Wednesday, July 27, 2011

business stories preview at 11

Among the Business News stories from The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Budget analysts say a Senate Democratic plan to reduce the deficit and increase the nation’s borrowing authority would save $2.2 trillion over a decade, more than a rival House Republican proposal but less than promised. With both bills stuck in neutral, Congress, financial markets and the public remained on edge days before the deadline for heading off a potentially calamitous default. By Andrew Taylor.
— DEBT SHOWDOWN-GIMMICKS — They may promise to reduce federal spending by $3 trillion or thereabouts, but the immediate spending cuts in rival budget and debt proposals by House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid only measure a few billion dollars. The rest are mostly promises — and in Reid’s case, a glaring $1 trillion ploy.
WASHINGTON — Businesses cut back on orders for aircraft, autos, heavy machinery and computers in June, sending demand for long-lasting manufactured goods lower for the second month in the past three. The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods fell 2.1 percent in June, with the weakness led by a big drop in orders for commercial aircraft. A key category that tracks business investment plans fell 0.4 percent. By Martin Crutsinger.
NEW YORK — Stocks fall as lawmakers remain at odds over how to avoid a debt default. A weak report on orders for manufactured goods also weighs on stocks. By Chip Cutter.
— OIL PRICES — Oil prices fall below $99 a barrel after a report showed U.S. crude supplies unexpectedly jumped last week, suggesting demand may be weakening.
Boeing’s commercial airplane profits surged in the second quarter, pushing net income up almost 20 percent. It raised its guidance for the year. Boeing also said it will not deliver as many of its new 787s and 747-8s this year as previously hoped. By Josh Freed.
Delta Air Lines said 2,000 workers took voluntary buyouts and it will reduce its flying more than planned later this year as it cuts costs to make up for higher fuel prices. The high cost of jet fuel was the main reason Delta’s second-quarter net income fell by 58 percent compared to a year ago. By Josh Freed.
NEW YORK — ConocoPhillips says its second quarter profit dropped 18.3 percent but beat expectations. The year-ago quarter benefitted from large gains as the company shed assets. Chris Kahn.
— EARNS-AETNA — Health insurer Aetna’s second-quarter net income rose 9 percent in part because it benefited from a continued slowdown in the use of health care services by its members. The company also raised its full-year adjusted earnings forecast.
— EARNS-WELLPOINT — WellPoint’s second-quarter profit fell 3 percent as benefit expenses climbed in its Medicare Advantage business, but the health insurer raised its 2011 profit forecast for the second time this year.
— LUXEMBOURG-EARNS-ARCELORMITTAL — ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel maker, remains optimistic about the second half of the year even though it posted an 11 percent decline in second quarter profit.
— EARNS-DOW CHEMICAL — Dow Chemical Co. says its second-quarter profit surged 73 percent on a combination of higher prices, increasing sales and comparison to results a year-ago weighed down by one-time charges.
— EARNS-CORNING — Specialty glass maker Corning Inc. says its second-quarter profit slumped 17 percent, mainly because of a higher tax rate and a liquid-crystal-display glass supply disruption caused by Japan’s earthquake and tsunami in March.
— EARNS-GENERAL DYNAMICS — General Dynamics Corp.’s second-quarter earnings rose slightly as lower costs somewhat offset revenue declines across several business units.
— EARNS-NORTHROP GRUMMAN — Northrop Grumman’s second-quarter profit fell 30 percent on tough comparisons to the same period last year, when it recorded a $298 million tax benefit.
RICHMOND, Va. — AutoNation Inc.’s second-quarter net income jumped 52 percent on higher new and used vehicle prices despite lower new-vehicle sales caused primarily by shortages from Japanese manufacturers. By Michael Felberbaum.
— JAPAN-EARNS-NISSAN — Nissan’s quarterly profit dropped 20 percent as Japanese automakers took a battering from the quake and tsunami disaster that disrupted car production and destroyed dealerships.
— GERMANY-EARNS-DAIMLER — Daimler AG’s second-quarter profit swelled by nearly a third. But revenue was short of expectations amid signs of a growth slowdown in China.
— FRANCE-EARNS-PEUGEOT CITROEN — French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen SA warned that repercussions from this year’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan will weigh on its earnings in the second half of the year, sending its share price sharply lower.
NEW YORK — Shares of Dunkin’ Donuts parent company are set to start trading after pricing at $19 per share, more than the $16 to $18 range it predicted two weeks ago.
CINCINNATI — A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments over a law giving the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco advertising and marketing. The tobacco companies say the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act illegally restricts their free speech rights. By Brett Barrouquere.
— CHICKEN NUGGETS RECALL — A voluntary recall of thousands of pounds of ready-to-eat chicken has been expanded over concerns that the meat could be contaminated with bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
LUBBOCK, Texas — Thousands of farmers are counting their losses amid record heat and drought this year. The drought has spread over much of the southern U.S. But the situation is especially severe in Texas, which trails only California in agricultural productivity. The crop and livestock losses this year could be the worst the state has seen. By Betsy Blaney.
AP Photos.
— NOKIA-DEBT RATING — Moody’s downgrades Nokia’s credit rating. The world’s largest producer of mobile phones is losing market share in the smartphone market.
— BRITAIN-BSKYB — The board of British Sky Broadcasting meets, facing a possible decision about the position of its chairman, James Murdoch, after he became embroiled in the phone hacking scandal.
— SKOREA-EARNS-LG ELECTRONICS — LG Electronics, a top global manufacturer of mobile phones and flat-screen TVs, said second-quarter net profit plunged as sales declined and its mobile phone business remained in the red.
— SKOREA-ECONOMY — South Korea’s economic growth slowed in the second quarter because of weaker exports, manufacturing and services.
— SPAIN-EARNS-SANTANDER — Spain’s Banco Santander said its second-quarter net profit fell 38 percent as growth in Latin America was offset by weaker results in crisis-hit Europe and a one-time charge in Britain.
— GERMANY-EARNS-MERCK — German drug and chemicals company Merck KgaA on Wednesday lowered its earnings outlook after reporting a loss for the second quarter, when it wrote down the value of acquisitions.
— GERMANY-SIEMENS — Industrial equipment maker Siemens AG says its board has extended CEO Peter Loescher’s contract for another five years.
— GERMANY-GREECE-INVESTMENT — The German economy minister says Greece must cut red tape to attract investors.


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