Tuesday, July 19, 2011

business stories for 7/20 Oakland Press

Wednesday 7/20 business budget

The following stories are being considered for the 7/20 Money page of The Oakland Press. For complete stories go to TheOaklandpress.com.

meadowbrook losses -szczesny
Storm-related losses are expected to take a heavy toll on the second-quarter profits of Southfield-based Meadowbrook Insurance Group Inc. Meadowbrook estimates pre-tax losses from “unusual frequency of severe weather related claim activity in the second quarter” of 2011.

pre-seed funding - szczesny
Two Oakland County-based start-up companies have been approved for investments from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund of Ann Arbor.
Bloomfield Hills-based Arbor Plastic Technologies formulates and manufactures patented and proprietary additives used in the plastics industry.
Auburn Hills-based LEID Products manufactures electronic locker and cabinet storage with biometric asset protection and control for military and medical facilities, crime and research labs, law enforcement departments, universities, libraries, and large corporations.


7.20 Oakland- rest of 7.17 real estate transactions (Novi-Wolverine Lake), requested by Julie
7.20 Macomb Eclectic St Clair Shores

local briefs

on the web

REAR-END COLLISIONS — Technology may be providing a cure for that bane of commuting drivers, the rear-end collision in bumper-to-bumper traffic, according to an auto insurance industry-funded study. The study found that autos outfitted with a standard collision avoidance feature called City Safety are far less likely to be involved in low-speed, front-to-rear crashes. By Joan Lowy.
Investors, including those with 401(k) and education saving accounts, have been keeping an eye on the debt ceiling debate as they get on with their summer activities. They haven’t yet pulled their money out of the market. With the clock ticking and rhetoric heating up, is it just a matter of time before they get the jitters and consider safe options for their money? By Personal Finance Writer David Pitt.
Eds: Available exclusively on AP Exchange/ AP Web Feeds.

Business stories coming from The Associated Press

BRITAIN-PHONE HACKING — Rupert Murdoch spars with lawmakers, insisting he’s not responsible for eavesdropping and police bribery by News Corp. employees, dodging attempts to draw him deeper into a scandal that has embroiled Britain’s political and media elite. Uncowed by an attack from an audience member as his wife leaps up to defend him, the media magnate simply takes off his foam-spattered jacket and continues his testimony. AP photos, video, interactive.
NEWS CORP-INVESTORS REACT — Even as Rupert Murdoch and his son James faced tough questions from a British parliamentary panel over the phone hacking scandal, News Corp.’s shares rose more than 4 percent. Investors appeared to be reassured that the CEO and his son were working to minimize the scandal’s fallout.
AP Photo.
REBOOTING PCS — The personal computer industry needs a jumpstart — and it’s banking on a rescue from emerging markets. The U.S. and European markets are shrinking as fewer people buy PCs because of economic anxiety, market saturation and the rise of tablet computers such as Apple’s iPad. More signs of such strain are expected when PC makers and their component suppliers begin to disclose their latest quarterly earnings this week. To cope, PC makers are looking abroad for their future. AP Photos.
— REBOOTING PCS-MIMICKING TABLETS — The response by computer makers to the iPad stealing sales from them: Make their PCs more like iPads. The “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em strategy is prompting a wave of experimentation with the design of the laptop.
HOUSING STARTSN — Builders broke ground on more single-family homes and apartments in June, as the home-building industry tried to shake off a historically bad spring. The Commerce Department says builders began work on a seasonally adjusted 629,000 homes last month, a 14.6 percent increase from May. Still, that’s roughly half the 1.2 million homes per year that economists say must be built to sustain a healthy housing market. AP Photo.
— STRESS MAP — Western states hit hardest by the housing crisis are feeling the greatest economic stress two years after the recession ended, according to The Associated Press’s monthly analysis.
DEBT SHOWDOWN — House Republicans push ahead toward a vote on legislation that would raise the nation’s debt limit in exchange for trillions of dollars in federal spending cuts and congressional approval of a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.
WALL STREET — Strong profits from Coca-Cola, IBM and other companies drive a stock market rebound. The Dow Jones industrial average gains more than 100 points in early afternoon trading after sliding five of the previous seven days as Europe’s debt crisis threatened to envelop Italy and as a deadlock continued in Washington over raising the country’s borrowing limit.
— OIL PRICES — Oil reverses direction for the fourth straight trading day on Tuesday and climbs about 2 percent, as traders faced uncertainty about the direction of the economy and a weaker dollar.
EARNS-BANKS WRAP — The tenuous economic outlook in the US and in Europe has dampened bank earnings. Trading volume and revenue are down at most banks, with Goldman faring worst. Not all banks that have reported so far did poorly in the second quarter. And there are bright spots, including more consumers paying their bills on time. Even so, it was a rough quarter for banks. AP Photos.
— EARNS-BANK OF AMERICA — Bank of America reports a loss of $9.1 billion during the second quarter partly due to the $8.5 billion settlement with investors who claimed the bank had sold them poor-quality mortgage backed bonds.
— EARNS-GOLDMAN SACHS —Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says it earned $1.05 billion in the second quarter, more than double compared with the same period a year ago. By Christina Rexrode.
— EARNS-WELLS FARGO — Wells Fargo & Co. says its second-quarter profit rose 30 percent, boosted by a release of reserves set aside to cover souring loans as its customers continued to improve their loan and credit card payments.
— EARNS-KEYCORP — KeyCorp says its second-quarter earnings soared due to lower loan losses and expenses.
Product recalls, flat U.S. sales and litigation and restructuring costs slash Johnson & Johnson’s second-quarter profit down by 20 percent. The results would have been worse if not for a big currency exchange benefit.
— SWITZERLAND-EARNS-NOVARTIS —Swiss drug maker Novartis AG says second-quarter net profit rose 12 percent to $2.7 billion.
EARNS-COCA-COLA Coca-Cola Co. says its second-quarter net income rose 18 percent as it sold more drinks around the world, especially its namesake brand. AP Photo.
— EARNS-UNITEDHEALTH — UnitedHealth Group Inc. said its second-quarter earnings rose 13 percent, as enrollment gains helped fuel revenue growth and consumers continued to moderate their health system use.
— EARNS-CSX CORP — CSX Corp. reports quarterly financial results after markets close.
— EARNS-HARLEY DAVIDSON — Harley-Davidson’s second-quarter profit more than doubled as it posted its first U.S. sales increase since 2006.
— EARNS-PEABODY ENERGY — Peabody Energy Corp. says its profit rose in the second quarter due to higher coal prices and beefed-up production of Australian coal used in steelmaking. By Jim Suhr.

