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Auto supplier expands its Tennessee plant

The automotive parts manufacturer Martinrea will expand its operations in Tennessee, investing $40 million and creating 97 new jobs at its Springfield location.

Through the expansion, Martinrea will upgrade its large presses, add additional robots and welding cells and add 30,000 square feet to its existing facility.

Martinrea is a diversified and global automotive supplier of lightweight structures and propulsion systems and currently operates in 57 locations in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Slovakia, Spain, China, South Africa and Japan.

"We are excited to see the continued growth of the automotive industry in Tennessee," said Pat D'Eramo, the company's president and CEO.

 

Stock market climbs to a new record high

Wall Street capped a milestone-shattering week Friday with stock indexes hitting more record highs as investors welcomed a report showing the nation's job market was even stronger last month than expected.

The S&P 500 rose 0.8%, its seventh straight gain and seventh consecutive all-time high. The benchmark index also notched its second weekly gain in a row. The Nasdaq also set a record, getting a boost from technology stocks, which led the broad market rally. The only laggards were energy stocks and banks, which fell as Treasury yields headed lower.

Economists took the report as a sign that workers will indeed come back into the labor force as more people get vaccinated and the pandemic eases. Perhaps more importantly for markets, some said the numbers likely mean the Federal Reserve can stay on the course it's set, keeping interest rates low for a while longer to support the economy.

"The wage inflation number didn't pick up to the degree some people were anticipating, so that's probably a little bit reassuring to the market as well," said Andrew Mies, chief investment officer at investment advisory firm 6 Meridien.

 

Restaurant relief runs out of money

A $28.6 billion federal relief fund for restaurants and other food businesses closed this week after running out of money, having fulfilled fewer than a third of the grant requests it received.

The Small Business Administration, which runs the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, told unsuccessful applicants in an email that it was unable to fund all qualified applications because of "overwhelming demand." More than 370,000 business owners applied for more than $75 billion in funding, nearly three times what the program had available. Around 105,000 businesses were approved for grants, which averaged just over $272,000.

"For a hundred thousand restaurants, the RRF has made their future clear and stable, but for the more than 200,000 operators shut out of funding, receiving this letter today only heightens their fear and anger," said Sean Kennedy, a spokesman for the National Restaurant Association. "We need Congress to act."

Bills to add $60 billion have been introduced, with bipartisan backing, in the House and the Senate, but their future on a crowded legislative calendar is unclear.

 

Logan's steak owner buys J. Alexander's

The parent company of Logan's Roadhouse and several brewery brands has agreed to buy the Nashville-based restaurant chain J. Alexander's Holdings Inc. in a $220 million deal.

SPB Hospitality, which is moving its headquarters to Houston, annnounced Friday that it will pay $14 a share in an all-cash merger with J. Alexander's, which operates 47 restaurants including a restaurant in Chattanooga at 2215 Hamilton Place Boulevard.

J. Alexander's also owns Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill, Redlands Grill, Overland Park Grill and Merus Grill.

The deal is expected to close early in the fourth quarter, the companies said.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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