Daniel Rice takes taxis down long desert roads in Afghanistan’s combat zones to make sales calls. He travels at night, unarmed, and when he’s dropped at the gate of a U.S. military base, soldiers often call Rice crazy before whisking him inside. The former U.S. Army officer is there to sell commanders on something he wishes the military used eight years ago when he served in Iraq and lost friends in attacks on convoys: solar panels.
Stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rebounding from its worst drop since August, as jobless claims fell while a retreat in Italian bond yields and the selection of a new Greek premier tempered concern about Europe’s crisis. The euro gained and Treasuries slid.
American States Water Co., a California-based water service and electricity provider, reported a 53 percent rise in fourth-quarter earnings, boosted by projects at military bases in North Carolina and Texas.