Latest Articles: Business
Construction Spending Climbs On Housing Rebound
Post Date: 2012-12-03 11:17:18 by Brian S
(Reuters) - Construction spending rose in October by the most in five months, with stronger spending on homes outpacing tepid gains in business and government projects. Construction spending climbed 1.4 percent to an annual rate of $872.1 billion, the highest level in over three years, the Commerce Department said on Monday. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 0.5 percent gain. The department also said superstorm Sandy, which hit the East Coast at the end of October, likely had a minimal effect on the data. Home building is expected to add to economic growth this year for the first time since 2005, although the housing sector remains a shadow of what it was before the 2007-09 ...
Chrysler, Ford, GM And Toyota Post Strong November Auto Sales
Post Date: 2012-12-03 10:44:34 by Brian S
With the presidential election and Hurricane Sandy behind them, car shoppers headed for dealer lots last month in what looked to be the biggest numbers since early 2008. Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Hyundai and Volkswagen on Monday all reported rising November auto sales. Analysts estimated that automakers sold more than 1.1 million vehicles last month for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 15 million. It appeared to be the highest annual sales rate since February 2008, said Jesse Toprak, an analyst for auto information company TrueCar.com. Toprak said import brands increased their spending on incentives and discounts last month and probably outpaced the domestic ...
U.S. Manufacturing Unexpectedly Shrank as Orders Slowed
Post Date: 2012-12-03 10:40:27 by Brian S
Manufacturing in the U.S. unexpectedly contracted in November as orders dropped to a three-month low and exports slowed. The Institute for Supply Managements factory index decreased to 49.5, the lowest since July 2009, from 51.7 a month earlier, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. Economists projected the index would ease to 51.4, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey. A reading of 50 marks the dividing line between expansion and contraction. Less corporate investment in equipment as U.S. lawmakers debate the nations budget, weaker orders from overseas and disturbances related to the biggest Atlantic storm in history are converging to slow ...
World Economy in Best Shape for 18 Months
Post Date: 2012-11-29 10:37:27 by Brian S
The world economy is in its best shape in 18 months as Chinas prospects improve and the U.S. looks likely to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, according to the latest Bloomberg Global Poll of investors. Two-thirds of the 862 surveyed described the global economy as either stable or improving. Thats up from just over half who said that in September and is the most since May 2011. The U.S. came out on top for the eighth straight quarter when investors were asked which markets will offer the best opportunities over the next year. China ranked second, reversing a decline to fourth in the September poll of investors, analysts and traders who are Bloomberg subscribers. The European ...
Foreclosure Wave Averted as Doomsayers Defied
Post Date: 2012-11-29 10:36:18 by Brian S
Stockton, California, has the highest U.S. foreclosure rate. It also has a housing shortage. The number of homes for sale in the city fell 42 percent in October from a year earlier. Listings routinely attract multiple offers. Prices are on the rise. When banks pulled back on foreclosures two years ago following a government investigation into allegations of faulty practices, market researchers, academics and Wall Street analysts said that a surge of delinquent homes would deluge the U.S. market once lenders resolved the claims and worked through backlog, driving down prices for years to come. RealtyTrac Inc., a seller of property data, warned a year ago of a new set of incoming ...
Pending Sales of Existing U.S. Homes Rose 5.2% in October
Post Date: 2012-11-29 10:30:35 by Brian S
Americans signed more contracts in October to purchase previously owned homes, another sign the recovery in the housing market is being sustained. The index of pending home resales climbed 5.2 percent, exceeding the highest estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists, to 104.8 after a revised 0.4 percent gain in September, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. The median forecast in the Bloomberg survey called for a 1 percent gain. The lowest mortgage rates on record, stable prices and waning foreclosures are helping underpin sales three years after the last recession ended. Federal Reserve policy makers have targeted the industry with purchases of ...
