February 10

Briefcase

From news service reports

USM job fair to feature more than 50 firms

More than 50 employers will be represented at the University of Southern Maine’s annual job fair this week.

The event at the Portland campus’ Sullivan Gym will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

It’s free and open to the public, including USM students and alumni.

Among the employers expected at the fair are Mercy Hospital, TD Bank and AAA Northern New England. 

Stock indexes rise slightly on strength of late trading

The Dow Jones Industrial average turned slightly higher in late trading and closed up 7.71 points, at 15,801.79. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 2.82 points, to 1,799.84 and the Nasdaq composite rose 22.31 points, to 4,148.17.

Benchmark U.S. crude for March gained 18 cents to close at $100.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Wholesale gasoline fell 2 cents to $2.72 a gallon. Heating oil shed 5 cents to $2.99 a gallon. Natural gas lost 20 cents to $4.58 per 1,000 cubic feet and has dropped 17.6 percent since closing at a four-year high of $5.56 on Jan. 29.

Google surpasses Exxon, but still far behind Apple

Google has passed Exxon to become the second most valuable U.S. company by market capitalization.

According to FactSet data, the Internet company’s market capitalization surpassed that of oil company Exxon Mobil Corp. last week. As of Friday’s market close, it sat at $395.42 billion compared with the oil company’s $392.66 billion.

Shares of Google Inc. have been on a steady climb since the beginning of 2013, gaining 66 percent.

Market capitalization is the number of outstanding shares multiplied by their value.

Meanwhile, Exxon’s have risen just 5 percent. Since the beginning of this year, they’ve lost about 10 percent of their value.

Both companies trail Apple Inc.’s market capitalization of $463.55 billion.

Artificial preservatives getting the boot at Kraft

Kraft is removing artificial preservatives from its most popular individually wrapped cheese slices, in the latest sign that companies are tweaking recipes as food labels come under greater scrutiny.

The change affects the company’s Kraft Singles in the full-fat American and White American varieties, which Kraft says account for the majority of the brand’s sales. Sorbic acid is being replaced by natamycin, which Kraft says is a “natural mold inhibitor.”

Kraft’s decision comes as a growing number of Americans pay closer attention to what they eat and try to stick to foods they feel are natural.

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