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Briefs

Market flits its way to record high

The Dow Jones industrial average hit a record Friday, but without much conviction after a choppy day of trading during which investors couldn’t make up their minds whether to buy or sell.

The blue-chip index flitted between small gains and losses at least a dozen times, and ended up beating its old record set last week by less than 2.5 points, or just 0.02 percent.

“The market is having trouble finding direction here,” said David Kelley, JPMorgan Funds’ chief global strategist. But he added, “I believe for the rest of the year, a warming economy … will push the market up.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index also eked out a gain, but no higher than it was in early March, after waffling between gains and losses most of that time.

The Dow edged up 32.37 points for the day, or 0.2 percent, to 16,583.34. Its previous record was 16,580.84, set on April 30.

The S&P 500 index rose 2.85 points to 1,878.48, or 0.2 percent. The Nasdaq composite rose 20.37 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,071.87.

Steel Dynamics CEO Steelmaker of the Year

Mark Millett, president and CEO of Steel Dynamics Inc., this week was named Steelmaker of the Year by the Association for Iron & Steel Technology. The award is given “to recognize notable leaders for their impact on the steel industry,” the trade group said in a news release.

The association held its annual conference this week at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Millett presented the keynote address, “Making Money in the Steel Industry Is Not a Mystery.”

Millett, one of Steel Dynamics’ founders, became CEO of the Fort Wayne steelmaker on Jan. 1, 2012. Keith Busse, the company’s chairman and Millett’s predecessor as CEO, was Steelmaker of the Year in 2005.

Steel Dynamics reported 2013 sales of almost $7.4 billion.

McDonald’s testing seasoned french fries

McDonald’s started testing seasoned french fries at select U.S. locations Friday. The world’s biggest hamburger chain began the test of its “Shakin’ Flavor Fries” at restaurants in northern California and St. Louis. Customers may choose garlic Parmesan, spicy Buffalo or zesty ranch flavors.

McDonald’s spokeswoman Lisa McComb says the idea came from the company’s “Shake Shake” seasoned fries, which debuted in Hong Kong in 2005 before spreading to China, India and Australia.

Ford recalling more than 692,000 vehicles

Ford is recalling more than 692,000 Escape small SUVs and C-Max gas-electric hybrids in North America to fix two safety problems.

The recalls cover vehicles from the 2013 and 2014 model years. Most of the Escapes have both problems.

The first case covers 692,500 Escape and C-Max vehicles. A software glitch can stop the side curtain air bags from inflating in certain types of rollover crashes.

Dealers will reprogram the air bag control computer for free.

The second case covers about 692,700 Escapes. Exterior door handles can bind and stop the door from latching properly. This could allow doors to open while the SUVs are in motion.

Dealers will inspect the handles and reposition them if needed.

The company says it has no reports of crashes or injuries related to either problem.

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