News Archive
National | Fri, Dec 28, 2012

Stocks fell for a fifth day, the longest drop for the Dow Jones Industrial Average since July, amid concern talks between President Barack Obama and Republicans may not produce a budget by the year-end deadline.

If you'd told investors what was going to happen in 2012 -- U.S. economic growth at stall speed, an intensifying European debt crisis, a slowdown in China, fiscal deadlock in Washington, decelerating corporate earnings growth -- and asked how the stock market would perform, few would have predicted a good year.

Pending home sales rose for the third month in November, a sign of the housing recovery’s resilience in the face of fiscal threats facing the United States

As signs emerge that holiday retail sales this year grew at the weakest pace since 2008, investors are dumping retail stocks. Analysts are crowing about the missing “consumer engine” without which the economy may stagnate.

Jeff Paster, a developer of luxury homes in California’s Marin County, couldn’t find a buyer for the new waterfront mansion he listed in January for $45 million. He’s expecting that one will turn up at an auction this weekend, with a starting bid set at $25 million.

A safe route around the “fiscal cliff” continues to elude Congress and the White House. A recession is possible if automatic tax increases and spending cuts begin to take effect on Jan. 1, and people are afraid. Consumer confidence fell for a second straight month in December.

In 2013, U.S. beer drinkers will be able to taste a new take on their iconic Budweiser. Black Crown, a stronger version of the American classic, is just one example of the brewer’s focus on faster, more dynamic innovation.

A Chinese court has ordered Apple Inc. to pay 1.03 million yuan ($165,000) to eight Chinese writers and two companies who say unlicensed copies of their work were distributed through Apple's online store.

Apple Inc. agreed to drop Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy S III Mini from a patent-infringement lawsuit against the South Korea-based company, according to court records.

U.S. banks are ending the year with their best profits since 2006 and fewer failures than at any time since the financial crisis struck in 2008. They're helping support an economy slowed by high unemployment, flat pay, sluggish manufacturing and anxious consumers.

Stocks fell for a fifth day on concern that Washington lawmakers will fail to reach a budget deal before a self-imposed year-end deadline.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Justice Department opened an investigation relating to Autonomy Corp. after Hewlett- Packard Co. accused the software company of misrepresenting its performance before being bought last year.

The Bureau of Land Management signed off Thursday on a massive pipeline project to carry billions of gallons of water to Las Vegas from rural counties along the Nevada-Utah line.

The company that controls the Empire State Building can go ahead with a vote to allow the iconic New York skyscraper to be included in a proposed real estate investment trust.

The House Ethics Committee said Thursday it found no violations among House members whose mortgage loans went through the VIP section of the former Countrywide Financial Corp., the company whose subprime loans helped cause the foreclosure crisis.

Canada’s national housing agency said sales of government-backed mortgage bonds will remain steady in 2013, maintaining a source of AAA rated debt for investors that has outperformed federal benchmarks.

Few people keep Queen Elizabeth II waiting, especially when she has issued a personal invitation, but President Ronald Reagan managed to do so in 1982 without causing any lasting damage.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc., the third-largest U.S. bank, hired Alfredo Capote from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to oversee investment-banking operations in Mexico.

A federal judge will soon decide whether your next tank of gas or bottle of soda comes with a free apology from the Marlboro man and Joe Camel.

People who are underwater on their home mortgages probably will accept “significantly” lower wages than other homeowners, according to a study published this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

Porsche Automobil Holding SE won an appeals court ruling dismissing a lawsuit by hedge funds that accused the German carmaker of concealing a plan to corner the market in Volkswagen AG shares.

Toshiba Corp., the Japanese builder of nuclear reactors, is in talks to sell as much as 36 percent of its Westinghouse Electric atomic-power unit as industry growth slows after last year’s meltdowns in Fukushima.

Media organizations can intervene to oppose redactions in the personnel files of priests accused of sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, a judge ruled Thursday.

Spain faces another tough year as it grapples with recession, a deep financial crisis and 25 percent unemployment, its prime minister said Friday.

