News Archive
National | Tue, Jan 15, 2013

Pfizer Inc.’s four business units may be combined into two, a top company official said, triggering speculation by analysts that the world’s biggest drugmaker is preparing to split in half.

U.S. consumers increased their spending at retail businesses in December, buying more autos, furniture and clothing. Steady job growth and lower gas prices kept consumers shopping for the holidays, despite worries about potentially tax increases.

Oil dropped from the highest level in almost four months on concern that debt-ceiling talks will harm the U.S. economy and as a gauge of New York-area manufacturing contracted for a sixth straight month.

When people find themselves in a disagreement that seems impossible to resolve, there are two time-honored solutions.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled for the owner of a floating home in a decision that may shield dockside casinos from some lawsuits by workers and customers.

Even before Superstorm Sandy slammed into Connecticut and the rest of the Northeast, a state task force that studied the impact of the damage from previous storms concluded that towns along the shoreline need to adopt zoning laws to account for rising sea levels.

The Supreme Court on Monday said it won't stop the federal government from detaining and prosecuting a Rhode Island inmate who faces the possibility of execution, despite arguments that doing so violates the rights of a state without the death penalty.

Stocks edged higher on Wall Street after a rally in retail stocks offset concerns about flaring tensions in Washington over increasing the country's borrowing limit.

U.S. home prices in November extended their steady recovery from the housing bust, rising 7.4 percent compared with a year ago. It was the biggest year-over-year increase more than 6 years.

Maggie Medved was stuck with her Phoenix house for two years after the market crash wiped out the equity in the property.

The most famous painting of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica,” commemorates the bombing of the small Spanish town on April 26, 1937, by the German air force, in support of General Francisco Franco’s fascists in the Spanish Civil War. Hard to believe, but this was history’s first extensive bombing of a civilian population.

Evidence that Germany's economy contracted in the last three months of 2012 hurt global stock markets on Tuesday, offsetting more upbeat U.S. figures showing retail sales rose during the holiday month of December.

ConocoPhillips is selling some properties in North Dakota and Montana to a subsidiary of Denbury Resources Inc. for $1.05 billion.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Oil traded near the highest level in almost four months in New York before reports that may show the economy recovering in the U.S. and as lower temperatures buoy demand for heating fuels.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Wholesale prices in the U.S. dropped for a third month in December as food costs retreated, indicating there is little risk of a pickup in inflation.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures maintained losses as a gauge of New York-area manufacturing contracted for a sixth straight month, while another report showed retail sales grew more than forecast.

The United States could lose its top credit rating for the second time from a leading agency if there's a delay in raising the country's debt ceiling, Fitch Ratings warned Tuesday.

Northeastern lawmakers hoping to push a $50.7 billion Superstorm Sandy aid package through the House face roadblocks by fiscal conservatives seeking offsetting spending cuts to pay for recovery efforts as well as cuts for projects they say are unrelated to the Oct. 29 storm.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer and nation's largest private employer, is making a pledge to boost its sourcing from domestic suppliers and hire more than 100,000 veterans.

U.S. wholesale prices fell for the third month in a row last month, pushed down by falling food and gas costs. The drop is the latest evidence inflation is tame.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Lance Armstrong said he cheated by using performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, the talk-show host said on “CBS This Morning.”

The Supreme Court says a Florida man's floating home was a house, not a boat, and not covered under maritime law.

Oprah Winfrey says she and her TV crew were “mesmerized and riveted” by some of Lance Armstrong's answers during a 2 1/2-hour interview in which the cyclist acknowledged using performance-enhancing drugs.

Kia is making a move into the North American premium sedan market with the 2014 Cadenza, which goes on sale later this year.

Airline stocks dipped slightly on Tuesday, with the main declines felt by US Airways Group Inc. and United Continental Holdings Inc. after downgrades by J.P. Morgan analyst Jamie Baker.

U.S. companies increased their stockpiles a steady pace in November from October, responding to a solid increase in sales.

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton has signed on to help promote President Barack Obama's inaugural kick-off event to get Americans across the country engaged in serving their communities.

The state Senate has confirmed Gov. Jerry Brown's nominee for director of the California Department of Conservation amid a continuing debate over “fracking,” or hydraulic fracturing.

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- CapStone Investments Inc., the San Diego-based stock-research boutique, is closing after merger talks with Ascendiant Capital Markets LLC collapsed, according to Scott Dahle, CapStone’s general counsel.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Retail sales rose more than forecast in December to end 2012 on a positive note, indicating Americans may be able to rise above Washington’s budget rancor to keep contributing to economic growth.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. is considering modifying Lincoln models before they go on sale in China next year to meet the tastes of consumers there who often expect to be chauffeur-driven in their luxury cars.

