TIME Companies

Lumber Liquidators Defends Itself Against 60 Minutes Report

Lumber Liquidators store in Denver on Feb. 25, 2015.
Rick Wilking — Reuters Lumber Liquidators store in Denver on Feb. 25, 2015.

The news program reportedly found that the company sold flooring breach of California's health and safety standards

Lumber Liquidators is defending itself against allegations that the retailer’s hardwood flooring fails safety tests.

The specialty retailer of hardwood flooring is in the crosshairs of a report by television news program “60 Minutes,” which aired a special on Sunday that alleged the company sold flooring with higher levels of formaldehyde than permitted under California’s health and safety standards.

The news has badly bruised Lumber Liquidators’ stock since last week, when media reports said the “60 Minutes” report would cast Lumber Liquidators in a negative light. Shares, which traded near $70 last week, have slumped in recent days and were trading near $40. The stock is down over 20% on Monday alone.

“We stand by every single plank of wood and laminate we sell all around the country,” said Lumber Liquidators in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The retailer, which generated $1.05 billion in revenue in 2014, said it was in compliance with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which is the only regulator of composite core emissions. The company said it also adheres to those standards in other regions even though the regulations only apply to California.

“We believe that 60 Minutes used an improper test method in its reporting that is not included in CARB’s regulations and does not measure a product according to how it is actually used by consumers,” the retailer said. “Our chairman addressed the differences and our position on the test methodology but 60 Minutes chose not to include it.”

CBS’s “60 Minutes” reportedly tested the retailer’s floorings in several states for levels of formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical. CBS reportedly found that out of the 31 samples tested, only one was compliant, according to Reuters.

Lumber Liquidators competes with national and local retailers of hardwood flooring. The company, which was founded in 1994 and debuted on the public market in 2007, operates 352 retail stores. The retailer and two large competitors — Home Depot and Lowe’s — control about one third of hardwood flooring retail market.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME Careers & Workplace

These Are the 2 Most Important Words in a Job Interview

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How candidates use two pronouns can reveal (almost) everything you need to know

So many qualified job applicants, so little time. How can you be sure you’re picking the right people to join your team if you’re too busy with the rest of your job to spend more than, say, 20 minutes interviewing each one?

You might consider what Steve Pogorzelski has found. He’s spent the past 25 years vetting hundreds of candidates for leadership jobs, notably as group president of Monster.com Worldwide, where he helped the career site more than triple its revenues to $1.4 billion. Last August, Pogorzelski stepped in as CEO at sales and marketing data analytics firm Avention (formerly OneSource), where he has since replaced six out of eight of the company’s C-suite executives.

Here’s what he asks candidates, and why:

“What has been your biggest professional success so far, and why?”

It may sound like the same question every other interviewer asks, but Pogorzelski is listening for something different. After all, most people’s biggest successes are already obvious from their resumes, cover letters, and social media profiles. “What I want to hear is the word ‘we,’” he says. “The way someone describes how they achieved their biggest goals speaks volumes about them as potential leaders.”

By his lights, candidates who say “I” more than “we” are used to grabbing all the credit and won’t be strong team players. “I interviewed a CFO just the other day who came from a tech startup,” Pogorzelski says. “He said ‘I” so many times and ‘we’ so few that I cut the conversation short about halfway through.”

“What has been your biggest failure, and why?”

Again, this query is such a staple of job interviews that candidates are likely to have a canned answer ready to go. What they may not realize is that Pogorzelski is listening for where they put the blame. “The word I want to hear when people answer this is ‘I,’” he says. “If someone tells me they failed at something because someone else messed up, or the economy was bad, or for any other reason that was not their fault, that’s a big red flag.”

Of course, he adds, sometimes factors beyond one’s control really can derail the best-laid plans, but “you want people on your team who will be accountable for their own mistakes, without trying to shift the blame to others” — and who can describe what they’ve learned along the way.

“What could the company be doing better than we do now, or how could I do my job better?”

Very few people expect this question, so an interviewer can get a glimpse of how a candidate thinks on his or her feet. And it’s a good way to find out how much research and thought someone has put in before the interview. Any response that shows a thorough knowledge of the company, the industry, and the competition is okay, and may even reveal some useful insights.

