News Archive
National | Wed, Dec 12, 2012

China’s economy, which paused earlier this year, is picking up again — good news for China and for the United States and Europe, which need all the external stimulus they can get. China pessimists aren’t convinced, though. They still see a hard landing coming.

The Federal Reserve sent its clearest signal to date Wednesday that it will keep interest rates super-low to boost the U.S. economy even after the job market has improved significantly.

The United States isn’t doomed to be a declining power mired in fractious debate. In fact, the political blocks have fallen perfectly so that a once-in-a-generation improvement in the quality of the federal government is now possible.

Equity Residential, the largest publicly traded U.S. apartment landlord, sold four properties in Florida for about $100 million as it pares assets to support its acquisition of Archstone Inc.

American companies are poised to put idle cash to work as demand rebounds in 2013 after spending slumped amid the slowdown in China and Europe’s recession.

Brookfield Office Properties Canada LP’s sale of C$525 million ($532 million) of bonds using the leases on a Toronto skyscraper as collateral is the clearest sign yet the market for Canadian commercial-mortgage debt (CMBS) is re-opening after slamming shut in 2008.

Avon Products plans to cut about 1,500 jobs and exit two Asian markets, as the struggling beauty products seller starts on a broad restructuring plan in an effort to turn around results.

More than 1,000 miles from Washington, D.C., Marie DeNicola's small business is already experiencing the consequences of lawmakers' inability to compromise on the budget.

Warren Buffett's company paid $1.2 billion to repurchase 9,200 Class A shares from the estate of a longtime shareholder, and Berkshire Hathaway said Wednesday that its board approved paying higher prices for future buybacks.

A survey of U.S. chief executives shows the number of large companies that plan to add jobs or hire more workers is essentially unchanged versus three months ago, although fewer expect hiring to decrease.

The Federal Reserve projects the unemployment rate will stay elevated until late 2015, suggesting it will keep short-term interest rates low for the next three years.

Eli Lilly's experimental Alzheimer's drug has flashed potential to help with mild cases of the disease, but patients and doctors will have to wait a few more years to learn whether regulators will allow the drugmaker to sell it.

Stocks ended the day little changed Wednesday after a rally prompted by the Federal Reserve's latest economic stimulus program fizzled out.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Redbox Instant by Verizon, the digital movie venture preparing to start service, gained rights to stream films from Paramount Pictures, Lions Gate and Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer, a step toward competing with Netflix Inc.

House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday that “serious differences” remain between him and President Barack Obama in negotiations on averting automatic spending cuts and tax increases that economists say could send the U.S. economy over a “fiscal cliff.”

The Fed is a hybrid -- part government agency but also an arm of the banking system. That unusual arrangement helps insulate it from being buffeted by strong partisan winds.

Mortgage applications in the United States climbed last week as record-low borrowing costs spurred home purchases and refinancing.

European Union finance ministers moved closer Wednesday to creating a single supervisor for their banks after France and Germany said they had largely patched up their differences over the new body's powers.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Brent crude rose to a four-day high after the International Energy Agency increased its oil demand forecast for 2013 and as OPEC ministers met in Vienna to discuss the group’s production limits.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Prices of goods imported into the U.S. dropped in November for the first time in four months on cheaper crude oil and business equipment.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The Canadian dollar touched an almost eight-week high against its U.S. counterpart before a Federal Reserve policy statement forecast to bring a new round of asset purchases to help drive the U.S. economy.

A New Jersey girl who started a campaign calling for an Easy-Bake Oven in gender-neutral colors is planning to meet with the people who design it.

Charles River Laboratories International Inc. on Wednesday projected an adjusted profit for 2013 below current Wall Street expectations, sending its shares down in morning trading.

Pratt & Whitney is selling its turbine business in order to better focus more on its core aerospace and commercial businesses.

Exchange operator CBOE Holdings Inc. said Wednesday that its longtime CEO plans to step down after the company's annual meeting in May and will be replaced by its current president and chief operating officer.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Whitney Houston, who died in February, edged past “Gangnam Style,” “Hurricane Sandy” and “iPad 3” to top the list of global trending searches in 2012, according to Google Inc.’s annual review of popular queries.

Facebook is trying to make its privacy controls easier to find and understand in an effort to turn the world's largest social network in to a more discreet place.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Molycorp Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Smith left the rare-earths producer amid an investigation of its disclosures and a lawsuit related to engineering deficiencies at its mine.

Caterpillar Inc. on Wednesday said it would pay its 52-cent quarterly dividend early, in December, as potential tax increases loom next year.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. was pressed by U.S. regulators to strengthen investor disclosures on proprietary trading almost a year before a wrong-way bet on credit derivatives cost the bank at least $6.2 billion.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Timing is everything. Brad Friedlander quit his job overseeing $8 billion of bonds at Washington Mutual Inc. in 2008, six months before it became the biggest bank failure in U.S. history.

Small business owners grew more pessimistic in November after the presidential election and Superstorm Sandy, according to a survey released Tuesday.

White people will no longer make up a majority of Americans by 2043, according to new census projections, part of a historic shift that is already reshaping the nation's schools, workforce and electorate.

Shares of Ziopharm Oncology Inc. fell Wednesday after an analyst said the company's experimental cancer drug for sarcoma may not be effective enough to win regulatory approval.

FMC Corp. expects to beat its own goal of reaching $5 billion in sales by 2015 and increased its dividend, which sent shares of the chemical company up in trading Wednesday.