With a proposed payout of more than $1 billion, one major chapter of a nearly four-year legal saga that left Toyota Motor Corp. fighting hundreds of lawsuits and struggling with a tarnished image has ended, though another remains.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Oil fell for a second day as gasoline supplies climbed to a nine-month high on weaker demand and as U.S. lawmakers gave little sign that they will reach an agreement to avert a fiscal crisis.

European and U.S. shares traded lower on Friday on waning hopes that U.S. President Barack Obama and key lawmakers would manage to reach an 11th-hour budget compromise.

A divided Idaho Supreme Court has sided with PacifiCorp in the utility's tax fight against the state that officials say will likely shift millions worth of assessments to other classes of property owners.

Autonomy, the British business software company now owned by Hewlett-Packard Co., is facing a Justice Department investigation over improper accounting under previous management, according to HP.

A measure of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes increased last month to its highest level in two and a half years, the latest sign of improvement in the once-battered housing market.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Business activity in the U.S. expanded in December for a second month, easing concern that a lack of progress on the federal budget would prompt a slump in manufacturing.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Oil headed for the biggest weekly gain since September in New York as U.S. lawmakers scheduled talks aimed at averting automatic tax increases and spending cuts that threaten the economy of the world’s largest consumer.

Stock futures are moving lower ahead of a last-ditch effort by the White House and GOP congressional leaders to hash out a budget deal before a year-end deadline strikes.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s Cos. have the most at stake among retailers facing a dockworkers’ strike, with possible port closings cutting off shipments right before the lucrative gardening season.

The big deal for Hollywood is not the record $10.8 billion that studios took in domestically in 2012. It's the fact that the number of tickets sold went up for the first time in three years.

The start of a new year inspires many of us to commit to get fit and live healthier.

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Brent crude is poised to trade above $100 a barrel for a third consecutive year in 2013 as tension in the Middle East threatens to disrupt supply and global demand is buoyed by Chinese imports.

Andrew Neitlich is the last person you'd expect to be rattled by the stock market.

Chevron CEO John Watson notices something important as he visits his company's operations around the globe: Governments everywhere find high energy prices much scarier than the threat of global warming.

Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen AG will vie with General Motors Co. for the sales crown among foreign automakers in China next year, gaining share as Japanese carmakers led by Toyota Motor Corp. struggle to recover amid a territorial dispute.

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Yin Qiang, a technology manager from Beijing, traveled from Australia’s Gold Coast to Melbourne before climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge with his wife. Next time, they might see a show at the city’s iconic Opera House.

Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) -- China will give farmers better protection over the land they till, raise their incomes and improve public services for them to help narrow the gap between urban and rural areas.

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Mylan Inc.’s lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for withholding approval for the company to sell a generic version of Novartis AG’s heart pill Diovan was dismissed by a federal judge in Washington.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Gold traders are the most bullish in four months as U.S. lawmakers near a deadline for budget talks, at a time when hedge funds are cutting bets on higher prices.

Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) -- China asked initial public offering advisers to inspect their clients’ financial statements over the next three months as regulators step up efforts to combat fraud.

The start of a new year inspires many of us to commit to get fit and live healthier.

The Idaho Department of Finance has filed a lawsuit against a former Boise mortgage broker, accusing him of violating state securities laws, defrauding investors and using their funds for his own personal gain.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- A U.S. House panel ended a probe of alleged preferential lending by Countrywide Financial Corp. to lawmakers and aides without taking action, saying the “serious matters” submitted for review fall outside its jurisdiction.

The price of oil fell slightly Friday, as the stock market drifted lower and efforts continued in Washington to strike a budget deal before the year-end deadline.

The nation's crude oil supplies fell last week, the government said Friday.

Woodward Inc. said Friday it will buy an aircraft parts unit from General Electric Co. for $200 million, bolstering its aerospace business.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- MagicJack VocalTec Ltd. rallied the most in seven weeks in New York after Chief Executive Office Daniel Borislow resigned, saying he hoped his departure will curb short-selling that has contributed to a three-month slump in the Israeli stock.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Communications Commission today said it will propose rules to lower rates charged to prison inmates for interstate telephone calls, after considering the issue for nine years.

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp.’s Camry, the best-selling mid-size car in the U.S., and the Prius V hybrid earned the lowest ratings in a new crash test simulating a severe front-end collision, an insurance group found.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- More than a century and a half after Millard Fillmore dispatched an emissary to Asia to transform commerce across the Pacific, a U.S. president again sees an historic opportunity to strengthen America’s role in the region.