“The only wrong answer is, ‘Nothing! You’re doing just great,’ which should make you doubt that this person can add value,” says Pogorzelski. Why? “It’s a clear sign that the candidate either hasn’t done enough homework, or isn’t brave enough to work here.”

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME deals

Visa Replaces American Express as Costco’s Credit Card

A Visa Inc. credit card sits on top of credit and debit cards arranged for a photograph in Washington on Jan. 29, 2014.
Bloomberg/Getty Images A Visa Inc. credit card sits on top of credit and debit cards arranged for a photograph in Washington on Jan. 29, 2014.

Costco announced that the retailer’s credit card network will be handled by Visa next year, an announcement that comes weeks after it sideswiped Visa rival American Express in a move that ended a 16-year relationship with the retailer.

The retailer, 19th on the Fortune 500, said Citigroup would be the exclusive issuer of Costco’s co-branded credit cards while Visa will be replacing American Express as the credit card network for Costco in the U.S. and Puerto Rico beginning April 1, 2016. Costco, known for issuing sparsely worded press releases, provided few details about the deal with Visa.

The Costco business is a big coup for Visa, as Costco is one of the nation’s largest retailers. Shares of American Express dropped last month after the credit card company announced that its exclusivity deal with the wholesale club retailer was set to expire at the end of March in 2016. As WSJ reported previously, the agreement had driven a big chunk of business for American Express. But when the arrangement ends, millions of customers will be forced to use a different credit card when shopping at Costco.

Losing Costco’s business will dent results at American Express, as that business generated about 8% of the company’s worldwide billed business in 2014. Over 70% of the spending on those accounts occurred outside a Costco warehouse, so business was widely spread. American Express said it did try to win the business, but ultimately it was “unable to agree to terms that would have provided attractive returns for our company and our shareholders.” American Express warned it could book a restructuring charge and potentially cut costs if it isn’t able to generate enough business from other products to offset the lost business associated with the Costco co-branded portfolio.

TIME Companies

Warren Buffett Says He’s Found a Successor — But Won’t Say Who

Warren Buffett
Nati Harnik—AP Billionaire investor Warren Buffett speaks in Omaha, Neb., Nov. 14, 2011. Buffett's annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders is always one of the best-read business documents of the year. The 2015 letter marks the 50th year of Buffett's leadership.

“Both the board and I believe we now have the right person to succeed me as CEO"

Warren Buffett’s successor is in the house. But that’s all the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is saying.

Once again, in this year annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Buffett has not unmasked who the next CEO will be. But he does say as definitively as ever that the person has been picked and he has revealed a little bit more about who he is. (Buffett has already confirmed in the past that the next CEO of Berkshire will be a man.)

That’s more than Buffett has said in the past. But the fact that, once again, the next CEO of Berkshire has not been named may come as a disappointment to some.

This year’s letter is the 50th Buffett has written as the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. And, as promised, a section of the letter is titled, “The Next 50 Years at Berkshire.” Some had speculated that meant Buffett would take the opportunity to name his successor. Some have said the fact that he hasn’t has been a drag on the company’s stock in the past, though it’s hard to see evidence of that. Berkshire’s shares were up 27% in 2014, about double the market in general.

In his clearest statement on the subject so far, Buffett writes in this year’s letter, “Both the board and I believe we now have the right person to succeed me as CEO – a successor ready to assume the job the day after I die or step down.”

In previous annual letters, Buffett has said that Berkshire’s board knows who he would pick for CEO should that person be needed immediately. But he has left the door open to changing his mind later on. Buffett now appears appears to have closed that door.

Buffett also says for the first time that the next CEO of Berkshire will be someone who already works at the company. He says that was a requirement of Berkshire directors. In the past, Buffett has said only that his pick for the next CEO of Berkshire is someone the company could put into that position in a flash, not that his chosen successor was already an employee of the company.

Buffett also puts a very loose age range on the next CEO. He writes in this year’s letter that Berkshire’s directors believe the next CEO should be someone relatively young, who can be expected to run the company for at least 10 years. But Buffett says he doesn’t expect the board to pick someone who is likely to retire at 65, giving some wiggle room to how “relatively young” this person may be.

