News Archive
National | Thu, Jan 17, 2013

Consumer advocates have complained that U.S. mortgage lenders are getting off easy in a deal to settle charges that they wrongfully foreclosed on many homeowners.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Robert Citron, a former treasurer of California’s Orange County who spent nine months in prison for his role in what stood for years as the nation’s biggest municipal bankruptcy, has died. He was 87.

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher said monetary policy is proving more beneficial to growth while reiterating his opposition to a Fed decision to increase easing by purchasing more bonds.

Builders broke ground on more houses in December, capping the best year for the industry since 2008, another sign residential real estate is boosting the U.S. economic expansion.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Intel Corp. shares fell after the world’s largest semiconductor maker reported a second straight quarter of declining sales, hurt by diminishing demand for personal computers.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Silver Lake Management LLC and partners are close to lining up about $15 billion in funds for a buyout of Dell Inc., the third-biggest maker of personal computers, said people familiar with the matter.

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments fell more than forecast last week to the lowest level in five years, pointing to further improvement in the labor market.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Amtrak agreed to work with California, the only U.S. state planning to begin construction on a high-speed rail project this year, to buy passenger-rail equipment.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Oil advanced to a four-month high after U.S. builders broke ground on more houses than forecast and jobless claims dropped to a five-year low, bolstering optimism for the economy.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- EBay Inc., operator of the world’s largest online marketplace, surged to an eight-year high after fourth-quarter revenue topped analysts’ estimates, helped by record holiday sales on the Web and mobile devices.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Herbalife Ltd., the nutrition company that hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman has called a pyramid scheme, posted preliminary fourth-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates and said it would resume buying back shares.

Regional banker Fifth Third Bancorp reported Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income jumped 28 percent, helped by improving credit conditions.

Lenders took possession of fewer U.S. homes in 2012 than a year earlier, as the pace of new homes entering the path to foreclosure slowed and banks increasingly opted to allow troubled borrowers to sell their homes for less than what they owed on their mortgage.

A run of upbeat U.S. economic indicators helped shore up sentiment in the markets Thursday despite disappointing earnings from Bank of America and Citigroup.

Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Just before Christmas, I met with former Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou, and he talked about how excited he was to spend the holidays abroad, where -- unlike in Greece -- he could roam freely without a security detail. His holiday didn’t go quite as expected.

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- An enterprising piece of investigative reporting by Bloomberg News’s Max Abelson, about a “secret” team inside Goldman Sachs Group Inc. charged with investing $1 billion of the firm’s money, raised eyebrows on Wall Street.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures extended gains after government data showed housing starts increased more than forecast and jobless claims fell to a five-year low, bolstering optimism in the economy.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Oil advanced to the highest level in four months in New York as a surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories countered concern that the global economic recovery may falter and curb fuel demand.

U.S. builders started work on homes in December at the fastest pace in 4 { years and finished 2012 as their best year for residential construction since the early stages of the housing crisis.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid plummeted to a five-year low last week, a hopeful sign the job market may be improving. But much of the decline reflects seasonal volatility in the data.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta fired off a strong defense of gun control legislation Thursday, in front of a decidedly skeptical audience.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- OAO Gazprom, the biggest natural-gas producer, said profit doubled in the third quarter, beating analyst estimates, as a foreign exchange gain helped compensate for soaring costs.

American Airlines is getting a new look.

Researchers from the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University have been showing how their combined efforts have contributed to some of the technological advances on display at this week's Detroit auto show.

UnitedHealth shares rose 19 cents to $53.86 in midday trading, while the Dow Jones industrial average _ of which UnitedHealth is a component -- also climbed less than 1 percent.

Consumer review service Angie's List on Thursday named J. Mark Howell as its chief operating officer, more than eight months after its former COO left.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. regulators’ decision to ground Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner, their first move involving an entire model in 34 years, came five days after Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood proclaimed it safe.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc., the third-biggest U.S. bank by assets, reported a profit increase that was less than analysts estimated as litigation costs rose and benefits from releasing loan-loss reserves declined.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- SLM Corp., the student lender known as Sallie Mae, fell the most in more than seven weeks after reporting a drop in fourth-quarter profit as charge-offs increased, offsetting a climb in originations.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Manufacturing in the Philadelphia region unexpectedly contracted in January, an indication companies are becoming more concerned about across-the-board U.S. government spending cuts that could slow growth.

The price of oil rose above $95 a barrel on Thursday on positive reports about the U.S. economy.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- In case you haven’t heard, Lance Armstrong has confessed to doping during his cycling career. All of the faux moral posturing can now officially stop.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Perhaps you have heard that the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created to do what the name implies, issued rules last week to beef up mortgage-lending standards.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. says a U.S. appeals court hobbled its efforts to protect patented designs and features against copying by Samsung Electronics Co., its biggest competitor for smartphones and tablet computers.

Reviews site Yelp is adding restaurants' health-inspection grades to its site, giving users yet another filter through which they can decide where to eat.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The euro approached a 10-month high against the dollar after Spain’s borrowing costs fell at a 4.5 billion-euro ($6 billion) sale of bonds, underscoring increased confidence in European debt markets.

