Business Highlights

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 15, 2014 at 4:58 pm •  Published: April 15, 2014
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Teething troubles for Chinese tourists in Thailand

CHIANG MAI, Thailand (AP) — The bucolic, once laid-back campus of one of Thailand's top universities is under a security clampdown. Not against a terrorist threat, but against Chinese tourists.

Thousands have clambered aboard student buses at Chiang Mai University, made a mess in cafeterias and sneaked into classes to attend lectures. Someone even pitched a tent by a picturesque lake. The reason: "Lost in Thailand," a 2012 slapstick comedy partly shot on campus that is China's highest-grossing homegrown movie ever.

Now visitors are restricted to entering through a single gate manned by Mandarin-speaking volunteers who direct Chinese tourists to a line of vehicles for guided tours. Individual visitors are banned, and a sign in prominent Chinese characters requesting that passports be produced is posted by the gate.

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US stock markets rebounds after choppy day

NEW YORK (AP) — A stock market swoon turned into a comeback Tuesday.

Stocks managed a late-afternoon rebound for the second time in two days as investors seemed to brush off a report of lower confidence among homebuilders and simmering tensions in the Ukraine.

The late rally even gave a lift to tech stocks like Google and Intel, which had weighed on the market much of the day.

The day started off well when Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola reported encouraging first-quarter earnings.

But the strong beginning fell apart by late morning, when investors got a look at the latest measure of U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market at 10 a.m. Eastern time. Builders saw overall sales conditions as poor, even though they expected improvement over the spring and summer.

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US consumer prices up a slight 0.2 pct. in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lower U.S. gasoline prices kept consumer inflation in check last month, helping to offset higher costs for food and clothing.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent in March, after scant 0.1 percent increases in the previous two months. Prices have risen just 1.5 percent year over year. That remains well below the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target for inflation.

Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices increased 0.2 percent in March and 1.7 percent in the past year.

Prices at the gas pump tumbled 1.7 percent in March, lowering costs for the overall energy category.

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US homebuilder confidence edges up in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market rose modestly in April but remained at low levels for the third straight month, constrained by tight credit for home buyers and a shortage of workers and available land.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index, which measures confidence in the single-family home market, edged up to 47 in April from 46 in March, the homebuilders group reported Tuesday.

Readings below 50 mean builders view sales conditions as poor. The index had been above 50 from June through January.

Builders recently have complained that they can't find enough workers or lots to build on.

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By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones Industrial average gained 89.32 points, or 0.6 percent, to 16,262.56. Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 12.37 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 1,842.98. The Nasdaq added 11.47 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,034.16.

Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery slid 30 cents to close at $103.75 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark used for international varieties of oil, dropped 33 cents to $108.74 on the ICE Futures exchange in London after hitting a six-week high. Wholesale gasoline was flat at $3.04 a gallon. Natural gas rose 1 cent to $4.57 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil lost 1 cent to $2.98 a gallon.

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