Buffett also says that his successor will be “vigilant and determined” at warding off the “ABCs of business decay, which are arrogance, bureaucracy and complacency.” Buffett says those are the three sins that have brought down companies that once sat “atop huge industries” but through bad behavior fell to depths their CEOs didn’t think possible. It’s noteworthy that Buffett includes General Motors GM -0.67% and IBM IBM 0.67% in that group, two stocks that are currently in Berkshire’s portfolio.

So, there you have it. Berkshire’s next CEO will be a 55-ish man who currently works at Berkshire and is not prone to mucking up what Buffett has built over the past 50 years. If you fit that description, congrats!

In the past, Berkshire watchers have kept a careful watch on which top lieutenants gets the most mentions in Buffett’s annual letter. This year, the clear winner is Ajit Jain, who runs Berkshire Hathaway’s largest insurance division. “[Jain’s] mind, moreover, is an idea factory,” Buffett writes in the letter. But at 63, Jain may be a little too old for the job, if Buffett sticks to his prescribed age range.

Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, Buffett’s back up investment managers, get a mention in the letter and praise for their investing abilities. And Buffett says he has handed over a bit more control to them. Buffett says both managers have been given one of Berkshire’s smaller companies to look after and both are taking on the title of chairman of those firms. But, unlike in previous years, Buffett says nothing about the performance of Combs and Weschler’s investments in 2014. Fortune calculated that both lagged the market for the first time since joining Berkshire.

Buffett makes no mention in this year’s letter of Matt Rose, the chairman of BNSF, who Buffett has praised in previous letters and some have speculated is a front runner for the CEO job. Perhaps that’s ecause BNSF had a disappointing 2014, or perhaps Rose, 55, is out of the running. Only Buffett, and Berkshire’s board, knows.

This article was originally published on Fortune.com


Why China is Making Life Miserable For Big U.S. Tech

A new report says China’s government has banned purchases from Cisco, Apple and other tech firms nearly two years after the NSA’s spying programs were revealed

On Sunday night, Citizenfour, a film about Edward Snowden holed up in a Hong Kong hotel room revealing the global spying programs run by the U.S. National Security Agency, won the Oscar for best documentary for its chilling portrait of technology and surveillance.

Three days later this week, in China, news surfaced that the country has banned government purchases from some of the largest U.S tech firms implicated in the very affairs revealed by Snowden, including most notably Cisco Sistems, but also Apple Inc, Citrix Systems, and Intel’s INTC McAfee security business. The companies were recently banned from China government purchases, according to an analysis of the government-procurement list by Reuters. The number of approved foreign tech brands on China’s purchase list fell by a third.

Whether China is really worried about U.S. tech firms jeopardizing state security, or if it’s simply using the Snowden news as pretext for favoring domestic technology firms, is being debated. But U.S. companies being banished from the government purchase list clears up any doubt that China is an oppressive market for big U.S. tech firms.

China reacted almost immediately after Snowden divulged the NSA programs in mid-2013. Cisco said afterwards its China business had slowed to a crawl, in part because its IT-equipment was associated with spying. (It was later reported that the NSA intercepted Cisco routers to install surveillance equipment without the company’s knowledge, which Cisco CEO John Chambers later complained about to President Obama.) Last year, Microsoft’s Windows 8 was banned from Chinese government computers for what the government said were security concerns. Today, the country is trying to cleanse key industries in banking, state-owned enterprises, and the military from U.S. technology by 2020, according to reports.

Until now, China hasn’t explicitly banned U.S. tech products, but it has gradually distanced itself from foreign tech. Earlier this month, China’s banking regulator said it was planning to require source code from any suppliers of IT products used by its banks. That is greeted as a nonstarter by Microsoft Corp, IBM and Cisco. If approved, the rule would effectively shut them out of billions of dollars of contracts. Industry analysts say the Chinese are years away from building their own equipment on par with say, Cisco’s, but they are getting closer.

The stripping of Cisco and Apple from the approved government list is the latest salvo in an ongoing tech conflict between the U.S. and China. The U.S. has similarly discriminated against Chinese telecommunications equipment makers for “state security” reasons. In 2012, a U.S. congressional committee warned that Huawei products could be used for spying—a charge the company continues to deny—but did not release evidence to support its claims. Huawei, the biggest telecom infrastructure maker in the world, can’t bid for U.S. government projects or large U.S. telecom contracts. ZTE , the second largest telecom infrastructure maker in China, is similarly banned.