U.S. Economy Grew at 2.7% Rate, More Than First Estimated
Post Date: 2012-11-29 10:29:15 by Brian S
The economy in the U.S. expanded more than previously estimated in the third quarter as a narrower trade deficit and gains in inventory overshadowed a smaller gain in consumer spending. Gross domestic product grew at a 2.7 percent annual rate, up from a 2 percent prior estimate, revised figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 82 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 2.8 percent gain. Household purchases climbed at a 1.4 percent rate, the least in more than a year and down from a previously reported 2 percent rate, and income gains were also cut. Were just muddling through, said Brian Jones, a senior U.S. economist ...
Sales of New U.S. Homes Fell 0.3% in October
Post Date: 2012-11-28 10:30:36 by Brian S
Purchases of new U.S. homes unexpectedly declined in October, showing limited progress in the housing market recovery. Sales dropped 0.3 percent to a 368,000 annual pace following a revised 369,000 rate in September that was weaker than initially reported, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 74 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 390,000 sales pace. Purchases in the last six months have climbed 2.8 percent, showing limited job growth and access to credit are still restraining the residential real estate market. The figures help explain why Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has singled out housing as one of the industries ...
Grayson: Walmart Is Â‘The Largest Recipient Of Public Aid In The CountryÂ’
Post Date: 2012-11-27 18:20:24 by Brian S
Representative-elect Alan Grayson (D-FL) said Monday that he will put mega-retailer Walmart squarely in his sights during the next Congress for the companys liberal use of public assistance programs to supplement their workers wages. Speaking to Current TV host Cenk Uygur on Mondays episode of The Young Turks, Grayson called Walmart the largest recipient of public aid in the country, saying their low wages force workers to take food stamps, housing assistance and Medicaid just to get by. The taxpayer pays for the earned income credit, he said. The taxpayer pays for Medicaid. The taxpayer pays for unemployment insurance when they ...
RV Industry Recovery Picks Up Speed In 2012 Amid Rising Shipments To Dealers
Post Date: 2012-11-27 16:02:09 by Brian S
BRUCE SCHREINER Associated Press 12:41 p.m. EST, November 27, 2012 LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) The RV industry's recovery from the Great Recession has picked up speed. Recreational Vehicle makers are churning out higher numbers of travel trailers bound for dealers' lots and, ultimately, campgrounds. Overall shipments from manufacturers to dealers a key measure of consumer demand are expected to rise 10 percent in 2012 and could gain another 4.5 percent next year, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association said Tuesday. Through September, shipments were up nearly 11 percent from the same period last year, the group said. The higher-than-expected number had dealers, ...
Consumer Confidence in U.S. Increases to Four-Year High
Post Date: 2012-11-27 10:52:21 by Brian S
Consumer confidence rose in November to the highest level in more than four years, a sign U.S. household spending will keep growing. The Conference Boards confidence index climbed to 73.7, the highest since February 2008, from a revised 73.1 reading the prior month, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. The median forecast of 75 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a reading of 73. The report showed the share of Americans planning to buy a house rose to a record high, indicating improving property values and a job market recovery are making households more willing to make long-term commitments. Sustained gains in consumer spending, the biggest ...
Demand for U.S. Capital Goods Climbs in Spending Rebound
Post Date: 2012-11-27 10:12:32 by Brian S
Demand for goods such as machinery and electronics climbed in October by the most in five months, signaling companies are starting to overcome concern the looming fiscal cliff will derail the U.S. economy. Bookings for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a proxy for future business investment, rose 1.7 percent last month, the most since May, the Commerce Department reported today in Washington. Orders for all durable goods were little changed, beating the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg that projected a 0.7 percent drop. Eaton Corp. (ETN) is among companies saying customers are trying to find ways to meet rising demand even as they are concerned about the $60 ...
Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Rose 3% in Year to September
Post Date: 2012-11-27 10:09:30 by Brian S
Home prices rose in the year ended in September by the most since July 2010, showing the recovery in the U.S. real estate market is a source of strength for the economy. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities climbed 3 percent from September 2011, after advancing 2 percent in the year to August, the group said today in New York. The median forecast of 29 economists in a Bloomberg survey projected a 3 percent gain. Home prices from July through September climbed the most since the second quarter of 2010. An improving labor market and record-low mortgage rates are shoring up demand for properties, helping explain an increase in optimism among builders. At the same ...
