NEW YORK - Wall Street gyrated and then steadied itself Wednesday, closing with a respectable advance although the Dow Jones industrials fell as much as 136 points and briefly dropped below the 12,000 mark before recovering. Stocks bounced back and forth a day after concerns about faltering subprime mortgage lenders sparked a broad selloff. H&R Block Inc. had added to Wall Street's uneasiness by announcing after the closing bell Tuesday its fiscal third-quarter losses would rise because of a $29 million writedown at its mortgage arm. The Dow rose 57.44, or 0.48 percent, to 12,133.40. The Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 9.22, or 0.67 percent, to 1,387.17, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 21.17, or 0.90 percent, to 2,371.74. Bonds fell as stocks bandied about; the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 4.52 percent from 4.50 percent late Tuesday. Gold prices fell. Light sweet crude settled up 23 cents at $58.16 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The dollar, which was mixed against other major currencies, rose against the yen. Some observers have fingered the ascendent yen with contributing to the volatility seen in recent weeks on Wall Street. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by about 3 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume came to 3.72 billion shares from 3.49 billion on Wednesday. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 6.56, or 0.85 percent, to 775.68.
Vulcan on Fortune's â€˜Most Admired' list
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KINGSPORT - Vulcan Materials Co., Midsouth Division, has announced that the company is rated the most admired construction materials company on Fortune magazine's newly published 2007 list of "America's Most Admired Companies." Vulcan, which operates plants in Kingsport, Bristol, Rogersville, Greeneville, Speers Ferry and Norton, Va., also is ranked among the top 10 companies in the Fortune 1000 for long-term investment and social responsibility. In the social responsibility category, Vulcan is listed alongside United Parcel Service, McDonald's, Starbucks and Walt Disney. Under long-term investment, Vulcan places among Exxon Mobil, Procter & Gamble, FedEx, Berkshire Hathaway and Walt Disney. This year marks the sixth time that Vulcan has been named to the Most Admired list, which is chosen by a survey of more than 3,000 executives, directors and securities analysts. Of the eight categories measured to determine reputation, Vulcan ranks No. 1 across the board in its industry sector, "Building Materials, Glass" - innovation, quality of products and services, social responsibility, financial soundness, long-term investment, people management, use of corporate assets, and quality of management. "Being recognized as the most admired in the industry, and as one of the most socially responsible companies in the country, is a tremendous honor and a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees," said Stan Bass, president of the Midsouth Division. "We work hard to be a trusted and responsible neighbor in the communities we serve by providing critical infrastructure materials needed by the U.S. economy." The Midsouth Division operates more than 40 facilities throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and Indiana. Recently, the division received the Tennessee Road Builders Association "Supplier of the Year Award" and two Showplace Plant Beautification Awards from the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association. The Most Admired list will be featured in Fortune magazine's March 19 issue and at www.fortune.com.
Shine, Mason address Tennessee judges
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BURNS, Tenn. - Donald F. Mason Jr. and D. Bruce Shine recently addressed the Tennessee Judicial Conference at Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns. The two partners in the Kingsport law firm of Shine & Mason spoke on the Tennessee Handicap Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act to the twice-yearly mandatory conference for all trial and appellate judges in Tennessee. Their topic, "Handicap Discrimination: The Least Understood Discrimination Prohibition," provided the judiciary with an analysis of the THA and ADA along with an outline for adjudicating these cases, which rarely are tried in state courts. Mason, who has authored or co-authored a number of law review articles on labor and employment law, is secretary of the Kingsport Bar Association. Shine, who was named to Tennessee Business Magazine's 2007 list of the "150 Best Lawyers in Tennessee," has previously spoken to the Judicial Conference on labor and employment law in the Volunteer State and has been a member of the Tennessee Supreme Court's Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission since its creation in 1996.