The U.S. federal government's budget deficit widened in November compared to October, a sign that the nation is on a path to its fifth straight $1 trillion-plus deficit.

The U.S. economy is already being hurt by the “fiscal cliff” standoff in Washington, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday. But Bernanke said the Fed believes the crisis will be resolved without significant long-term damage.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The White House is continuing its outreach to Wall Street executives on resolving the U.S. budget dispute, with a meeting planned today between Valerie Jarrett and hedge fund managers, according to an administration official.

Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Compensation for the chief executive officer of Beazer Homes USA Inc. would rise 67 percent under a proposal by the company’s board.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar fell against the euro after the Federal Reserve added to its monetary-stimulus program by announcing plans to buys more Treasuries, renewing concern the measures will debase the U.S. currency.

And with a starting retail price of $21,790, value is part of the CX-5 story -- to a point.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- A proposal to allow Dish Network Corp. to offer smartphone service was approved unanimously by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, whose chairman called it a “major step” to boost mobile competition.

Over the past few years, smartphones have gradually gotten bigger and tablet computers have gotten smaller. So it should come as no surprise that devices in between are starting to emerge.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- 3M Co., the manufacturer of products including Ace bandages and dental braces, expects to make fewer and larger acquisitions in 2013 as the pipeline for targets is now stronger than in the past years.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Molycorp Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Smith left the rare-earths producer amid an investigation of its disclosures and a lawsuit related to engineering deficiencies at its mine.

The Justice Department says Pfizer Inc. will pay $55 million to resolve allegations that its subsidiary Wyeth LLC promoted the drug Protonix for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

3M Co. maintained its 2012 guidance Wednesday and issued an outlook for 2013 similar to Wall Street estimates.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp., the second- biggest U.S. lender, began an effort today to defeat bond insurer MBIA Inc.’s bid to force the bank to pay billions of dollars over home loans.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Gold traded near the highest level in almost a week in New York on speculation the Federal Reserve will announce an expansion of asset purchases.

Costco's fiscal first-quarter net income rose 30 percent on better sales and more revenue from membership fees at its warehouse clubs.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union said “political agreement” on bank-supervision proposals is possible by the end of the year.

Industrial production across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro unexpectedly slumped in October, official figures showed Wednesday, in another sign that the region's recession is getting worse and weighing on big economies like Germany.

Barclays has appointed the former chief of Britain's financial regulator to the new role of head of compliance at the scandal-hit U.K. bank.

OPEC oil ministers signaled Wednesday that they have agreed to stick to present output targets while remaining undecided on who should fill a senior post coveted both by Saudi Arabia and arch-rival Iran.

The world's attention wavered between the tragic and the silly in 2012, and along the way, Web surfers searched in huge numbers to find out about a royal princess, the latest iPad, and a record-breaking skydiver.

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- European Union leaders will press for June 2013 agreement on how to handle failing banks and how to set minimum standards for deposit guarantee schemes, according to draft conclusions for this week’s summit.

The Federal Reserve is wrapping up 2012 the way it began the year, searching for ways to help a U.S. economy that is still struggling with high unemployment and sub-par growth.

More than 2 million Afghans are at risk from cold, disease and malnutrition this winter as an international appeal for funds to help one of the world's poorest countries has fallen drastically short of its goal, the United Nations and several humanitarian agencies warned on Wednesday.

Sales of dedicated e-reading devices like the black-and-white Kindles are in an “alarmingly precipitous decline” this year after five years of rapid growth, research firm IHS iSuppli says.

The nation's crude oil supplies increased last week, the government said Wednesday.

The price of oil is higher Wednesday as traders anticipate the Federal Reserve's next steps to stimulate the U.S. economy. But a big increase in the nation's gasoline supply has damped the gains.

Expectations that the Federal Reserve will announce a new stimulus plan to boost the U.S. economy shored up markets Wednesday despite concerns over the lack of a budget deal and North Korea's test launch of a long-range rocket.

GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN, France (AP) -- Life in this French village revolves around wine. The backyards of its tidy houses nurture the grapes that have made Burgundy famous the world over. At an auto repair shop, everyone seems to have an opinion about the recent sale of a local vineyard to a Macau casino magnate.

Shares of Harvard Bioscience Inc. soared Wednesday after the medical instruments maker said that one of its subsidiaries filed for an initial public offering of stock.

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday condemned actions by British agents in the 1989 death of a Belfast lawyer, one of the most bitterly disputed killings of the entire Northern Ireland conflict.

In Pyongyang, North Koreans clinked beer mugs and danced in the streets to celebrate the country's first satellite in space. In Washington, Seoul and Tokyo, leaders pushed for consequences for Wednesday's successful rocket launch, widely seen as a test that takes the country one step closer to being capable of lobbing nuclear bombs over the Pacific.

A U.K.-led Piracy Ransom Task Force says the shipping industry must adopt additional measures to ensure that payments aren't made to pirates after a successful attack.

Spanish authorities say they have arrested a Panamanian woman arriving at Barcelona airport with 1.38 kilograms (3 pounds) of cocaine concealed in breast implants.

A Delaware man sued the Boy Scouts of America and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Wednesday over childhood sexual abuse committed by the scoutmaster at his church-sponsored troop.

Syrian government forces have fired Scud missiles at insurgents in recent days, escalating the 2-year-old conflict against rebels seeking to overthrow the regime, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Wed, Dec 12, 2012