Mar 27, 2007 at 11:57 AM
Stocks fall on disappointing housing data
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NEW YORK - Stocks stumbled Tuesday as investors grew wary when new data raised the possibility that the nation's weak housing market would seep into the broader economy and crimp consumer spending. A housing index released Tuesday by Standard & Poor's showed that prices of single-family U.S. homes fell in January compared to a year ago, in their worst showing since January 2004. Also, Lennar Corp., one of the nation's largest homebuilders, said its first-quarter profit plummeted 73 percent and warned that it probably won't meet its 2007 earnings guidance. Wall Street has been nervous lately that a drop in housing values will further weaken subprime mortgage lenders, who make loans to people with poor credit, and make consumers feel less wealthy and rein in spending. Consumer spending makes up about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. The Dow fell 71.78, or 0.58 percent, to 12,397.29. Tuesday's selloff put the blue-chip index back into negative territory for the year. Broader stock indicators also fell, but remain higher for 2007. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 8.89, or 0.62 percent, to 1,428.61, and the Nasdaq composite index declined 18.20, or 0.74 percent, to 2,437.43. Bonds were little changed Tuesday. Investors were weighing the decline in home prices against the specter of inflation, sparked by speeches by Fed officials Sandra Pianalto and Michael Moskow, who both touched on monetary-policy issues. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was at 4.61 percent, the same as late Monday.
Bill Gatton Honda wins President's Award
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BRISTOL, Tenn. - American Honda Motor Co. has awarded Bill Gatton Honda the 2006 Honda President's Award, marking the sixth time the dealership has won it. The award is for the top Honda dealerships nationwide in customer service and satisfaction, facility operation, training and sales. In Tennessee, three other Honda dealers have won the award, but none within 200 miles of Bill Gatton Honda at 2130 Volunteer Parkway. Of more than 1,000 Honda dealerships nationwide, 170 earned the award for 2006. For more information on Bill Gatton Honda call 652-4362 or go to www.billgattonhonda.com.
DPI donates defibrillator to Piney Flats VFD
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PINEY FLATS - Diversified Power International of Piney Flats recently contributed $1,200 to the Piney Flats Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of an automatic external defibrillator (AED). "With a defibrillator, the fire department will have the best emergency equipment possible for assisting victims of cardiac arrest," DPI President Jerry Fagan said. "We felt the contribution would greatly benefit the Piney Flats community." Assistant Fire Chief Chris Berry said having the equipment will make for a faster response to heart attack victims by up to five minutes, which could save one or two lives a year. Emergency medical services for Piney Flats is provided by Sullivan County EMS, which is stationed in Bluff City. "Due to our closer location, our department can reach patients about four to five minutes sooner than the Sullivan County EMS," Berry said, noting that even a few minutes can make a difference in cases of cardiac arrest. Since DPI's contribution, most of the 20 members of the department have received American Red Cross training in AED use. Seven members of the department were already trained as emergency medical technicians. DPI, a manufacturer of battery chargers, was founded in 1997. The company offers a standard inventory of high-volume, cost-targeted, off-the-shelf products, as well as custom designs for lead acid batteries, nickel metal hydride, nickel cadmium and lithium-ion batteries. DPI offers custom electronics, custom software, enclosures, manufacturing and testing.