US wholesale prices fall most in 3 years
WASHINGTON - Sharp drops in fuel and food costs reduced a measure of U.S. wholesale prices in April by the most in three years. Outside of those volatile categories, inflation stayed tame.
The producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, fell a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in April from March, the Labor Department said Wednesday.
Southwest will delay orders for new planes
DALLAS - Southwest Airlines Co. is delaying delivery of new airplanes and filling the gap with used planes to reduce spending over the next five years.
It's also raising its dividend and could soon buy back more of its own shares.
Southwest said Wednesday that it will delay 30 firm orders for Boeing 737 jets, which CEO Gary Kelly said would cut capital spending through 2018 by more than $500 million. The airline is also giving up or delaying options for additional planes.
Factory output fell 0.4 percent in April
WASHINGTON - U.S. manufacturers cut back on production in April, as auto companies cranked out fewer cars, factories made fewer consumer goods and most other industries reduced output. The weakness suggests economic growth may be slowing.
The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that factory output dropped 0.4 percent in April, the third decline in four months. Production of autos and auto parts fell 1.3 percent in April.
Strong outlook boosts homebuilder confidence
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rebounded this month, reflecting improved sales trends during the spring home-selling season and the strongest outlook for sales over the next six months in more than six years.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Wednesday rose to 44 in May from 41 in April. The increase for May was the first month-to-month gain since December.
The Associated Press