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March 8, 2013 at 5:10 PM
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Dow redefines the high ground

NEW YORK, March 8 (UPI) -- The Dow Jones index flew higher Friday after the Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 236,000 jobs and the jobless rate fell to 7.7 percent in February.

After establishing all-time record closing highs Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average bolted out of the gate Friday. Although gains settled down by midday, the Dow remained ahead on the day, establishing a fourth all-time closing record in the same week.

By close of trading, the DJIA added 67.58 points, or 0.47 percent, to 14,379.07.

The Standard and Poor's 500 index added 6.92 points, or 0.45 percent, to 1,551.18. The Nasdaq composite gained 12.28 points, or 0.38 percent, to 3,244.37.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 2,031 stocks advanced and 1,003 declined on a volume of 3.6 billion shares traded.

The 10-year U.S. treasury note fell 16/32 to yield 2.059 percent.

Against the dollar, the euro fell to $1.2999 from Thursday's $1.3107. Against the yen, the dollar was higher at 96.02 yen from 94.83 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 rose 2.64 percent on a gain of 315.54 points, to 12,283.62.

In London, the FTSE 100 index added 0.69 percent, 44.42 points, to 6,483.58.

Senator asks why bankers aren't jailed

WASHINGTON, March 8 (UPI) -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., asked during a Senate hearing why more money-laundering bankers do not spend time in jail.

"If you're caught with an ounce of cocaine, chances are good you're going to jail. If it happens repeatedly, you may go to jail for the rest of your life," Warren said at a Senate Banking Committee hearing. "But evidently, if you launder nearly $1 billion for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed."

The comment was made in reference to HSBC, which paid $1.92 billion in fines for money laundering on behalf of drug cartels and terrorists organizations, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

The bank admitted it had shuffled money around for illegal organizations but nobody went to jail.

The bank "did it over and over and over again across a period of years. And they were caught doing it, warned not to do it and kept right on doing it and evidently making a profit doing it," Warren said.

"How many billions of dollars do you have to launder for drug lords and how many economic sanctions do you have to violate before someone will consider shutting down a financial institution like this?" she asked.

Her comments came a few days after Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said bank regulators "are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy."

Global growth in manufacturing slows down

NEW YORK, March 8 (UPI) -- A United Nations report said Friday global manufacturing growth slowed to 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, due in part to the recession in Europe.

Manufacturing growth in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011, was the lowest annual growth rate in the past three years, said the report by the U.N .Industrial Development Organization.

In developed countries, manufacturing fell by 1.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011. In developing countries, manufacturing expanded by 7.6 percent, the report said.

By the fourth quarter of 2012, the decline in manufacturing in Europe had spread from a few countries to across the continent, a U.N. statement said.

In France, manufacturing declined 3.9 percent, in Germany 2.9 percent and in Italy 6.9 percent, the report said. In Britain, manufacturing declined 1.8 percent.

Fiat reaches deal with unions

TURIN, Italy, March 8 (UPI) -- Management and union officials at Fiat, Italy's auto and truck producer, said they agreed on a contract that affects more than 80,000 workers.

The deal includes a $52 per month gross wage increase for 2013 and a productivity bonus that will jump from $134 to $156 per month, ANSA reported Friday.

The agreement includes automakers and Fiat Industrial workers, who make trucks and tractors.

ANSA said "moderate" unions agreed to the deal but the negotiations did not include FIOM, the metalworkers' division of CGIL, the country's largest trade union.

FIOM and Fiat are involved in a prolonged dispute over the company's attempt to create more flexible work practices that the union says violate its rights, ANSA said.

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