Tuesday, August 2, 2011

business news under consideration for The Oakland Press

Business for Wednesday

car sales - szczesny
General Motors posted an 8 percent increase in sales in July. Ford and Chryslers are expected to follow suit.

Meadowbrook earns - szczesny
Meadowbrook insurance posted an $8 million profit despite storm losses.

Meritor earns - szczesny
Troy-based Meritor Inc. posted a profit for its third fiscal quarter thanks to steady sales of commercial vehicles.


WASHINGTON — The economy is barely growing or producing jobs, and it’s not getting much help from shoppers. Americans in June saved more and cut their spending for the first time in almost two years, a result of stagnant pay, sliding home values and high gas prices.
AP graphic.
DEBT SHOWDOWN — The Senate emphatically passed emergency legislation to avoid a first-ever government default, rushing the legislation to President Barack Obama for his signature just hours before the deadline. By Andrew Taylor.
— DEBT SHOWDOWN-TREASURY — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says he doesn’t know if the bruising debt-limit battle will harm America’s Triple-A credit rating, but says he fears “world confidence was damaged by this spectacle.”
BRUSSELS — In the U.S., the planned takeover of NYSE Euronext by Germany’s Deutsche Boerse made waves because it means ceding the storied trading floor on 11 Wall Street to foreign control. But in Europe, tradition has almost no role to play in reviews of the deal. Regulators are focused on how to handle a new company that would be the world’s largest exchange and control vast but obscure parts of the financial system. By Gabriele Steinhauser.
— EARNS-NYSE EURONEXT — NYSE Euronext reported a 16 percent drop in net profit in the second quarter, citing in part costs linked to its planned merger with Germany’s Deutsche Boerse.
NEW YORK — The stock market stumbled again and was on pace for its longest losing streak in two years. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped below 12,000 and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost nearly all of its gains for the year by midday. Investors were discouraged by more signs of weakness in the U.S. economy and poor corporate earnings from several big companies. By David K. Randall.
— OIL PRICES — Oil fell below $94 amid new evidence that the U.S. economy is slowing.
UNDATED — Generic competition cut further into Pfizer’s revenue in the second quarter, with just a few months to go before the patent expires on its cholesterol fighter Lipitor, the world’s top-selling drug. The drugmaker’s net income rose 5 percent from a year ago, when it had a big restructuring charge from its 2009 purchase of Wyeth and paid a higher tax rate. Excluding those factors, adjusted income fell 4 percent. Shares dropped 3 percent. By Linda Johnson.
NEW YORK — Agribusiness conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland says its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings fell 15 percent as a higher tax rate and inflated corn prices offset surging revenue. By Samantha Bomkamp.
NEW YORK — Duke Energy earned $441 million in the second quarter, reversing a loss from a year earlier. But the utility operator said the sputtering economy continues to keep demand for electricity low. By Jon Fahey.
DENVER — Molson Coors’ profit fell 6 percent in the second quarter, as the brewer found that higher prices were not enough to offset weak beer sales and increased costs for fuel and ingredients in the second quarter. By Sarah Skidmore.
NEW YORK — Coach said fourth-quarter net income rose 4 percent as the demand for luxury bags in North America continues to improve. By Mae Anderson.
DETROIT — Car buyers visited dealerships in July, but not in big enough numbers to shake the auto industry’s unease about its recovery. Sales rose 8 percent at General Motors and 6 percent at Ford. Still, a lack of discounts and continuing shortages of Japanese cars kept many buyers away. By Dee-Ann Durbin.
TOKYO — Toyota eked out a $14 million quarterly profit and raised its annual earnings forecast as it mounts a comeback from the devastation of the earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan. By Yuri Kageyama.
— GERMANY-EARNS-BMW — German automaker BMW AG says booming sales of its luxury cars and SUVs in China helped its profits more than double to $2.5 billion in the second quarter.
ATLANTA — Utility regulators unanimously rejected a plan that would have trimmed the profits of the Southern Co. if it breaks its budget while building what may become the first brand-new nuclear plant in a generation. By Ray Henry.
— BRITAIN-LULZSEC — A British newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch is warning some readers that their personal details may have been stolen during a cyberattack. Hacking group Lulz Security claimed it carried out the attack, which redirected readers to a fake story about Murdoch. The group also has claimed attacks on Sony Corp. and the CIA.
MADRID — Investors dealt Italy and Spain a battering as the yields on their bonds struck euro-era highs amid mounting fears that an economic slowdown will hurt their chances of dodging Europe’s spreading debt crisis.
— EUROPE-INTEREST RATES — Worries about Europe’s economy and a possible worsening of the debt crisis could force the European Central Bank to abandon a third interest rate increase that had been widely predicted for later this year. By Business Writer David McHugh.
TOKYO — Expectations Japan will intervene in currency markets grew as the yen’s rise to a near record high threatened to stall economic recovery in the aftermath of the March earthquake. By Tomoko A. Hosaka.
BEIJING — China’s bullet train was supposed to signal its arrival as a high-tech leader. Instead, a crash that killed at least 40 people has made it a lightning rod for anger at the human cost of recklessly fast development. On the Internet and in normally docile state media, the July 23 disaster triggered outrage about China’s drumbeat of deaths from bridge and schoolhouse collapses, coal mine explosions, tainted milk and other disasters. By Joe McDonald.
— BRITAIN-BARCLAYS — Britain’s Barclays PLC’s profits fell by a third in the first half of the year as the bank’s earnings were hit by a charge related to the mis-selling of products to customers.
— EARNS-DEUTSCHE POST — Mail and freight company Deutsche Post AG says net profits more than tripled in the second quarter as its German package deliveries rose and Asian sales boosted its DHL express delivery business.
— SAUDI-TALLEST TOWER — An investment firm headed by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal signed a $1.2 billion deal with the Saudi Binladen Group to build the world’s tallest tower.

And now, a downgrade?
The U.S. now has a higher borrowing limit and isn’t at risk to default on its debt. But it could still lose its top AAA credit rating. The three main ratings agencies have warned that they may lower the rating because lawmakers haven’t cut the federal budget enough.
Molson Coors takes a hit from unemployment
The unemployment rate is particularly high among younger people. And they’re Molson Coors’ biggest customers. So the brewer’s profits are hurting as the job market and the economy weaken.


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