Retailers Keep Deals Flowing on 13% Holiday-Sales Jump
Post Date: 2012-11-26 10:13:08 by Brian S
U.S. retailers are extending deals into Cyber Monday and beyond to try to sustain a 13 percent gain in Thanksgiving weekend sales. Spending in stores and online rose to $59.1 billion in the four days starting Nov. 22, the National Retail Federation said in a statement yesterday. A year ago, sales advanced 16 percent over the holiday weekend. Retailers have turned Black Friday into a weeks worth of deals, with earlier openings and online offers. Thanksgiving Day, once reserved for family gatherings, saw the number of shoppers rise to more than 35 million from 29 million last year, the NRF said. Even todays so-called Cyber Monday is losing its distinction, with Best Buy Co. ...
Buffett Mocks Norquist Idea on Taxes Thwarting Investment
Post Date: 2012-11-26 10:11:42 by Brian S
Warren Buffett, the second-richest man in the U.S., pressed his call for more taxes on the wealthy by mocking the idea that higher rates discourage investment. Legislators should increase taxes on those earning more than $500,000, including minimum rates of at least 30 percent on all income above $1 million, Buffett said in an opinion piece in the New York Times today. U.S. lawmakers returning this week from the Thanksgiving recess are seeking a budget deal to avoid a so-called fiscal cliff with more than $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts set to begin in January. Republicans including Mitt Romney, the defeated presidential candidate, and Grover Norquist, who encourages lawmakers ...
Sandy Seen Boosting U.S. With as Much as $240 Billion Rebuilding
Post Date: 2012-11-23 18:26:43 by Brian S
John Cataneo is working his 20 employees overtime and still cant keep up with demand from customers who need plumbing repaired after superstorm Sandy. He says hes hired two new workers and may need more. Were just not getting to some people that are asking for help, said Cataneo, co-owner of Gateway Plumbing & Heating in Manhattan. But were doing the best we can. Cataneos experience shows how the storm is giving the U.S. Northeast -- and the rest of the country -- an economic boost that may eventually surpass the loss of business it caused. Reconstruction and related purchases and hiring may range from $140 billion to $240 billion ...
John Metz Denny's Obamacare Surcharge Stirs Big Mess For Restaurant Chain
Post Date: 2012-11-20 18:14:00 by Brian S
Don't expect to hear more about an Obamacare surcharge from Denny's franchisee John Metz. Denny's chief executive John Miller privately reached out to Metz to express his "disappointment" with the Florida franchisee's controversial statements about Obamacare, which sparked a wave of backlash for the national restaurant chain over the past few days. Metz released a statement Monday night expressing "regret" over his statements. "We recognize his right to speak on issues, but registered our disappointment that his comments have been interpreted as the companys position," Miller said in an email to The Huffington Post. Miller is rushing to ...
Soros Buying Gold as Record Prices Seen on Stimulus
Post Date: 2012-11-20 10:31:20 by Brian S
Golds 12-year rally, the longest in at least nine decades, is poised to continue in 2013 as central bank stimulus spurs investors from John Paulson to George Soros to accumulate the highest combined bullion holdings ever. The metal will rise every quarter next year and average $1,925 an ounce in the final three months, or 11 percent more than now, according to the median of 16 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Paulson & Co. has a $3.67 billion bet through the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), the biggest gold-backed exchange- traded product, and Soros Fund Management LLC increased its holdings by 49 percent in the third quarter, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings show. ...
Housing Starts in U.S. Increase to Four-Year High
Post Date: 2012-11-20 10:29:21 by Brian S
Housing starts in October unexpectedly climbed to a four-year high, indicating further improvement in U.S. residential construction. Starts rose 3.6 percent to a 894,000 annual rate, the fastest since July 2008 and exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 82 economists called for starts to fall to a 840,000 pace. Building permits, a proxy for future construction, eased after surging the previous month. Record-low mortgage rates and a lower risk that property values will keep falling may continue to attract buyers, giving the economy a lift and benefiting companies such as Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL) Federal ...
