Latest Articles: Business
Wrench Inventor Claims Sears Stole His Idea, Took It to China
Post Date: 2012-11-15 11:00:22 by Brian S
In the small town of Cabot, Pa., Dan Brown is the proud inventor of the Bionic Wrench, a product made solely in Pennsylvania. His goal from day one was to make his invention in America. This time last year, Brown's factory was buzzing, with his employees working overtime to fulfill holiday orders. With the help of Sears, Brown's company sold more than 200,000 wrenches at Christmas alone. "Last year was a great year," Brown said. "We got ourselves on a commercial and Sears had us in stores. We were going crazy." Brown says he agreed with Sears not to sell his bionic wrench to any other national chain such as Lowe's or Home Depot. Brown's company ...
Serious Mortgage Delinquencies Fall to Lowest Since 2008
Post Date: 2012-11-15 10:33:40 by Brian S
The rate of seriously delinquent U.S. mortgages, a proxy for the so-called shadow inventory of homes, fell to the lowest since 2008 as employment improved and recovering housing demand made it easier for borrowers to sell. The percentage of home loans that were more than 90 days behind or in the foreclosure process fell to 7.03 percent in the third quarter from 7.31 percent in the previous three months, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in a report today. The rate was 7.89 percent a year earlier. Delinquent borrowers are catching up on payments or finding alternatives to foreclosure as the U.S. economy improves. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent in September, the lowest ...
Economy Has Green Shoots From China to U.S. as Data Surprise
Post Date: 2012-11-15 10:31:40 by Brian S
The U.S. and China, the worlds traditional twin sources of growth, are planting seeds to lift the world economy from its midyear slowdown. Among the green shoots indicating faster expansion: stronger housing demand and hiring in the U.S. and accelerating factory output and retail sales in China. Responsible for a third of the world economy, the two countries are now providing ballast internationally as Europe and Japan stagnate. China and the U.S. are both improving, which is extremely good news, Jim ONeill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said in a telephone interview. If we could pretend Europe and Japan didnt exist, the world would be ...
Consumer Comfort in U.S. Advances to a Seven-Month High
Post Date: 2012-11-15 10:29:27 by Brian S
Household confidence climbed last week to the highest level in seven months as Americans became less pessimistic about the economy. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to minus 33.1 in the period ended Nov. 11 from minus 34.4 the previous week. The gauge has stayed above minus 40, the level associated with recessions and their aftermath, for two months. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed, the most since March 2008, had a positive view of the state of worlds largest economy. More optimism along with faster job growth would improve the odds of a pickup in retail sales at the start of the holiday shopping season. The risk for consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 ...
BP Said to Agree to Largest U.S. Criminal Settlement in History
Post Date: 2012-11-15 10:27:40 by Brian S
BP Plc (BP/), the owner of the Macondo well that in 2010 caused the worst U.S. oil spill, has agreed to the largest U.S. criminal settlement in history, according to a person familiar with the deal. The company will plead guilty to obstruction of justice for lying to Congress. Two of the companys employees face manslaughter charges over deaths in the explosion of the oil well, said the person, who requested anonymity to discuss the deal which has not been made public. The amount wasnt disclosed. The settlement will be announced later today, the person said. BP is in advanced discussions with the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the ...
Many Coal-Fired Power Plants ‘Ripe for Retirement’
Post Date: 2012-11-13 10:21:38 by Brian S
Southern Co. (SO) and other utilities could retire as many as 353 coal-fired electricity units as the costs of installing pollution controls on those plants wont let them compete with cheaper natural gas and wind power, an environmental group said. The Union of Concerned Scientists said in a report released today that an additional 59 gigawatts of electric generating capacity from coal plants could be shuttered, representing more than 6 percent of all U.S. electricity used. Those changes are warranted because many of those rarely used plants have already outlived their 30- year lifespan and generate the most emissions of harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases, the report said. ...
