US stocks wobble and bond yields set four-year highs

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks couldn’t hang on to an early gain and finished mostly lower Monday as technology companies slipped. Bond prices continue to fall and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note drew closer to 3 percent, a milestone it hasn’t reached since January 2014.

Investors once again focused on corporate deals Monday as utility company Vectren agreed to be bought by CenterPoint Energy for $6 billion, while the CEO of Sears called for the company to sell more assets and health care products company Henry Schein said it will split off its animal health unit. Aluminum producers tumbled after the Treasury Department moved to ease sanctions against Russian aluminum company Rusal.

Stocks have faded over the last few days as bond yields continued to climb. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note continued to trade at four-year highs, rising to 2.98 percent from 2.96 percent. Bond yields have climbed this year as investors are starting to see signs that inflation is picking up and the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates. The 10-year yield stood at 2.43 percent at the end of 2017.

Since the global financial crisis in 2008-09, a combination of low inflation expectations and a bond-buying program by the Federal Reserve have helped keep bond yields low. That pushed stocks higher by making bonds less appealing by comparison. With the Fed no longer buying bonds and investors expecting greater inflation, analysts say higher yields could make bonds more attractive.

Duane McAllister, senior portfolio manager for Baird Advisors, said he doesn’t think rising yields are a problem for the stock market. He said they are an opportunity for investors to diversify their holdings at a time of increased market volatility.

“Three percent is an important milestone on the continued trend toward higher interest rates,” he said. “It shouldn’t lead …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Salt Lake’s Eccles Theater shows ‘incredible’ revenue returns in debut year

SALT LAKE CITY — Years ago, when downtown Salt Lake City’s future 2,500-seat theater was coming down to a vote, critics feared it would end in disaster: an unprofitable and underused stage that would dilute business for other theaters while still relying on a subsidy.

Fast forward seven years: Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County officials are thrilled — some even shocked — to see the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater’s first-year revenues are booming, more than doubling budget projections.

In 2017, the first full year of operations, the theater was projected to return about $1.3 million in revenue after expenses. But it produced more than $2.6 million.

That’s according to unaudited revenue numbers the Deseret News obtained from the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office last week. The theater’s advisory board, the Utah Performing Arts Center board of directors, was briefed on the numbers in a meeting earlier this month.

The news comes as the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater’s box office is bustling with patrons flocking to see the Tony Award-winning Broadway phenomenon, “Hamilton: An American Musical.”

“I would say we hit it out of the ballpark,” said Holly Yocum, community services director for Salt Lake County, which operates the theater.

Yocum credited the first year of success to partners such as Broadway at the Eccles and MagicSpace Entertainment for “an amazing job of bringing in shows we normally wouldn’t get in our state.”

Broadway revenue was projected at about $630,000 for 2017, but it actually produced 180 percent of that: $1.1 million, according to the budget.

“The theater has certainly outperformed any budgets we set,” said Lia Summers, senior arts and culture adviser in the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office. “We’re glad it’s being well-visited.”

Darrin Casper, Salt Lake County’s deputy mayor of finance and chief financial officer, attributed the extra revenue …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Once mediocre Regent Street now a downtown destination

SALT LAKE CITY — A few short years ago, Regent Street in downtown Salt Lake City was little more than an access road for business deliveries and the entrance to a multi-level parking garage for a few nearby companies.

Today, the once off-the-beaten-path thoroughfare is now one of the primary connectors between Gallivan Center to the south and City Creek Center on the north, placing it right in the middle of downtown’s main entertainment district.

When the much-heralded George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater opened in the spring of last year, civic leaders hoped it would be the next jewel in the crown of the downtown business and entertainment hub — complementing City Creek Center, the 111 Main and 222 Main office towers, along with the new Broadway-style theater venue.

Thus far, the Eccles Theater has not disappointed, exceeding expectations and helping to generate residual prosperity for some its nearby roadways, such as Regent Street, located between Main and State streets and between 100 and 200 South.

Having been revamped into a pedestrian-friendly connector for visitors and typical “weekday warriors” who desire easier access to those business district destinations, Regent Street is set to become one of the latest success stories of the city’s revitalization efforts, said Paul Kuhn, executive chef and co-owner of Last Course Dessert Studio, 115 Regent Street.

“It’s a great location as far as foot traffic,” he said. “We’re already seeing great results from folks going to the shows at the Eccles Theater and people coming in at lunch.”

Open since January, the downtown location is one of two in the valley along with a Draper store, he noted. So far, he has been pleased with the way business has gone and was undeterred by being among the initial retailers to open shop on the newly renovated street, he said.

“We’re confident …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Local nonprofit mobilizes eye care to help kids see better

SOUTH JORDAN — Yuma Medina lost everything when she brought her two daughters to Utah three years ago.

She’s tried hard to make things normal for them, but finances have always been an issue for the single mom.

“We’re really poor people,” she said Saturday. But she’s feeling better about things now that she’s working full-time on an assembly line at medical-device-manufacturer Merit Medical.

Medina, who fled Venezuela’s dictatorship in 2015, recently saw a notice at work and signed her daughters, 7 and 11, up for vision screenings and eye exams offered by the company through a local organization Eye Care 4 Kids, for which she thought would be a nominal fee.

After they were fitted for new glasses, Medina nearly cried when she was told there would be no charge.

“With myself, because I wear glasses, too, I would have had to buy three pair of glasses,” she said. “This will help me a lot.”

Jacob Wiegand, Deseret News

Optician Tawna O’Reilly, of West Valley City, helps Oscar Rodriguez, of West Valley City, 8, with his glasses during Eye Care 4 Kids’ mobile clinic event outside Merit Medical on Saturday, April 21, 2018, in South Jordan.

Merit’s CEO Fred Lampropoulos has helped to support Eye Care 4 Kids the last two years. The Midvale-based nonprofit outfits low-income school-age kids with glasses after they fail annual vision screenings at their schools. On Saturday, Eye Care 4 Kids parked its mobile unit in the parking lot at Merit headquarters in South Jordan and Lampropoulos asked them to not turn anyone away.

“Fred grew up in a struggling family and he remembers the community help given to him and his family,” said Lampropoulos’ executive assistant, Lacey Nash. “He’s the kind of CEO who wants to make sure no employee is forgotten or struggling for any …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News