News Archive
National | Thu, Jan 31, 2013

The Range Rover and the Porsche 911 are pretty much the same car. Or so I’m thinking as I take a brand new, totally redesigned Range Rover HSE up a cracked rock ledge, scrambling atop a high desert mesa.

Stocks fell, trimming the best January rally for the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1994, on disappointing earnings as investors weighed economic data ahead of Friday’s jobs report.

Consumer confidence fell again last week, raising the risk that the payroll tax increase that kicked in at the start of the year will make it difficult to sustain a pickup in spending.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Oil fell for the first time in four days as claims for U.S. unemployment benefits increased more than forecast last week.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Qualcomm Inc., the largest seller of semiconductors for mobile phones, gave a second-quarter sales and profit forecast that exceeded analysts’ estimates, helped by strong sales of smartphones that run on its technology.

Some Mac users were taken by surprise Thursday as their computers stopped running programs written using the Java programming language after Apple blocked Java due to security problems.

You don't have to be a football player to be a part of the action on Super Bowl Sunday.

Congress passed must-do legislation Thursday to permit the government to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars more to meet its obligations, averting a first-ever government default that had loomed as early as mid-February.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said Thursday that it is adding the Greensboro, N.C., News & Record to its growing newspaper division.

PulteGroup Inc., the best performer in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index last year, said fourth-quarter profit quadrupled as the homebuilder’s sales increased amid a U.S. real estate revival.

The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week to its highest level in four months, but remains low by historical standards.

The Dow drifted lower Thursday, but stayed on track for its best start to the year in more than two decades.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Oil traded near the highest price in more than four months in New York as the Federal Reserve maintained an asset-purchase program to boost the economy of the world’s largest crude-consuming nation.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures remained lower after jobless claims increased more than economists’ estimated, overshadowing data that showed personal incomes grew by the most in eight years.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose sharply last week but remained at a level consistent with moderate hiring.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Consumer spending in the U.S. climbed in December as incomes grew by the most in eight years, a sign the biggest part of the economy was contributing to the expansion as the year drew to a close.

Greek doctors, port workers and public transport staff in the country's capital walked off the job Thursday in strikes against deeply unpopular austerity measures that have seen incomes slashed as the country struggles to emerge from a deep financial crisis.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- The euro weakened from a 13-month high against the dollar after a German report showed retail sales fell more last month than economists forecast, damping demand for the 17-nation currency.

Faced with a group of farmers refusing to give up their land for a housing project, the Communist Party officials negotiating the deal devised a solution: They went to a bank, opened accounts in the names of the holdouts and deposited what they decided was fair compensation. Then they took the land.

The Washington state Senate on Wednesday passed its first bills of the 2013 legislative session, but put off a vote on a set of contentious measures intended to save businesses money by changing workers' compensation rules.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- California had its credit rating on $73 billion of general-obligation bonds raised by Standard & Poor’s to A from A-, according to Gabriel Petek, an analyst at the company.

A New York bankruptcy judge made clear Thursday that he's close to signing off on a reorganization plan for Kansas aircraft-maker Hawker Beechcraft that will preserve thousands of jobs.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- The year-end plunge in U.S. defense spending may provide the industry with more ammunition to fight automatic budget cuts it says will harm the economy.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Time Warner Cable Inc., the second- largest U.S. cable-television operator, fell the most in almost four years after its 2013 earnings forecast missed estimates.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Aetna Inc., the third-biggest U.S. health insurer, said fourth-quarter profit fell 49 percent as the company settled a lawsuit over medical claims while costs for patient care climbed.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Viacom Inc., owner of the Paramount film studios and cable networks such as Nickelodeon and MTV, narrowly topped analysts’ profit estimates on higher fees from the cable companies that carry its programming.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Altria Group Inc., the largest seller of tobacco in the U.S., said fourth-quarter profit rose 32 percent as it boosted Marlboro cigarette prices.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group LP, the world’s largest manager of alternative assets such as private equity and real estate, said fourth-quarter profit rose 43 percent as the carrying value of its holdings gained.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Finisar Corp., a maker of optical data equipment, rose the most in more than 14 months after competitor JDS Uniphase Corp.’s earnings report indicated a pickup in orders from communications service providers.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., the second- largest U.S. equity exchange, reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates after the company cut costs amid a decline in stock-market trading.

Shares of JDS Uniphase neared a new yearly high Thursday after the company, which makes equipment for optical communications networks, returned to a profit and beat Wall Street expectations in the latest quarter.

The Wall Street Journal says its computer systems have been infiltrated by Chinese hackers who were trying to monitor the newspaper's coverage of China.

United Parcel Service Inc. says weak global trade and a disappointing holiday-shopping season slowed it down in the fourth quarter.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Tri Pointe Homes Inc., a housing company financed by investor Barry Sternlicht, jumped 12 percent after raising $233 million in the first initial public offering by a U.S. homebuilder since 2004.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- International Business Machines Corp. signed on McDonald’s Corp.’s South Africa division as a customer for its business-focused social-networking software, landing the highest-profile client yet for the product.

