercial aircraft manufacturing plant and its thousands of high-paying jobs, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Wednesday stressed the company’s Show-Me State roots and vowed to compete aggressively against the other bidders.
Missouri is among several states vying to produce the Boeing 777X commercial airplane. Alabama, California, South Carolina, Texas and Utah also are pursuing the project. The Chicago-based aircraft manufacturing giant initially wanted to build the jet in Washington, where the company was founded, but union machinists refused to accept concessions in a proposed contract. Boeing immediately began talks with other locations, and company executives met privately with Nixon last week.
Financial stress at lowest level in years
BERLIN – The European Central Bank says the overall stress level in the euro area’s financial system has fallen to its lowest level since the early days of the global financial crisis six years ago.
ECB vice president Vitor Constancio said as he presented the bank’s twice-yearly Financial Stability Review on Wednesday that a composite indicator of systemic stress across major financial-asset classes “is now at the levels of 2007.” He said there has been a consistent improvement since July last year.
U.S. economy notes
• The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits fell 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 316,000 last week, further evidence of an improving job market.
• Oil prices fell to their lowest level in nearly six months Wednesday after the government reported the 10th straight weekly increase in U.S. crude supplies.
Benchmark U.S. crude for January delivery fell $1.38, or 1.5 percent, to close at $92.30 a barrel Wednesday.
• Average U.S. mortgage rates rose modestly this week, a move that makes home-buying a bit less affordable. Still, rates remain near historically low levels.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Wednesday that the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.29 percent from 4.22 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed ticked up to 3.3 percent from 3.27 percent.
• The Conference Board said Wednesday that its index of leading indicators rose 0.2 percent in October to a reading of 97.5. It was the sixth gain in seven months and followed large gains in the previous two months. The index is designed to signal economic conditions over the next three to six months.