Judge Suggests Mediation to Save Hostess; Sides Agree to Talk
Post Date: 2012-11-19 16:08:31 by Brian S
Dow Jones is reporting that a bankruptcy judge is urging mediation to save Hostess from liquidation. WSJ will have more to come as it comes out of the courtroom. Heres an update from bankruptcy reporters Jacqueline Palank and Rachel Feintzeig A bankruptcy judge Monday asked whether he should preside over mediation between Hostess Brands Inc. and its striking union to avoid pulling the plug on the baker of Ho Hos, Twinkies and Wonder Bread. At a hearing Monday on Hostesss request to begin the process of shutting down its business, Judge Robert Drain of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y., asked attorneys representing Hostess and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco ...
Now The Christmas Grinch Steals Thanksgiving
Post Date: 2012-11-19 10:59:28 by Brian S
AFP - Thanksgiving, the last US holiday undisturbed by mass commercialization, is now victim to the ever advancing Christmas shopping season, with stores welcoming shopaholics before the family turkey can be taken from the oven. Thanksgiving was long that rare day when stores closed and families gathered for long, uninterrupted meals. Unlike at Easter, Christmas or Hanukkah there was no merchandising -- other than for the unfortunate birds. That's been eroding yearly with the growing emphasis on Black Friday, when stores begin sales that they count on for putting their books in the black. Now, to the consternation of some Americans, the sanctity of Thanksgiving, which falls this year ...
GDP Accelerating to 2.9% Helping U.S. Overcome Sandy Woes
Post Date: 2012-11-19 10:30:20 by Brian S
The U.S. economy looks set to weather the headwinds from Hurricane Sandy and the budget battles in Washington after picking up speed in the third quarter. Gross domestic product probably increased at about a 2.9 percent annual rate in July- September, according to economists from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Barclays Plc. That would be the fastest quarterly growth this year, beating the Commerce Departments initial estimate of 2 percent. The economys momentum has picked up a bit as the fundamentals of the private sector are improving, said Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs in New York. He projects third-quarter expansion will be revised up to ...
Homebuilder Confidence Rises to Six-Year High as U.S. Sales Jump
Post Date: 2012-11-19 10:16:26 by Brian S
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders unexpectedly climbed in November to a six-year high, propelled by the biggest jump in sales in a decade, adding to signs the real-estate market is improving. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence increased to 46, the highest level since May 2006, from 41 in October, figures from the Washington-based group showed today. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 49 economists called for no change. Readings below 50 mean more respondents said conditions were poor. Companies like Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL) are benefiting as more affordable properties and record-low mortgage rates bring buyers into the market. ...
Existing Home Sales Climb, Housing Recovery Gains Traction
Post Date: 2012-11-19 10:15:32 by Brian S
(Reuters) - Home resales unexpectedly rose in October, a sign that slow improvements in the country's labor market are helping the housing sector recovery gain traction. The National Association of Realtors said on Monday that existing home sales climbed 2.1 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million units. That was above the median forecast of a 4.75 million-unit rate in a Reuters poll. NAR economist Lawrence Yun said superstorm Sandy, which slammed in the U.S. East Coast on October 29, had only a slight impact on home resales. The only region where the pace of sales slipped was the Northeast. But Yun said the storm could temporarily hold back the pace ...
Pabst Owner Metropoulos Considers Bid for Hostess Brands
Post Date: 2012-11-18 13:32:23 by Brian S
C. Dean Metropoulos & Co., the private equity firm that owns Pabst Brewing Co., is considering an offer to buy Hostess Brands Inc., which said today it plans to liquidate its business. Our family would love to purchase these iconic brands, said Daren Metropoulos, a principal at the Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm, which paid $250 million for Pabst in 2010. We are actively pursuing this deal as no doubt strategics will also. C. Dean Metropoulos, founder of the firm, has specialized in purchasing struggling brands, such as Chef Boyardee and Bumble Bee Tuna and turning them around. The firm paid close attention to the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread during ...
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