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Supreme Court signaled interest in Pfizer Inc.’s bid for a shield from some asbestos lawsuits connected to its Quigley Co. subsidiary, a bankrupt unit that stopped most operations in 1992.

For more than two decades, crime writer Patricia Cornwell has famously dramatized the life of a fictional medical examiner in her best-selling books. Now, she has her own personal drama unfolding in federal court.

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Tullett Prebon Plc’s claim that competitor BGC Partners Inc. improperly lured away nine traders was rejected by an arbitration panel of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, according to BGC.

The Columbia University professor who wrote “A Beautiful Mind” has filed suit against the school over almost $1 million that she says she's owed.

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Marriott International Inc. was sued for $500 million and accused of conspiring with a hotel workers’ union to keep two of its New York City properties union-free while helping the unions organize at others.

A Muslim couple is suing United Airlines for alleged racial discrimination after they were asked to leave a Minnesota-bound flight in 2011.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Pennsylvania State University asked a court to dismiss the lawsuit brought by Mike McQueary, the former assistant football coach who claims he was fired for cooperating in the sex-abuse investigation of Jerry Sandusky.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co., trying to fend off new pickups from competitors aimed at its top-selling F-Series, showed an F-150 prototype with features that boost fuel economy and foreshadow its future for the segment.

Jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney says it's cutting 350 salaried workers, about 200 of those jobs are in Connecticut.

A major retail trade organization is announcing that holiday sales rose 3 percent, below its forecast for a 4.1 percent gain.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. said Tuesday that it adopted measures to discourage investors from holding 5 percent or more of the company's stock, thereby reducing its risk of a hostile takeover.

Forest Laboratories Inc. said Tuesday it took a loss in the fiscal third quarter on greater payments to partners and a continued decline in its sales.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- WellPoint Inc., the second-biggest U.S. health insurer, is considering former Amerigroup Corp. Chief Executive Officer James Carlson among several finalists to become CEO, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- France’s inquiry into Google Inc.’s tax affairs is coming to an end and the results may be announced within the next six months, Technology Minister Fleur Pellerin said today.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- China added 51 million Internet users last year, underscoring the challenges faced by leaders seeking to tighten control over web services that have been used to expose corruption and criticize the government.

For the latest incarnation of its entry-level luxury line, Lexus says it started with an idea of the experience its drivers wanted and worked to make that happen.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Lennar Corp., the largest U.S. homebuilder by market value, reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates as revenue jumped 42 percent and profit margins climbed.

New orders and home deliveries continue to climb at Lennar as net income more than quadrupled in its fiscal fourth quarter partly because of a tax benefit.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The nation’s commercial mortgage backed securities market is showing signs of revitalization five years after grinding to a halt in the global financial crisis as investor interest in Canadian real estate grows.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. mortgage lenders will get an additional year to implement new appraisal standards for higher- risk loans after regulators revised the Dodd-Frank Act measure to address concerns raised by financial firms.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. unveiled a tool for searching information posted to its social network of more than 1 billion users, creating an alternative to services now available on Google Inc., LinkedIn Corp. and Yelp Inc.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. taxpayers will be able to make a simplified calculation to claim up to $1,500 in home-office deductions, the Internal Revenue Service said.

USA Compression Partners LP fell in its market debut on the New York Stock Exchange after raising $198 million in its initial public offering of stock.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Sanderson Farms Inc., the fourth- largest U.S. chicken producer, said rising prices for boneless, skinless breast meat indicate that demand from U.S. food service may have bottomed in recent months.

Captain Jack Sparrow driving Cinderella's carriage? Mr. Incredible swinging the Queen of Hearts' flamingo mallet? Sulley from “Monsters, Inc.” galloping around on Bullseye from “Toy Story”? Those are just a few of the silly scenarios that could become a virtual reality with “Disney Infinity,” a new endeavor from Disney combining a video game with a toy line.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc., whose shares have jumped this year amid speculation it’s an acquisition target, adopted measures to discourage investors from buying 5 percent or more of the company’s stock.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Lennar Corp., the largest U.S. homebuilder by market value, said it plans to diversify into apartments with the construction of $1 billion of multifamily properties as rental demand climbs.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- American Airlines passenger service workers voted against joining the Communications Workers of America, after the union won a legal battle to hold an election.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Dell Inc.’s buyout talks may finally give founder Michael Dell the chance to jump-start growth after years of half-measures have fallen short.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp.’s Camry, the best-selling car in the U.S. for 11 straight years, will keep its lead in 2013 over competing midsize sedans from Honda Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co., Toyota’s U.S. sales chief said.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co., on the verge of reporting a 12th straight quarterly profit, forecast 2013 profit rising “modestly” as new models meet expanding global demand.