Shares of Hillshire Brands rose Thursday after the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages raised its outlook based on its performance in the first half of its fiscal year.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co. saw its share of the tablet computer market more than double in the fourth quarter, gaining on market leader Apple Inc. as total unit shipments jumped 75 percent, researcher IDC said.

Endowments are the assets owned and invested by universities, who typically spend about 4 to 5 percent of their values annually to support things like financial aid, faculty salaries and other expenses -- and then try to replenish the payouts through fundraising and investment returns.

Home supplies and security company Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc. on Thursday posted a net profit for the final quarter of the year, reversing a loss, as revenue rose thanks to new housing construction and as people repaired and remodeled their homes.

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Research In Motion Ltd., slated to introduce its new BlackBerry 10 product lineup later this week, fell 7.8 percent on concern that the phones won’t reverse the company’s decline in smartphone sales.

Video game maker Electronics Arts Inc. said Wednesday that it trimmed its loss in the final quarter of the year as it benefited from more profitable digital sales and cost management, even as revenue fell.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Claims for U.S. unemployment benefits increased more than forecast last week, nearly erasing a slide in the prior two weeks and reflecting the difficulty of adjusting the figures for swings at the start of a year.

Chinese hackers repeatedly penetrated The New York Times' computer systems over the past four months, stealing reporters' passwords and hunting for files on an investigation into the wealth amassed by the family of a top Chinese leader, the newspaper reported Thursday.

Whirlpool Corp.'s fourth-quarter net income fell 40 percent compared with a year ago, when earnings were driven up dramatically by the benefits of tax credits.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- United Parcel Service Inc. forecast profit for this year that trailed analysts’ estimates as a weak economy worldwide weighs on demand for package shipments.

Dow Chemical saw significant deterioration in key markets during the fourth quarter, particularly in China, and posted a wider fourth-quarter loss Thursday.

Instant-win lottery ticket company Scientific Games is buying gaming equipment company WMS Industries Inc. for about $1.42 billion in order to broaden its product offerings.

Viacom Inc. said Thursday that net income rose sharply in its fiscal first quarter versus results depressed by a large accounting charge a year ago. But its revenue and adjusted earnings fell because of a drop at its Paramount studio business and lower advertising revenue at its television channels.

A group of a half-dozen House members, equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, is nearing completion of wide-ranging immigration legislation similar to proposals by Senate negotiators and President Barack Obama, including a pathway to legal immigration status for 11 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S.

U.S. consumers increased their spending at a slower pace in December, while their income grew by the largest amount in eight years. Income surged because companies rushed to pay dividends before income taxes increased on high-earners.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. reported a plunge in fourth-quarter profit on higher spending, even while it made long-awaited progress luring advertisers eager to reach mobile- device users.

President Barack Obama will let his jobs council expire this week without renewing its charter, winding down one source of input from the business community even as unemployment remains stubbornly high.

Hostess has picked a lead bidder for its famous Twinkies.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. said its fourth-quarter earnings climbed 30 percent on higher sales of specialty diagnostics and other scientific instruments.

Just as President Barack Obama is pushing new initiatives on gun control and immigration, the gloomy old problem of a sluggish economy is elbowing its way back into prominence. Consumer confidence is falling, the economy is contracting and large automatic spending cuts are threatening to hit the Pentagon and other programs, with uncertain consequences.

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will raise shipments through mid-February as a winter demand peak in the northern hemisphere approaches, according to tanker tracker Oil Movements.

Markets were on edge Thursday as investors remained cautious ahead of closely-watched U.S. jobs figures that could set the tone going into February.

NATO's chief says the economic crisis could threaten the national security of members of the military alliance, and he's urging them to maintain defense spending to close gaps in their military capabilities.

Kandi Cash trudged in rain through the splintered debris of her grandparents' house, hoping to salvage photos and other keepsakes after violent storms raked the Southeast, leaving two people dead before taking aim at the East Coast.

It was the place where Jewish women did their ritual bathing. It was a tuberculosis clinic. It survived the German onslaught and became a gathering point for Holocaust survivors.

The military judge presiding over the Sept. 11 tribunal at Guantanamo on Thursday admonished an unknown government official who cut the sound during a hearing in an apparent attempt to prevent the disclosure of classified information.

Sea Girt is joining the parade of Jersey shore towns who are rebuilding boardwalks destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.

A top Canadian spy official told a court Thursday that a navy officer who sold secrets to Russia harmed his country's credibility and could hinder its ability to gather intelligence.

Apple continues to dominate in tablet computers, although its market share is shrinking because of growing competition from Samsung and others, research firm IDC said Thursday.

A performing arts center planned for the World Trade Center site got a financial boost Thursday that improves the chances of the languishing project to begin construction in four years.

Thu, Jan 31, 2013