Facebook Falls Below $19 Amid Looming Lockup Expiration
Post Date: 2012-11-12 10:42:10 by Brian S
Facebook Inc. (FB)s shares fell to the lowest intraday price in three weeks on concern that employees will start selling their shares when a prohibition on insider sales expires. The stock traded down as much as 1.6 percent to $18.91, and was down less than 1 percent to $19.08 at 9:46 a.m. in New York. Restrictions on the potential sale of 804 million shares lift on Nov. 14, followed by another 156 million on Dec. 14. Facebook has lost about half its value since selling shares at $38 apiece in an initial public offering in May. Current and former Facebook employees who have seen the value of equity compensation plunge can sell as lockups designed to prevent a flood of shares ...
U.S. Oil Output to Overtake Saudi Arabia’s by 2020
Post Date: 2012-11-12 10:40:42 by Brian S
U.S. oil output is poised to surpass Saudi Arabias in the next decade, making the worlds biggest fuel consumer almost self-reliant and putting it on track to become a net exporter, the International Energy Agency said. Growing supplies of crude extracted through new technology including hydraulic fracturing of underground rock formations will transform the U.S. into the largest producer for about five years starting about 2020, the Paris-based adviser to 28 nations said today in its annual World Energy Outlook. The U.S. met 83 percent of its energy needs in the first six months of this year, according to the Energy Department in Washington. The IEA outlook feeds into the ...
Consumer Sentiment Hits 5-year High In Nov
Post Date: 2012-11-09 10:34:40 by Brian S
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. consumer sentiment rose to its highest level in more than five years in November as consumers felt more optimistic about employment prospects and the outlook for the overall economy, a survey released on Friday showed. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 84.9, up from 82.6 the month before. It was above the median forecast of 83 among economists polled by Reuters.
New Filings for Jobless Benefits Continue to Decline
Post Date: 2012-11-08 11:16:01 by Brian S
Jobless claims dropped again last week, offering more evidence for thinking that the October pop in new filings for unemployment benefits wasn't a statistical harbinger of cyclical doom after all. Once again the lesson is clear for poking through this data set: remain wary of the latest update and instead focus on the longer-term trend. By that standard, the numbers suggest that modest healing in the labor market continues, a trend that's been in force for most of the past 18 months. New claims fell 8,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 355,000. That's near the lowest level since the recession ended in mid-2009. A stronger signal that the labor market is still moving ...
Measure Of Us Home Prices Rises Most In 6 Years
Post Date: 2012-11-06 10:28:06 by Brian S
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A measure of U.S. home prices jumped 5 percent in September compared with a year ago, the largest year-over-year increase since July 2006. The gain reported by CoreLogic offered more evidence of a sustainable housing recovery. The real estate data provider also said Tuesday that prices declined 0.3 percent in September from August, the first drop after six straight increases. The monthly figures are not seasonally adjusted. CoreLogic says the monthly decline reflects the end of the summer home-buying season and not a softening in the housing recovery. Steady price increases should give the housing market more momentum when home sales pick up in the spring. Rising prices ...
Gasoline Prices Post Biggest Fall In Nearly 4 Years
Post Date: 2012-11-05 10:42:13 by Brian S
NEW YORK, Nov. 5, 2012 (Reuters) The average U.S. price for a gallon of regular gasoline took its biggest drop since 2008 in the past two weeks, due to lower crude oil prices, a big price drop in pump prices in California and Hurricane Sandy, according to a widely followed survey released on Sunday. Gasoline prices averaged $3.5454 per gallon on November 2, down 20.75 cents from October 19 when drivers were paying $3.7529 at the pump, Lundberg said. The decline was the biggest two-week price drop since the survey recorded a 21.9 cents price decline December 5, 2008 due to a crash in petroleum demand during the global recession. Even though many people had to line up for gasoline ...
