How the major US stock indexes fared Thursday

Major U.S. indexes managed small gains Thursday, though not enough to prevent a losing week for the S&P 500 following three weeks of gains.Industrial stocks led the way higher on strong company earnings. Financial and energy stocks fell. Pinterest and Zoom Video Communications soared in on their first day of trading.U.S. markets will be closed Friday for Good Friday.On Thursday:The S&P 500 gained 4.58 points, or 0.2%, to 2,905.03.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 110 points, or 0.4%, to 26,559.54.The Nasdaq composite inched 1.98 points higher, or less than 0.1%, to 7,998.06.The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks dropped 1.85 points, or 0.1%, to 1,565.75.For the week:The S&P 500 fell 2.38 points, or 0.1%.The Dow gained 147.24 points, or 0.6%.The Nasdaq added 13.90 points, or 0.2%.The Russell 2000 dropped 19.05 points, or 1.2%.For the year:The S&P 500 is up 398.18 points, or 15.9%.The Dow is up 3,232.08 points, or 13.9%.The Nasdaq is up 1,362.78 points, or 20.5%.The Russell 2000 is up 217.19 points, or 16.1%.The Associated Press read more

Pacific nations engage in UNbacked tsunami preparedness exercise

According to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which is coordinating the two-week long warning exercise through its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), around 75 per cent of the world’s tsunamis occur in the Pacific Ocean and connected seas.UNESCO says the region has been struck by four tsunamis in the past five years: Samoa, American Samoa, and Tonga were hit in 2009; Chile in 2010; Japan in 2011; and the Solomon Islands in 2013. In addition, an average of one or two local tsunamis has struck worldwide every year over the past century.The test, which runs from 1 May to 14 May, comes on the heels of a similar tsunami warning exercise conducted in the Caribbean in March and will aim to validate new tsunami forecasting products slated for adoption next year. In a news release confirming the test, called Exercise Pacific Wave 2013, UNESCO noted that the enhancements would help the 39 countries involved improve their response capability in the event of a tsunami and were “to reduce significantly the number of areas warned unnecessarily and to help provide advanced notice of potential local tsunamis.”Exercise Pacific Wave 2013, also known as PacWave13, will simulate a tsunami warning situation requiring Government decision-making regarding three scenarios for possible earthquakes occurring either off the northern coasts of Japan, the Philippines or Chile, which will generate destructive tsunamis, said UNESCO.Each Pacific country participating in the exercise will select one of these three scenarios with the evaluation of the outcome expected for 31 May. read more