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Top News Links: Friday, May 9

ArcelorMittal is ‘cautiously optimistic’

World's largest steel maker ArcelorMittal announced a lower net loss for the first quarter at $0.205 billion on higher EBITDA and sales, but the company is "cautiously optimistic" for the rest of the year. The company recently acquired Thyssenkrupp’s Alabama steel plant. – Business Today

Florence furniture plant to close

Officials with the HON Co. announced Thursday the Florence furniture plant will close by the end of 2014. Gary Carlson, vice president for HIN Corp, made the announcement. HIN is the parent company of the HON Co., headquartered in Iowa. The plant employs 190. – Decatur Daily

Luckie & Company changes leadership

Birmingham-based Luckie & Company wants to strengthen the company for the technology-driven, consumer-centric age and recently announced new leadership. It includes John Gardner as president, Brad White as chief creative officer and Chris Statt as chief operating officer. – al.com

Petri completes strategic sale

Founders Investment Banking has announced that Petri IT Knowledgebase has been acquired by Blue Whale Web. Founded nearly 15 years ago, Petri has grown to become one of the most trusted online resources for IT professionals across the globe. – Petri news release

Crowdfunding not all beer and skittles

The Securities and Exchange Commission is about to approve rules allowing small businesses to reach out to investors through these kinds of crowdfunding networks. But the rules are already generating controversy. – National Public Radio

Madison County’s Kirk going to chamber

Wendy Kirk, president and CEO of United Way of Madison County, will leave her post as head of the nonprofit to accept another leadership position within the local business community. Kirk will begin her new position with the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce June 2. – al.com

Anti-gay tweets freeze partnership

A Florence coffee startup going into business soon with a Muscle Shoals ice cream company has canceled those plans after the brother of Shirey Ice Cream owner Reese Shirey made anti-gay comments on Twitter. – al.com

Infinity Property updates guidance

Infinity Property & Casualty Corp. issued an update on its FY14 earnings guidance on Thursday morning. The company provided earnings per share guidance of $3.55-4.35 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus earnings per share estimate of $3.73, AnalystRatingsNetwork.com reports. – Ticker Report

MAP inks with Corporate America CU

Member Access Pacific (MAP), the nation’s only aggregator of the Visa Debit Processing Service platform for credit unions, is partnering with Alabama-based Corporate America Credit Union to bring its services to Corporate America’s 500 member credit unions. – BusinessWire

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