In China, the situation has grown so poor for foreign IT that Cisco, in its latest quarterly results announced two weeks ago, said China sales dropped by 19%. Cisco’s public relations department won’t even directly address the topic of discrimination in China.

Except for Apple, which posted record sales in large part because its iPhone 6 dominated China’s market, there’s little reason to expect future good news for big U.S. tech in the Middle Kingdom. Snowden changed the dynamics in an already uneasy relationship. Now the effects are showing.

This article originally appeared on fortune.com

TIME Consumers

Gas Prices Inch Higher After Months of Decline

Drivers pass by gas prices that are displayed at Valero and 76 gas stations on Feb. 9, 2015 in San Rafael, Calif.
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Drivers pass by gas prices that are displayed at Valero and 76 gas stations on Feb. 9, 2015 in San Rafael, Calif.

The steady rise reverses a record 123-day decline that started in September and ended last month

Drivers recently spoiled by falling gasoline prices are now having to deal with a new reality: Higher costs at the pump.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has increased every day for the past 28 days to a national average of $2.30 per gallon, according to AAA. The steady rise reverses a record 123-day decline that started in September and ended last month with fuel costs reaching a five-year low of $2.03.

A major drop-off in worldwide oil prices drove the four-month long decline. Global oil oversupply cut oil prices by more than half between last summer and the beginning of 2015, but oil prices have slowly rebounded in recent weeks and the price most drivers pay at the pump has risen accordingly.

After slipping below $45 in January, the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil has since climbed by more than 10%. Brent crude topped the $60-per barrel mark earlier this month, but dipped slightly Monday to $58.90.

AAA also notes that fuel prices tend to rise at this time of year due to the fact that seasonal maintenance typically happening at oil and gas refineries tends to put a drag on fuel production.

U.S. motorists are still paying $1.11 less per gallon on average than they were at this point last year. The largest year-over-year savings gap experienced in recent months was $1.25 per gallon. Drivers in Utah and Idaho are currently seeing the lowest price at the pump with an average of $1.95 per gallon in those states. Hawaii, which tends to see the highest gas prices, is the only state where the average price for regular unleaded gas is more than $3, with that state’s residents currently paying $3.04 per gallon.

California is also seeing higher-than-average prices at $2.95 per gallon, while motorists in Texas are paying $2.12 per gallon.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Apple

More Apple Users Listened to That Free U2 Album Than Taylor Swift Last Month

In this Sept. 9, 2014 file photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook (L) greets Bono from the band U2 after they preformed at the end of the Apple event in Cupertino, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez—AP In this Sept. 9, 2014 file photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook (L) greets Bono from the band U2 after they preformed at the end of the Apple event in Cupertino, Calif.

The album’s surprise appearance on 500 million Apple devices seemed to have worked to attract more listeners

When Apple used its September iPhone launch event to announce it was giving away the latest U2 album for free, not everyone thought it was a “Beautiful Day.”

In fact, enough people complained about the album’s surprise appearance on their Apple devices that the company quickly cranked out a software fix to make it easier to delete the Irish rockers’ album, “Songs of Innocence.” The band itself even issued an apology for the creative marketing ploy, but that was after the company had already automatically uploaded the album to devices owned by its almost 500 million music customers across the globe.

Despite Apple customers’ consternation at the free — though, to be fair, unrequested — tunes, the gambit at least seems to have resulted in a lot of people listening to the new U2 album. Last October, Apple said that roughly 81 million people had listened to the album to some extent at that point. That’s about 16% of the company’s total music customers. Roughly 5% of Apple’s customers went ahead and fully downloaded the album.

Nearly five months later, though, are folks still cueing up the U2 album on their respective Apple devices and iTunes accounts? In a study released Monday, British market research group Kantar said the giveaway experiment helped U2 outpace all other artists when it came to the music Apple customers listened to in January.

Roughly 23% of all Apple music customers surveyed by Kantar listened to at least one U2 song last month and nearly all of those people — 95% — cued up at least one track from the new album that Apple gave away last fall. Of course, Bono’s bunch has been putting out music for a few decades, and U2 is typically regarded as one of the more popular rock groups ever, so it may not come as a huge surprise that the band has a spot in so many iTunes shuffle rotations. (It’s also worth noting that the September giveaway spurred a rise in sales for the band’s older songs, as well.)

