News Archive
National | Fri, Dec 7, 2012

U.S. stocks rose Friday, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher for a third week, as optimism over better-than-estimated jobs data overshadowed a drop in consumer confidence amid continuing budget talks.

Walgreens wants to reward customers for merely taking a walk, and Rite Aid will help cover trial gym memberships for some of its frequent shoppers.

On a storm-battered stretch of Connecticut's shoreline, landscaping crews use heavy equipment to repair damage from Superstorm Sandy, racking up overtime pay at a time of year when many are typically looking for part-time jobs to carry them through the winter.

It takes more than a superstorm to derail the U.S. job market.

Apple spoiled the stock market's party on Friday.

This holiday season is shaping up to be a record-breaking period for Apple as shoppers snap up iPhones and iPads. So, why is the world's most valuable company losing its luster with investors?

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Oil capped the first weekly loss since early November as the dollar rose against the euro after the U.S. jobless rate fell and Germany cut its growth forecast.

The housing market is recovering from its collapse to such an extent that it will be one of the key drivers of the economy next year, and could add as much as 1 percentage point to growth, says Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages ticked up this week just slightly above record lows, keeping home-buying and refinancing attractive to consumers.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures extended gains after government data showed employers added more jobs than forecast last night, bolstering optimism in the economy.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Oil headed for its first weekly decline since October in New York as lower economic growth forecasts for Germany and an earthquake in Japan fanned concern that fuel consumption may be curtailed.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- A majority of European Central Bank policy makers were open to cutting the benchmark rate yesterday and there is a possibility of a reduction early next year if the economy doesn’t pick up, three officials with knowledge of the Governing Council’s deliberations said.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- A decision by the Federal Reserve to expand its bond buying next week is likely to prompt policy makers to rewrite their 18-month-old blueprint for an exit from record monetary stimulus.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc. and Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said they may face a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission civil claim over a July Facebook post that coincided with the stock’s biggest gain in almost six weeks.

U.S. retail sales of new video-game hardware, software and accessories fell 11 percent in November.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc. and Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said they may face a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission civil claim over a July Facebook post that coincided with the stock’s biggest gain in almost six weeks.

The Washington Post Co. will pay its 2013 dividends before the end of this year to try to spare investors from potential tax increases expected in the coming year.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and CIFG Assurance North America Inc. retained a mediator as the two companies seek to settle a lawsuit in New York state court in Manhattan, according to a filing.

Toys R Us Inc. posted a loss for its fiscal third quarter as the nation's largest toy retailer coped with weaker revenue and an increase in interest expenses.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Another Barnes & Noble Inc. investor called for the largest U.S. bookstore chain to spin off its Nook digital unit into a public company to boost shareholder value.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Macy’s Inc. authorized a $1.5 billion increase in share repurchases which could lead to the retailer more than doubling the dollar amount of stock it has purchased since 2011.

AIG estimates it will take $1.3 billion in losses related to Superstorm Sandy, more than other major insurance companies have reported so far.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Treasuries fell for the first time in four days after a report showed U.S. payrolls expanded more than forecast last month, easing concern the economy is faltering as lawmakers fail to agree on a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff.

California has transformed into a major player in stem cell research, but the taxpayer-funded institute responsible has “significant deficiencies” in how research dollars are distributed, experts said Thursday.

Recreational marijuana use became legal in Washington state Thursday, but Colorado could have to wait almost a month before the state constitution allows people to legally smoke pot in private.

Shares of Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. climbed in premarket trading Friday, a day after the gun maker reported a fiscal second-quarter profit, raised its 2013 earnings forecast and announced a share buyback.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Treasuries fell for the first time in four days after a report showed U.S. payrolls expanded more than forecast last month, easing concern the economy is faltering as lawmakers fail to agree on a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Payrolls rose more than anticipated in November and the jobless rate fell to an almost four-year low, indicating superstorm Sandy had little effect on the U.S. labor market.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar strengthened against the yen and euro as U.S. employers added more jobs in November than forecast, adding to signs the nation’s economy is improving.