Economy Set for Better Times Whether Obama or Romney Wins
Post Date: 2012-11-05 09:51:34 by Brian S
Mitt Romney says Barack Obamas policies will consign the U.S. to an extended period of sluggish economic growth, at best. The president says his Republican challengers plans will sow the seeds of another mammoth recession. Both are wrong. No matter who wins the election tomorrow, the economy is on course to enjoy faster growth in the next four years as the headwinds that have held it back turn into tailwinds. Consumers are spending more and saving less after reducing household debt to the lowest since 2003. Home prices are rebounding after falling more than 30 percent from their 2006 highs. And banks are increasing lending after boosting equity capital by more than $300 billion ...
Retail, Auto Sales Advance as Consumers' Moods Improve
Post Date: 2012-11-02 11:30:33 by Brian S
Despite Europe's problems, the fiscal cliff and other signs of global economic softness, the U.S. consumers appears to be unfazed. The Conference Board released its Consumer Confidence index on Thursday, the same day that major retailers reported same-store sales and automakers reported the number of new car sold in October. The three separate reports all paint a picture of a consumer that is powering ahead, albeit at a moderate pace. To understand consumers' behavior, first consider their mood. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in September, improved again in October and now stands at its highest since February 2008. The headline ...
U.S. Factory Orders Rebound 4.8% In September
Post Date: 2012-11-02 11:19:44 by Brian S
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Factory orders rebounded 4.8% in September, almost completely reversing a drop in the prior month, the Commerce Department reported Friday. The gain was very close to expectations. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 4.7% rise. Orders in August were revised up slightly to a 5.1% fall from an initially reported 5.2% decline. In September, orders for non-durable goods rose 1.0%. Shipments rose 0.8% while inventories increased 0.3%. Durable goods were revised to a 9.8% gain from 9.9% reported last week. The gain in durable-orders was largely due to a rebound in bookings for commercial aircraft. Orders for non-aircraft, non-defense capital goods rose ...
Boost for Barack Obama as US adds 171,000 jobs in October
Post Date: 2012-11-02 10:56:55 by Brian S
Companies took on 171,000 workers in October, better than the 125,000 expected, according to the widely-anticipated monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor. The number of Americans hired in August and September was revised up by 84,000. Economists said relief that the labour market is stronger than previously thought overshadowed a rise in the unemployment rate to 7.9pc from 7.8pc. The rate rose as more people began looking for work. Although there was encouragement taken from the performance over the last three months, that was tempered by a recognition that the recovery in the jobs market remains slow by historical standards. The rate of job growth "still isn't ...
Consumers Give US Economy A Lift Before Election
Post Date: 2012-11-01 23:18:11 by Brian S
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A flurry of data issued Thursday sketched a brightening view of the U.S. economy in the final days before a presidential election that will pivot on the strength of the recovery. Cheaper gas, rising home prices and lower unemployment have given consumers the confidence to spend more. And retailers, auto dealers and manufacturers are benefiting. At the same time, many employers remain anxious about the economy, which is why only modest hiring gains are forecast for Friday's jobs report for October. It will be the last major report on the economy before Election Day. Both presidential candidates pressed their arguments Thursday for why President Barack Obama's ...
Romney Touts Support From CEOs on Jobs Council
Post Date: 2012-11-01 16:54:32 by jwpegler
Mitt Romneys White House bid comes down to business experience i.e. he has it, the president doesnt. To that end, the Romney campaign trotted out a roster of well-known business leaders Thursday who are backing the Republican presidential nominee. Supporters include Charles Schwab, Cisco Chief Executive John Chambers and Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot. The newest name on the list belongs to Intel CEO Paul Otellini, a member of President Barack Obamas Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Mr. Otellinis relationship with the president has been hot-and-cold since Mr. Obama took office. In 2010, he criticized the administration for failing to ...