However, U2 didn’t just eke ahead of its rival popular artists in January. The percentage of Apple customers who heard some U2 last month was more than double the percentage that listened to Taylor Swift. About 11% of people in Kantar’s survey heard a song last month by Swift, whose most recent album “1989” finished 2014 as the best-selling album of the year. Behind Swift was fellow pop singer Katy Perry — this year’s Super Bowl half-time show performer — who had 8% of Apple customers tuning in to her songs.

Kantar’s study looked at more than 2,500 iOS users who listened to music in January.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME Companies

Apple’s Crazy-Expensive New Data Centers Will Be Totally Green

Apple's European headquarters in Cork, southern Ireland.
Paul Faith—Getty Images Apple's European headquarters in Cork, southern Ireland.

The company’s biggest ever investment in Europe anticipates a massive rise in demand for cloud-based services

Apple Inc. said it would spend 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion) to build two data centers in Europe that would be entirely powered by renewable energy and create hundreds of jobs.

The investment, Apple’s biggest ever in Europe, will power Apple’s online services, including the iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri for customers across Europe.

The new centers are intended to meet what is expected to be a massive rise in demand for remote data storage in the medium-term, as both consumers and businesses come to depend more and more on Cloud-based technology.

The investment is set to be evenly divided between Athenry in Ireland and Viborg in Denmark, with the Irish government confirming that €850 million would be spent in Ireland. The two data centers are expected to begin operations in 2017.

“We’re thrilled to be expanding our operations, creating hundreds of local jobs and introducing some of our most advanced green building designs yet,” CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

In a sign of how important Apple’s investment in Denmark was, the country’s trade and development minister issued a statement mirroring that of the iPhone maker’s, adding the two data centers would be among the largest in the world.

Ireland’s government also reacted to the announcement, saying 300 jobs would be added in the county of Galway during the multiple phases of the project, a boost as it seeks to cut the unemployment rate below 10 percent this year.

“As the Government works to secure recovery and see it spread to every part of the country, today’s announcement is another extremely positive step in the right direction,” Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said in a statement.

The tech blog Gigaom speculated that the decision could boost the company’s appeal to business customers, which are more inclined to insist on local storage of data for their software solutions, particularly since the disclosures made by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. In Germany in particular, the Snowden leaks have made public and government opinion openly suspicious of U.S. companies abusing the vast amount of data they hold.

A spokesman for Apple declined to comment on whether issues around privacy and regulation had played any part in the decision to locate the centers in Europe, rather than the U.S..

In addition to privacy and legal issues, the biggest concerns that affect such choices usually include things like electricity prices and low network latency (the ability of local internet infrastructure to handle massive traffic volumes at high speed), according to analysis by consultants Gartner Inc. Gartner also points out that locating centers in a colder environment (and both Ireland and Denmark fit that description) can cut running costs significantly, given the amount of power needed for cooling.

Denmark also has some of the lowest electricity costs in the E.U., thanks to massive (and generously subsidized) investment in wind power in recent years which means that the country is often a net exporter of electricity.

Ireland’s electricity prices are only in line with the E.U. average, according to Eurostat data, but the company already has an extensive footprint in the country after previous investments. The company’s relations with Ireland have, however, come into question. The E.U. last year opened an inquiry into Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland, alleging that its tax treatment was so generous as to constitute illegal state aid. That investigation is still ongoing.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME Companies

Honda Ousts CEO in Management Shakeup

Honda Motor Co's incoming President and Chief Executive Officer Takahiro Hachigo and outgoing President and CEO Takanobu Ito attend a news conference at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Feb. 23, 2015.
Yuya Shino—Reuters Honda Motor Co's incoming President and Chief Executive Officer Takahiro Hachigo and outgoing President and CEO Takanobu Ito attend a news conference at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Feb. 23, 2015.

Aggressive sales targets, safety issues and stock performance led to the shakeup of Honda's leadership

Honda’s chief executive since 2009 is out following a series of quality and efficiency problems that called into question whether he might have been pushed the Japanese automaker too hard and fast.

The removal of Takanobu Ito from the top post was part of a broad management shakeup, in which several key executives worldwide will be replaced in senior posts. “I felt this was the right timing for us to boost efficiency and results globally,” Ito, 61, told reporters.