General Motors says it expects only a modest increase in pretax profits this year, as it rolls out many new cars and trucks worldwide.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Dish Network Corp. won a federal appeals court ruling that frees pay-television providers from U.S. regulations blocking the use of some techniques to prevent illicit copying of programs.

Headlights, grilles and other doodads are stepping up and popping out on cars: from daytime running lights that go up the hood of the new Cadillac ATS, to a wide, bold grille on the Ford Fusion, to engraving within the lamps of the new Corvette and Ford Transit. They are inexpensive but distinctive, providing automotive eye candy that can even boost gas mileage or improve safety.

Facing powerful opposition to sweeping gun regulations, President Barack Obama is weighing 19 steps that could be taken through executive action alone, congressional officials said.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Retail sales in the U.S. rose more than projected in December as Americans wrapped up their holiday shopping, showing households looked beyond the year-end budget battle among U.S. lawmakers.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Manufacturing in the New York region contracted in January for the sixth straight month as the industry continued to face the effects of fiscal uncertainty in the U.S. and lackluster demand overseas.

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim says his foundation is funding the translation of thousands of Khan Academy online classes into Spanish.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Greece’s mutual funds climbed almost 14 percent in value last year, boosted by a gain in Greek stock and government bond prices, the Hellenic Fund and Asset Management Association said.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Greek economic sentiment rose to the highest in more than two years in December as euro-area nations and the International Monetary Fund approved the payment of bailout funds for Greece, ending months of uncertainty.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The yen rose the most since May versus the dollar as Japan’s economy minister Akira Amari said an excessively weak currency may affect imports and households, damping speculation policy makers will try to weaken it further.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- SAP AG, the biggest maker of business-management software, reported earnings trailing analysts’ estimates as the company increased spending and growth in the Americas slowed. The shares fell.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- A gauge of U.S. corporate credit risk rose for the third straight day on concerns that the government might not reach a compromise about its debt limit.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said the Fed should press on with record accommodation even while he predicted economic growth will speed up to 3 percent during the second half of this year.

U.S. stock futures are falling ahead of a report on retail sales during December, a critical period for the sector.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- U.S government notes rose for a third day as Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said a failure to increase the debt ceiling by early March would “impose severe economic hardship.”

the bailed-out country's latest austerity measures which critics say are deepening hardship and dooming hopes for an economic recovery.

Cyprus' Central Bank chief has ruled out writing down the country's debt as part of an international bailout program being negotiated.

Cuba's Public Health Ministry on Tuesday acknowledged 51 new cases of cholera in the capital amid growing concerns about the illness' spread and disappointment in the diplomatic community over the government's lack of transparency.

A senior U.N. team is embarking on a new try to restart its probe into suspicions that Iran secretly worked on nuclear arms.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday that the U.S. has ruled out putting any American troops on the ground in Mali, but officials are hoping the French will be able to succeed in establishing better security for the West African nation.

New York lawmakers agreed to pass the toughest gun control law in the nation and the first since the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, calling for a tougher assault weapons ban and provisions to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill who make threats.

Prosecutors say 11 bodies have been found dumped at two different sites near the outskirts of Mexico City.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Inventories in the U.S. rose in November at the same pace as a month earlier as companies kept stockpiles in line with improving demand.

Six former officials of the scandal-ridden city of Bell go on trial this week in a massive corruption case that nearly bankrupted the Los Angeles suburb.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- A former compliance officer in China for Siemens AG, Meng-Lin Liu, filed a federal whistleblower suit claiming he was fired after exposing a hospital kickback scheme.

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Justice Clarence Thomas spoke at a U.S. Supreme Court argument for the first time in almost seven years, evoking laughter as he made a wisecrack during a discussion about Ivy League law schools.

A former high school teacher suing the school district where she used to work is accusing its administrators of discriminating against her because of a rare phobia she says she has: a fear of young children.

Workers using two giant cranes on the 104th floor roof of 1 World Trade Center have installed the first piece of the spire that will make it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

A weapons industry group based in the Connecticut town where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults last month is opening a Las Vegas Strip trade show Tuesday that's expected to draw tens of thousands of manufacturers and enthusiasts.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is adding catering service.

Tue, Jan 15, 2013