homes at brisk pace
MANATEE COUNTY -- Neal Communities notched 67 home sales in February, continuing the builder's swift sales pace so far in 2014.
Neal's new home sales spanned across 16 communities from Manatee to Lee counties.
Notable neighborhoods for Neal in February included Central Park at Lakewood Ranch with 13 sales and five sales at both River's Reach in Parrish and Eagle Trace in Bradenton.
The company expects several communities to reach completion this year, including Central Park at Lakewood Ranch. Neal's overall expansion will continue with plans for close to a dozen new communities in 2014, several of which are already under development.
U.S. stocks muddledin day of trading
NEW YORK -- The stock market ended mixed Friday after a day of muddled trading. Among the three main U.S. stock indexes, one edged higher, one closed little changed and the other closed lower.
Investors focused on the tensions in Ukraine, where the region of Crimea was preparing for a referendum on whether to split away and become part of Russia. It was enough of a reason to sell into the weekend and to offset optimism over a pickup in hiring by U.S. employers last month.
The Labor Department said companies created 175,000 jobs last month, easily topping economists' forecasts. While encouraging, investors didn't see the February report as part of a broader trend. December and January job figures were mediocre, and the harsh winter weather has closed factories, cut into auto sales, and caused existing-home sales to plummet for the last three months.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed roughly flat, up a point, or 0.05 percent, to 1,878.04. The Dow Jones rose 30.83 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,452.72 and the Nasdaq composite lost 15.90 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,336.22.
Wing cracks lead to delay in Dreamliner production
NEW YORK -- Boeing's much-delayed 787 Dreamliner has hit another production snafu.
Hairline cracks have been discovered in the wings of some 787s that are being built. The Chicago-based manufacturer said none of the 122 jets already flown by airlines around the world are affected.
St. Patrick's Day promoto pay off in wing awards
BRADENTON -- Ker's WingHouse is hosting a "Get Lucky at Ker's WingHouse Contest," offering free boneless wings for a year.
On St. Patrick's Day, two clovers will be hidden inside the dining room of each WingHouse restaurant. The first of the two clovers will be hidden during lunch, and the second clover will be hidden during dinner dining hours.
The lucky customers who find the hidden cloverwill win a year of free boneless wings (one order of boneless wings per month for 12 months).
-- Herald staff, wire reports