UAW Files Charges Against Romney on his Auto Bail-out Profiteering
Post Date: 2012-11-01 11:28:08 by Brian S
For Mitt Romney, it's one scary Halloween. The Presidential candidate has just learned that tomorrow afternoon he will charged with violating the federal Ethics in Government law by improperly concealing his multi-million dollar windfall from the auto industry bail-out. At a press conference in Toledo, Bob King, President of the United Automobile Workers, will announce that his union and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) have filed a formal complaint with the US Office of Government Ethics in Washington stating that Gov. Romney improperly hid a profit of $15.3 million to $115.0 million in Ann Romney's so-called "blind" trust. The ...
Chrysler Reports Best September Sales Since 2007
Post Date: 2012-11-01 10:57:49 by Brian S
Chrysler Group LLC, a subsidiary of Italian company Fiat S.p.A. (Milan: F), reported Thursday that October car sales rose 10 percent to 126,185, as U.S. consumers were drawn to ideal financing options and the need to replace aging vehicles. The company said it was the best September since 2007, prior to the mortgage meltdown that sent the country into recession. Going forward with our current product line-up, record low interest rates and a stable U.S. economy, we remain optimistic about the health of the U.S. new- vehicle sales industry and our position in it, said Reid Bigland, president and CEO of the Dodge brand and head of U.S. sales. The Detroit-based auto giant saw ...
ADP Says US Businesses Added 158,000 Jobs In October, Up From 114,000 In September
Post Date: 2012-11-01 10:54:52 by Brian S
Payroll provider ADP said on Thursday that businesses added 158,000 jobs in October, picking up the pace set in the previous month. ADP said it saw growth in construction, transportation and utilities, financial activities, and services. Manufacturing was the only sector that lost jobs. The gain of 158,000 jobs shows the job market is holding its own, said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics, which is working with ADP to create the employment report. "In a more normal economy we'd be pretty happy with it, but we need to see stronger job growth in order to bring down unemployment," Zandi said. Zandi said big companies those with 1,000 or more ...
Jobless Claims Drop, Fall Below Median Forecast
Post Date: 2012-11-01 10:53:31 by Brian S
WASHINGTON, Nov 1 (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, a sign the labor market's slow recovery was gaining traction. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 363,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That was below the median forecast in a Reuters poll of 370,000. An analyst from the department said New Jersey and Washington, D.C., did not turn in data due to the mammoth storm Sandy, which hit the Northeast earlier this week. The Labor Department estimated results for the state and for the nation's capital. Economists have said the storm could lead to volatility in ...
US Manufacturing Expands At Faster Pace In October
Post Date: 2012-11-01 10:49:35 by Brian S
WASHINGTON WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. manufacturing expanded for the second straight month in October, boosted by growth in new orders and production. The Institute for Supply Management says its index of factory activity rose last month to 51.7, up from September's reading of 51.5. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. The ISM is trade group of purchasing managers. Previous surveys showed manufacturing contracted from June through August. Stocks jumped after the release of the October report, along with another showing consumer confidence surged last month to the highest level in nearly five years. The Dow Jones industrial average, which had already risen about 70 points ...
Tomorrow’s ADP Report Re-Jigged
Post Date: 2012-10-31 17:35:18 by Brian S
The ADP employment report will be the highlight on the US calendar tomorrow. Last week, ADP announced that it has partnered with Moodys to enhance the accuracy of the report, which has been sketchy at best. For some reason, they say that by combining with a ratings agency and Moodys economist Mark Zandi (who has a laughably bad track record) they will be able to put this indicator back on the rails. Include the development of a new methodology to further align with the final, revised U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers. A look back at historical data from 2001 to present using the new methodology shows a very strong correlation (96%) with the revised BLS ...
U.S. Labor Dept. to Issue Jobs Report Nov. 2, Spokesman Says
Post Date: 2012-10-31 10:56:39 by Brian S
The U.S. Department of Labor will issue its monthly employment report as scheduled on Nov. 2, a spokesman said today. The report will be released as scheduled on Friday, the spokesman, Gary Steinberg, said from Washington.
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