In the woods of east Mississippi, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Co. is pouring billions of dollars into construction of a power plant that burns coal but would emit less carbon dioxide. It's a response to looming federal limits on carbon emissions as regulators try to curtail global warming.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) _ Energy companies behind the oil boom on the Northern Plains are increasingly turning to an industrial-age workhorse _ the locomotive -- to move their crude to refineries across the U.S., as plans for new pipelines stall and existing lines can't keep up with demand.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Oil may rise next week as stronger economic growth boosts demand, a Bloomberg survey showed.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Dockworkers and their employers reached a tentative agreement on royalty payments, averting a strike that would have shut down U.S. ports from Maine to Texas for the first time in 35 years.

The end game at hand, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders made a final stab at compromise Friday to prevent a toxic blend of middle-class tax increases and spending cuts from taking effect at the turn of the new year.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- More Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in November and business activity improved this month as companies increased orders, signs the three-year-old U.S. expansion will endure a budget stalemate.

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Employers probably added jobs in December at about the same pace as the prior month, showing the U.S. labor market held up as lawmakers struggled to resolve the fiscal impasse, economists said before a report this week.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp. and lawyers suing the company won preliminary court approval of a $1.1. billion settlement of claims that recalls for unintended acceleration hurt the value of U.S. customers’ vehicles.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Pfizer Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s blood thinner Eliquis was approved by U.S. regulators after more than a year of review, giving the companies a new potential blockbuster heart drug.

Terry Glover, the managing editor of Ebony magazine, has died of colon cancer at her Chicago home. She was 57.

China says it has dispatched a ship to the disputed South China Sea, in an apparent effort to reinforce its claim to the waters.

How is an atomic-powered island nation riddled with fault lines supposed to handle its nuclear waste? Part of the answer was supposed to come from this windswept village along Japan's northern coast.

Amid partisan bluster, top members of Congress and President Barack Obama were holding out slim hopes for a limited fiscal deal before the new year. But even as congressional leaders prepared to convene at the White House, there were no signs that legislation palatable to both sides was taking shape.

It's been a decade since Argentina tarnished its reputation worldwide and became an economic misfit by engaging in the biggest sovereign debt default in history, yet it is still haunted by the old bonds.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- A gauge of U.S. corporate credit risk advanced for the fourth time in five sessions as President Barack Obama set a meeting with congressional leaders three days before a year-end deadline for a budget deal.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar gained the most in a week against the euro as speculation U.S. lawmakers will fail to avert the so-called fiscal cliff of more than $600 billion of tax increases and spending cuts spurred demand for safer assets.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Treasuries advanced for a third day amid speculation U.S. lawmakers will fail to reach agreement in time to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of more than $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures fell, indicating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will drop for a fifth day, amid concern talks between President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers may not yield a budget deal by the year-end deadline.

As a the muted ends of a powerful winter storm that has killed more than a dozen people plodded through the Northeast, many in Arkansas were seeking warmth and shelter against the cold prospect of life without electricity into the new year.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Nuclear-power production gained for a fifth day in the U.S., led by boosts at PPL Corp. and Duke Energy Corp. reactors in Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Pearson Plc agreed to buy a 5 percent stake in the Nook e-reader unit of struggling bookstore chain Barnes & Noble Inc., joining Microsoft Inc. as an backer of the business.

Travelers to Hawaii spent 23 percent more in November compared to the same month last year.

Watson Pharmaceuticals is challenging the patent on a bone marrow cancer drug made by Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

LSI is positioned to outperform its peers next year, according to a report from Wunderlich Securities on Friday, which cited the computer storage company's early entry into flash memory technology and its advances in wireless infrastructure.

Syrian rebels stepped up their siege of a military base in north of the country Friday as government warplanes bombed surrounding areas to support the defenders, activists said.

President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children, part of a harsh response to a U.S. law targeting Russians deemed to be human rights violators.

The Bush family is keeping quiet on former President George H.W. Bush's condition.

Many military veterans say having music to listen to helps them deal with the stress of deployment.

Fri, Dec 28, 2012