Greece's biggest bank said Friday it would participate in a large bond buyback scheme that aims to chip away at the crisis-hit country's debt load and secure the disbursement of its international bailout loans.

KFC and Pizza Hut may face some challenges amid the economic slowdown in China, but Taco Bell's changing menu in the U.S. is giving Wall Street some reason for optimism about Yum Brands Inc.

Commercial real estate lender Capmark Financial Group Inc. said Friday that it will make a cash distribution of $8.50 per share, returning about $852.5 million to its shareholders.

Global stock markets mostly rose after a forecast-busting U.S. jobs report Friday offset gloomier data showing consumer confidence in the world's largest economy had slumped.

House Speaker John Boehner said Friday there has been no progress in negotiations to avert a “fiscal cliff” combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts in January and called on President Barack Obama to produce a new offer.

D.R. Horton declared a cash dividend of 15 cents Friday, pulling forward all of its planned payouts for 2013 to sidestep any ramifications for shareholders should the government fail to reach an agreement on the budget by year's end.

New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie reunited with President Barack Obama on Thursday for the first time since the pair teamed up in response to Superstorm Sandy.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Ben S. Bernanke is motivating bond investors to bet on the longevity of senior citizens.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Technology companies were given a new weapon to go after patent owners who file frivolous lawsuits after an appeals court today ordered sanctions against a firm that sued Casio Computer Co. and Motorola Solutions Inc.’s Symbol Technologies.

Cisco isn't content to be the world's largest maker of computer networking gear. It says it wants to become the No. 1 supplier of information technology to big businesses by broadening its offerings of services and software.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Toll Brothers Inc. officials agreed to a $16.2 million settlement of claims that they misled shareholders about the company’s prospects while selling stock worth about $615 million, according to court filings.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- International Business Machines Corp., the largest computer-services provider, drew fire from a worker organization for a change to its 401(k) retirement plan that cuts the frequency of company contributions to once a year.

“Those jobs aren't coming back.”

Germany's central bank sharply cut its 2013 economic growth forecast to 0.4 percent on Friday, while poor industrial production figures underlined expectations of a weak winter for Europe's biggest economy.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has defended the enactment of new laws that rolled back his own liberal agenda when he was Russia's president.

The exiled Hamas chief broke into tears Friday as he arrived in the Gaza Strip for his first-ever visit, a landmark trip reflecting his militant group's growing international acceptance and its defiance of Israel.

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said recent violence in Northern Ireland over a dispute about the flying of the British flag at Belfast city hall is “unacceptable and must be repudiated.”

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived back home in Caracas early Friday after 10 days of medical treatment in Cuba.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the United States and Russia have agreed to support mediation efforts with all parties in Syria to bring about a political transition.

New satellite images indicate that snow may have slowed North Korea's rocket launch preparations, but that Pyongyang could still be ready for liftoff starting Monday.

A nurse involved in a prank telephone call seeking information about the Duchess of Cambridge has died, King Edward VII hospital said Friday.

A Tennessee lawyer who is the mysterious source of millions of dollars in contributions that were steered to national political candidates doubled his investments before Election Day and funneled an additional $6.8 million to a prominent Tea Party group.

Extremists still scheming to spoil Northern Ireland's fragile peace can be beaten through a commitment to political sacrifice, compromise and vigilance, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday as she visited a Belfast torn by rising sectarian passions and death threats.

More than 2,000 people are gathering at Pearl Harbor on Friday to mark the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack that killed thousands of people and launched the United States into World War II.

Fitch Ratings has cut its debt rating on HSBC Holdings PLC, saying the risks attached to its expansion into higher-risk markets such as China is no longer sufficiently mitigated.

Former President George H.W. Bush remains in stable condition two weeks after entering a Houston hospital for treatment of a lingering bronchitis-related cough.

Fri, Dec 7, 2012