Investors await today's job numbers
Wall Street closed narrowly mixed Thursday as investors traded cautiously ahead of the Labor Department's reading today on December employment. Inflation jitters remained high as oil prices set a trading record at higher than $100. After a difficult Wednesday, investors took some solace in findings released Thursday by payroll company Automatic Data Processing. The ADP report said the economy added 40,000 private sector jobs last month, higher than the 30,000 forecast by economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires. Stocks drew support from a Commerce Department report that orders to U.S. factories rose in November by the largest amount in four months
Airlines up, down in on-time efforts
The airline industry's on-time performance through the first 11 months of last year was the second-worst on record, but delays in November fell compared with a year earlier and were down from the previous month. The nation's 20 largest carriers reported an on-time arrival rate of 80 percent in November, up from 76.5 percent in the same month a year earlier and up from 78.2 percent in October, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics said Thursday. But in the first 11 months of the year, 24 percent of flights arrived late and 2 percent were canceled. United Airlines was the least punctual, with about 24 percent of its flights delayed at least 15 minutes in November. Hawaiian Airlines had the highest on-time arrival rate at 92.4 percent.
Florida avoids freeze feared by growers
Flurries fell across the Sunshine State on Thursday, but it appeared that growers were spared the deep freeze they feared would devastate the nation's citrus supply. A serious freeze in Florida would have meant more damage to the nation's biggest citrus industry, already struggling from years of disease and hurricanes. Most orange and grapefruit groves are in central and southern Florida, where temperatures were in the high 20s and low 30s. Trees can be ruined when temperatures fall to 28 degrees for four hours.
Contact us about your time share
Salespeople pitching time-share deals swarm around resort communities, all of them offering "vacation bargains" and "great investment opportunities." Bee staff writer J.N. Sbranti is working on a story about what people should know before purchasing a time share. Did you buy one? If so, would you be willing to share your experiences with The Bee? Was it as terrific a deal as you were led to believe, or a financial blunder? What's your advice to others who are considering buying such properties? Share your thoughts by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 578-2196.