House Republicans may seek a quick, short-term extension of the government's debt limit, a move that would avoid an immediate default by the Treasury as the party seeks to maximize leverage in negotiations over spending cuts with President Barack Obama this spring, officials said Thursday.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- ExxonMobil Corp., on trial in New Hampshire for allegedly contaminating residents’ groundwater with a gasoline additive, confronted the state’s first witness about his data and methods of analyzing it.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Capital One Financial Corp., the lender that gets more than half of its revenue from credit cards, posted a fourth-quarter profit that missed analysts’ estimates as it set aside more reserves to cover loan losses.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- SLM Corp., the student lender known as Sallie Mae, fell the most in more than 10 weeks after reporting a drop in fourth-quarter profit as charge-offs increased, offsetting a climb in originations.

What's in an inch? Apparently, enough missing meat, cheese and tomatoes to cause an uproar.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- American Express Co., the lender that plans to cut 5,400 jobs this year, said profit at its U.S. card business declined 42 percent in the fourth quarter as the firm set aside more money to cover soured loans.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Spot gasoline in San Francisco dropped to the lowest level against futures in almost a month after Tesoro Corp. was said to start units at the Golden Eagle refinery in Northern California.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The Army must choose a single contractor next year to complete development and build the service’s Ground Combat Vehicle, a potential $32 billion program, according to the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer.

Online brokerage E-Trade Financial Corp. appointed banking industry veteran Paul Idzik as its new CEO as the company seeks to regain its financial footing.

Intel Corp., the world's largest chipmaker, on Thursday said its fourth-quarter net income fell 27 percent from the previous year, as PC sales continued to weaken.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Tishman Speyer Properties LP plans to sell three office complexes in the San Francisco area, seeking to capitalize on demand from real estate investors amid rising rents, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Former television executive Peter Liguori was named chief executive of Tribune Co., the media conglomerate that recently emerged from a four-year bankruptcy with its creditors in charge.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp., the lender planning to cut $8 billion of expenses to improve profitability, reduced its staff by 14,601 employees last year.

BlackRock's fourth-quarter net income climbed 24 percent as the value of the assets it managed for its clients grew and performance fees increased. Its performance topped analysts' estimates.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Boeing Co.’s global fleet of 787 Dreamliners was grounded, with airlines suspending service on the most advanced civil airliner, to comply with an order from regulators following an emergency landing by one of the planes.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- A gauge of U.S. corporate credit risk fell before jobs data expected to show that the labor market is recovering.

Citigroup also released less money from its rainy-day fund to cover souring loans -- $86 million, compared with $1.47 billion a year earlier.

The head of the National Rifle Association says the organization has no problem with tighter background checks of gun purchasers.

Lithium batteries that can leak corrosive fluid and start fires have emerged as the chief safety concern involving Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, a problem that apparently is far more serious than government or company officials acknowledged less than a week ago.

The government's consumer lending watchdog finalized new rules Thursday aimed at protecting homeowners from shoddy service and unexpected fees charged by companies that collect their monthly mortgage payments.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Americans’ economic outlook deteriorated in January to a three-month low as paychecks began reflecting higher taxes.

Inspectors taking the first-ever inventory of flood control systems overseen by the federal government have found hundreds of structures at risk of failing and endangering people and property in 37 states.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback surprised some fellow conservatives Wednesday by reviving a failed proposal to eliminate Kansas' popular deduction for interest paid on home mortgages to help close a budget shortfall while further reducing state income tax rates.

The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage inched closer to its record low this week, helping to keep home buying more affordable.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. mortgage rates were little changed, keeping borrowing costs close to record lows as home values climb after the worst slump since the Great Depression.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Bondholders are giving Urbi Desarrollos Urbanos SAB a second chance as the homebuilder takes steps to reverse a cash drain that’s plagued the industry and saddled investors with losses last year.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp. reported profit dropped 63 percent as revenue shrank and costs mounted from faulty foreclosures and flawed home loans.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Florida’s foreclosure crisis just won’t end. More than six years after subprime lending and overbuilding led to the worst U.S. real estate slump, the state had the biggest increase in home seizures last year, and the highest foreclosure rate, RealtyTrac Inc. said.

Shares of Forum Energy Technologies dropped more than 8 percent Thursday, a day after the company cut its full-year earnings forecast due to lower-than-expected fourth-quarter customer spending, equipment delivery deferrals and various costs.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The International Olympic Committee has stripped Lance Armstrong of the bronze medal he won in the bicycling individual time trial at the 2000 Sydney Games, and has written to the American to request the return of the medal.

Somalia's most dangerous militant group said Thursday that it killed a French hostage that French military forces tried to rescue last weekend during a botched raid.

By today's politically polarized standards, the Supreme Court's momentous Roe v. Wade ruling was a landslide. By a 7-2 vote on Jan. 22, 1973, the justices established a nationwide right to abortion.

Dartmouth College will stop awarding credit based on Advanced Placement exam scores starting with the class of 2018.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- A sound approaches. At first it’s a high-pitched keen, then it gets closer and you can hear the lower reverberations, the snarl of the thing. Something wicked this way comes.

Senior investigators from the U.N. nuclear watchdog have ended two days of intensive talks with Iranian officials over allegations the Islamic Republic may have carried out tests on triggers for atomic weapons.

Thu, Jan 17, 2013