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story.lead_photo.caption In this Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, photo, Joana Dudley, of Lauderhill, Fla., looks at her list of job prospects at a JobNewsUSA job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla. On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, payroll processor ADP reports how many jobs private employers added in February. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Survey logs 235,000 new February jobs

WASHINGTON -- U.S. companies added a healthy 235,000 jobs last month, led by solid gains in construction, hotels and restaurants, and education and health care, according to a private survey.

The report Wednesday on February hiring from payroll provider ADP comes after businesses added 244,000 people in January and 249,000 in December. Those gains should be enough to reduce the unemployment rate, currently a low 4.1 percent, over time.

With unemployment already so low, strong hiring could force employers to offer much higher pay to find the workers they need.

ADP compiles hiring data from millions of companies that are clients of its payroll services. Its report and government figures frequently diverge from month to month. Last month, the government said 200,000 jobs were added, below ADP's initial estimate of 234,000. That figure has since been revised higher.

A FactSet survey shows that economists believe the U.S. jobs report for February, to be released Friday, will likely show a gain of 200,000 jobs. They also project the unemployment rate will tick down to 4 percent.

-- The Associated Press

Car-Mart's ex-CEO reports stock sale

Hank Henderson, the former chief executive of Bentonville-based America's Car-Mart, sold company shares valued at more than $556,000, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week.

Henderson, who retired at the first of the year and is now a company director, sold 300 shares at $49.55 and 11,246 shares at $49.50, selling a total value of $556,677. Henderson serves as CEO emeritus and as an adviser to senior management. In January, he was awarded a $1.1 million, lump-sum special retirement bonus.

He had been with the company for 30 years and served as CEO for the past decade. He was replaced by President and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Williams, a longtime company executive.

-- John Magsam

Hearing set on Louisiana pipeline's halt

BATON ROUGE -- A federal appeals court has scheduled a hearing next week to review a judge's order that halted construction of a crude oil pipeline in a Louisiana swamp.

Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an "emergency stay" that would lift the suspension of construction work while it appeals the judge's ruling.

A three-judge panel from the court is scheduled to hear to arguments on that request Tuesday.

On Feb. 23, U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick sided with environmental groups and issued a preliminary injunction stopping all Bayou Bridge pipeline construction work in the Atchafalaya Basin until the groups' lawsuit is resolved.

-- The Associated Press

Cox sells Austin American-Statesman

AUSTIN, Texas -- The Austin American-Statesman is being sold to publishing company GateHouse Media, executives said, ending more than 41 years of ownership by Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises.

The purchase price is $47.5 million. The sale is expected to close April 2.

GateHouse Media, based in upstate New York, is the nation's largest owner of daily newspapers across the country, with more than 10,000 employees.

Along with the Statesman, the sale includes the newspaper's Spanish-language weekly newspaper Ahora Si!, and the Austin Community Newspapers group, which includes the Bastrop Advertiser, Lake Travis View, Pflugerville Pflag, Round Rock Leader, Smithville Times and the Westlake Picayune. Related digital offerings such as Austin360, 512tech and also are part of the sale.

GateHouse publishes 130 daily newspapers, hundreds of community publications and more than 540 local market websites that reach more than 21 million people each week, according to the company.

-- The New York Times

Crisco, Wesson makers scrap merger

The owners of both Crisco and Wesson cooking oils called off acquisition plans Tuesday after the Federal Trade Commission moved to block the deal on the grounds that the combination would hurt competition for products in the category.

On Monday, the FTC said J.M. Smucker Co.'s proposed $285 million bid for Wesson, which is owned by Conagra Brands, would hand Smucker and its Crisco label control of at least 70 percent of the market for branded canola and vegetable oils sold in grocery stores and other retailers.

The companies had argued that the FTC defined the market too narrowly, excluding many supermarket house brands and smaller sellers.

The FTC planned to seek a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction in federal court to prevent the cooking oil deal from going through before both companies cut ties.

-- The Washington Post

SEC registration call cools off bitcoin

Bitcoin slumped back below $10,000 after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reiterated that many online trading platforms for digital assets should register with the agency as exchanges.

The largest cryptocurrency dropped 7 percent to $9,972.61 as of 5 p.m. Wednesday after the SEC statement increased concern that tightening regulation may limit trading. Bitcoin is down about 50 percent from its high of almost $20,000 in December in part because regulators worldwide have clamped down on trading, mining and initial coin offerings. Adding to concern is speculation that Asia-based Binance, one of the largest exchanges, has been hacked.

Some of the largest cryptocurrency trading platforms, like Coinbase Inc.'s GDAX, aren't registered as exchanges with the SEC and, instead, have money transmission licenses with separate states. In the case of Gemini, it's regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services as a trust company, according to its website. Templum LLC is an affiliate to Liquid M Capital, which is registered as an alternative trading system with the SEC. Inc.'s tZero says it aims to be a fully-compliant trading platform.

-- Bloomberg News

Business on 03/08/2018

Print Headline: Survey logs 235,000 new February jobs Car-Mart's ex-CEO reports stock sale Hearing set on Louisiana pipeline's halt Austin American-Statesman bought Cox sells Austin American-Statesman Crisco, Wes...

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