Latest Articles: Business
Texas Approves Highest Speed Limit In Country At 85 MPH
Post Date: 2012-09-07 14:37:21 by Brian S
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Texas will soon open a stretch of highway with the highest speed limit in the country, giving eager drivers a chance to rip through a trip between two of the states largest metropolitan areas. The Texas Transportation Commission has approved a speed limit of 85 mph for a 41-mile toll road several miles east of the increasingly crowded Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio. I would love it, Austin resident Alan Guckian said. Sometimes its fun to just open it up. But while some drivers will want to test their horsepower and radar detectors, others are asking if safety is taking a backseat. The research is ...
Nasdaq Reaches Highest Level Since 2000; S&P 500 Jumped To A More Than Four-Year High
Post Date: 2012-09-06 16:25:11 by Brian S
NEW YORK, Sept 6 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 jumped to a more than four-year high on Thursday as a new bond-buying program in Europe was hailed as an effective way to contain the region's debt crisis. Positive sentiment was also lifted by bullish data on the U.S. services sector and labor market, the latter especially notable ahead of Friday's non-farm payrolls report. The rally was broad, with materials, financials and industrials-- all groups tied to the pace of economic growth-- leading the way with gains of more than 2 percent. Advancers outnumbered decliners by a ratio of more than 4 to 1 while the Dow had its biggest gain in two months and the Nasdaq advanced to its highest ...
U.S. Service Sector Activity Grows Faster Than Expected
Post Date: 2012-09-06 10:57:53 by Brian S
(RTTNews) - Economic activity in the U.S. service sector grew for the 32nd consecutive month in August, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Thursday, with the pace of growth accelerating by more than anticipated. The ISM said its non-manufacturing index rose to 53.7 in August from 52.6 in July, with a reading above 50 indicating an increase in activity in the service sector. Economists had been expecting the index to show a more modest increase to a reading of 53.0. Anthony Nieves, chair of the ISM Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said, "According to the NMI, 10 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in August." ...
Challenger: U.S. Planned Layoffs Drop In August Hitting A 20-Month Low
Post Date: 2012-09-06 10:51:14 by Brian S
The number of planned layoffs at U.S. companies dropped for a third straight month in August and hit a 20-month low, a report showed on Thursday. Employers announced 32,239 planned job cuts last month, down 12.5 percent from 36,855 in July, according to the report from consultantsChallenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. It was the fewest number of planned cuts since December, 2010, but the consultancy said the August decline "may be further evidence of an improving economy or it may simply be a summer lull in job-cut activity." The report came a day before the U.S. government is set to release the key August jobs report, for which economists expect payrolls to have dipped from ...
Private Survey: US Businesses Add 201K Jobs, Hopeful Sign Ahead Of Friday’s Jobs Report
Post Date: 2012-09-06 10:49:31 by Brian S
WASHINGTON A private survey shows U.S. businesses stepped up hiring in August, an encouraging sign ahead of Fridays government employment report. Payroll provider ADP says businesses added 201,000 jobs last month, the most reported by the survey since March. ADP also said July job growth was stronger than first thought: Employers created 173,000 jobs 10,000 more jobs than the group reported last month. The report only covers hiring in the private sector and excludes government job growth. The Labor Department will offer a more complete picture of August hiring on Friday. The two surveys reported roughly the same private-sector job creation in July. But the two surveys ...
US Home Prices Rise In July By Most In 6 Years
Post Date: 2012-09-04 11:38:23 by Brian S
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. home prices jumped 3.8 percent in the 12 months ending in July, according to a private real estate data provider. The year-over-year increase was the biggest in six years, further evidence that the housing market is steadily recovering. CoreLogic said Tuesday that home prices also rose 1.3 percent in July from June. That's the fifth straight increase in both the monthly and year-over-year price indexes. The index is the third national measure to show steady increases. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index posted its first annual increase in nearly two years last week. And a federal government housing agency has also reported annual increases. The ...
U.S. Auto Sales Speed Up In August: Ford, GM And Chrysler Book Double-Digit Gains
Post Date: 2012-09-04 11:32:51 by Brian S
That slowdown in the U.S. economy didnt seem to hurt auto sales in August as Ford Motor, General Motors and Chrysler each reported solid gains from a year ago. Ford recorded better sales across the board in cars, utilities and trucks for a 13% increase, and said retail sales were up 19% in August. Rising fuel prices, with gasoline up 20 cents a gallon from a month ago at a national average of $3.82 according to AAA, drew buyers toward more fuel-efficient vehicles according to Fords VP of sales and marketing Ken Czubay. Rising sales led Ford to add a third crew at a Louisville assembly plant to help churn out more Ford Escapes, a vehicle that showed a 37% jump in ...