The company’s loss of momentum in the U.S., its most important market, may be its biggest headache. Accordingly, the latest shakeup includes the departure of Tetsuo Iwamura as chairman of the American Honda Motor Company. He will remain a director of Honda – but no new chairman will replace him. Instead, Takuji Yamada, president of American Honda, will assume his duties.

Ito will be replaced in June by Takahiro Hachigo, 55, an engineer who currently serves in a senior post in Honda’s research and development arm in China. Ito, 61, will continue to serve as an adviser to the company.

Honda shareholders and fund managers may have played a part in the change. In the past five years, Honda shares have returned 27% to holders, lagging well behind the Nikkei 225 Index, which returned 82%. Nissan shares returned 66%; Toyota shares 146%.

American Honda, once a phenomenon in the U.S. that set standards for customer satisfaction, has become known for reliable, unexciting models that lack distinctiveness. Their lead in quality over models built by Detroit, meanwhile, has narrowed or disappeared as U.S. and European automakers have improved their offerings.

Lately, Honda has taken steps to make their styling and design more expressive, as evidenced by a new Pilot crossover that will appear this summer. The new Pilot is a departure from its boxy, utilitarian predecessors. Honda also introduced a new Acura NSX supercar, another step in what the automaker is calling “The Year of Honda” in the U.S., in an attempt to highlight improvements and innovations.

The automaker has been under a cloud due to quality problems with its Fit hybrid subcompact, which was recalled five times as of last October. Honda also set aside hundreds of millions of dollars to cover expected damages due to mass recalls of its cars equipped with Takata Corp. air bags that have been linked to six deaths.

Ito has conceded publicly that quality problems with Fit may have a connection to sales targets for the model that were too aggressive. Meanwhile, Honda lost market share last year in the U.S., as its top Japanese rivals, Toyota and Nissan gained. Like Toyota, Honda has been reorganizing operations to move more authority and responsibility from Japan to regional centers around the world.

Hachigo, described as a broadly experienced executive, jumped several levels in executive rank to his new job. He had worked on development of the Odyssey minivan and CR-V crossover.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

Read next: Here’s Why Russia Is Cracking Down on Google

TIME stocks

Stocks Close at Record Highs as Greece Gets a Bailout Extension

Andrew Burton—2015 Getty Images A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the afternoon of Feb. 13, 2015 in New York City.

Greece has reached a deal with Eurozone finance ministers to extend its financial bailout by another four months

U.S. stock indexes soared to new record highs Friday after Greece reached an agreement with Eurozone officials to extend the struggling country’s bailout by four months.

Both the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500-stock index climbed to new intraday record highs in afternoon trading on news of the Greek deal, which extends the country’s financial rescue for another few months. Investors around the globe have shown their concern over the possibility that an extension could not be reached, which could have sent Greece into bankruptcy and resulted in the country withdrawing from the Eurozone.

The Dow and the S&P index both closed at new record highs.

Greece’s deal with a group of European financial ministers requires that the country submit by Monday a list of fiscal reforms its government plans to enact as part of its bailout agreement, Reuters reported. Greece’s creditors will have until the end of April to approve the policy measures.

In the U.S., the stock market reacted to news of the bailout extension with a swift rebound after an early morning sell-off. The Dow dropped more than 100 points in early trading on investors’ concern over the European negotiations. However, the blue-chip index ended the day in record territory, gaining some 0.9%. The index topped its previous record close, which it reached at the end of December.

Meanwhile, the benchmark S&P 500 captured its third record close in the past week by gaining 0.6%. The index, which crossed the 2,000-point mark for the first time ever last summer, finished just a handful of points above the previous record close it posted earlier this week.

The Nasdaq composite also improved Friday. The tech-heavy index has climbed to its highest levels in about 15 years and is steadily closing in on its own all-time high of 5,132 points, which it hit in 2000 before the dot-com bubble burst.

Friday’s gains cap off yet another strong week for U.S. stocks, which started off 2015 in rough fashion with overall losses for the month of January. February has been another story, though, as the broader market rebound has erased each of the major indices’ yearly losses. Just ahead of closing Friday, the Dow was up 1.8% for the year while the S&P 500 had gained 2.5% this year. The Nasdaq was up 4.6% on the year.

The Greek bailout extension came after the close of European markets, but London’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX each gained about 0.4% on the day.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

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