— SOUTHERN UNION-ENERGY TRANSFER-ACQUISITION — Pipeline company Southern Union is agreeing to be acquired by Energy Transfer Equity for $5.7 billion, eclipsing a bid from rival Williams Cos.
NEW YORK — Apple reports quarterly results after the market closes. By Peter Svensson.
SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo reports second-quarter results after the market closes. By Michael Liedtke.
BEIJING — Baidu Inc., which operates China’s most popular search engine, will distribute music from three global labels in a deal that its partners say could help clean up China’s piracy-plagued music market. By Joe McDonald.
— CHINA-INTERNET POPULATION — China’s online population soared to 485 million as of the end of June as use of mobile phones to surf the Web spread.
— NETHERLANDS-TELECOMS — The Netherlands’ largest telecommunications company announced big price hikes for mobile Internet customers less than a month after Parliament approved one of the world’s strongest “net neutrality” laws.
ATHENS, Greece — European debt deal is “attainable” at an emergency EU summit Thursday, Greece’s finance minister claims. He said he believed European governments and private bond holders would be able to draw up a new rescue deal for Greece by then. By Derek Gatopoulos And Nicholas Paphitis.
— SPAIN-FINANCIAL CRISIS — Spain paid sharply higher interest rates in two debt auctions held as tensions over Europe’s debt crisis remain acute ahead of a summit of EU leaders.
— GERMANY-ECONOMY — Germany’s ZEW index of economic sentiment slipped more than expected in July as Europe’s government debt crisis weighed on optimism.
— ASIA SUMMIT — Territorial disputes and flare-ups in the South China Sea were expected to take center stage at Asia’s largest security forum this week, after Vietnam and the Philippines accused China of interfering in efforts to explore for oil and gas.
— JAPAN-TOYOTA — Toyota offers its electric-gasoline hybrid car technology to help ease power shortages in Japan’s disaster-struck northeast.
— EARNS-ELECTROLUX — Swedish home appliance maker Electrolux says second-quarter net profit was almost cut in half because of weak demand and higher raw material costs.
— EARNS-NORDEA — Nordea, the Nordic region’s largest bank, says second-quarter profit rose nearly 30 percent.
— EARNS-SAAB — Swedish defense and aerospace group Saab says profit more than doubled in the second quarter.


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