Feb 22 - Summary of business headlines: Dow ends higher for the week powered by Hewlett-Packard results, but S&P 500 ends winning streak; Darden, Abercrombie & Fitch guide lower; Transportation Secretary warns of sequester turbulence for airlines. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The Dow sheds its loss for the week, rebounding from the biggest two-day slump since November, but the S&P 500 has its first down week of the year. For the day: The Dow gained 119 points, the S&P 500 - 13 and the Nasdaq - 30. For the week: Blue Chips squeezed out a 0.1 percent rise, but the Nasdaq shed nearly a full percent. Hewlett-Packard was a big winner one-day after beating forecasts and guiding estimates higher. JP Morgan Securities summed up the Street's view this way: the worst is over but there's still more work to be done. Shares of the computer and printer company surging 12 percent to a six-month high. Red Lobster parent Darden Restaurants - cutting its forecast for the fiscal year and the quarter. The casual dining conglomerate is blaming a severe winter, higher payroll taxes, and rising gasoline costs for a drop in demand for its restaurants, which also include Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse. Abercrombie & Fitch is also warning of weaker results, but the youth apparel retailer is blaming tough times on overseas customers. And speaking of tough times, or fear of such, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, laying out the damage to the airline industry if forced spending cuts, called sequestration in Washington speak, go into effect as planned in early March. SOUNDBITE: U.S. TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY RAY LAHOOD (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Travelers should expect delays. Flights to major cities like New York, San Francisco and others, will experience delays of up to 90 minutes at peak hours because we will have fewer controllers on staff. Look this is very painful for us. Because it involves our employees but it is going to be very painful for the flying public." On to international events - Business sentiment in Germany surged at its fastest pace in over two years; that optimism from Europe's biggest economy sending regional stock markets higher.