New York AG Investigating Bain Capital, Other Firms For Tax Evasion
Post Date: 2012-09-02 14:22:13 by Brian S
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an investigation into whether some large private equity firmsamong them Bain Capital, the firm founded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romneytook advantage of a tax loophole to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. According to the New York Times, who first reported the story, executives with knowledge of the investigation said Schneiderman had subpoenaed around a dozen firms in the past few weeks seeking any documents that could shed light on their tax-writing procedures. At issue is whether those firms used a shady, legally-dubious practice of labeling certain fees as investments, ...
Factory Orders Rise 2.8% in July, The Biggest Gain In A Year
Post Date: 2012-08-31 12:46:39 by Brian S
Factory orders rose 2.8% in July, the biggest gain in a year, the Commerce Department said Friday. The upturn followed a 0.5% decline in June. Economists had forecast a 2% increase for July, Bloomberg reported. Excluding transportation orders, which tend to be volatile, orders improved 0.7%, following a 2.2% drop in June. Bookings for non-military goods excluding aircraft fell 4% in July, a bigger drop than the 3.4% decline forecast, Bloomberg reported.. The trucking industry relies on factory orders and shipments for much of its business.
Confidence Among U.S. Consumers Increases to Highest Level in Three Months
Post Date: 2012-08-31 11:30:24 by Brian S
Confidence among U.S. consumers in August rose more than projected to the highest level in three months, reinforcing signs the worlds largest economy is improving. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment climbed to 74.3 from 72.3 the prior month. The gauge was projected to rise to 73.6, according to the median forecast of 60 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The preliminary reading for August was 73.6. Recent reports showing the best job growth in five months and the first gain in home prices since 2010 may be helping lift moods, improving the odds household spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, will be sustained. At the ...
Distressed Home Prices Jump With Inventory Shrinking
Post Date: 2012-08-30 11:33:39 by Brian S
Demand for distressed properties is driving up prices for the first time in two years as investors from Blackstone Group LP (BX) to Colony Capital LLC chase shrinking inventory. The average sales price on homes in the process of foreclosure or already owned by banks rose 7 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the biggest annual increase since 2006, RealtyTrac Inc. reported today. The number of those deals dropped 22 percent, the most since 2010, the Irvine, California-based data provider said in a statement. Theres virtually no supply in a lot of markets right now, Michael Krein, president of the National REO Brokers Association said in a telephone ...
U.S. Grew Faster Than First Estimated in Second Quarter
Post Date: 2012-08-29 12:44:32 by Brian S
By Alex Kowalski - Aug 29, 2012 The economy expanded more than previously estimated in the second quarter, reflecting gains in consumer spending and exports that are being threatened by costlier gasoline and a global slowdown. Gross domestic product climbed at a 1.7 percent annual rate from April through June, up from an initial estimate of 1.5 percent and following a 2 percent gain in the first three months of the year, revised Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The weakest gain in business investment in new equipment in almost three years restrained the pace of growth, which was the slowest since the third quarter. Consumers and companies may continue to curb ...
Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index Shows A Healthy Market
Post Date: 2012-08-29 12:41:34 by Brian S
(AP) WASHINGTON (AP) Americans signed more contracts to buy homes in July than at any time in the last two years, further evidence of a housing recovery. The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its index of sales agreements for previously occupied homes jumped 2.4% in July to 101.7. That's higher than June's 99.3. It's also the highest reading since April 2010, last month that buyers could qualify for a federal home-buying tax credit. A reading of 100 is considered healthy. The index is 12.4% higher than July 2011. It bottomed at 75.88 in June 2010 after the tax credit expired. Contract signings typically indicate where the housing market is headed. ...
Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Mark First Gain Since 2010
Post Date: 2012-08-28 11:44:02 by Brian S
Home prices in 20 U.S. cities climbed in June from a year earlier, the first gain in almost two years, indicating the market that triggered the recession is beginning to rebound. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities increased 0.5 percent from June 2011, the first gain since September 2010, a report from the group showed today in New York. The median forecast of 29 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 0.05 percent drop. Nationally, prices jumped last quarter by the most in more than six years. Rising demand driven by mortgage costs close to a record low has trimmed the glut of unsold houses on the market, which may continue to give property values a ...
Ryan-Wyden Medicare Reform Approach - Worth a Serious Look
Post Date: 2012-08-20 15:17:33 by jwpegler
Among the most hypocritical aspects of certain purist Democrats who call themselves liberals is their willingness to attack any Democrat who veers even slightly from liberal orthodoxy. Sadly, their attacks almost always turn personal, substituting name-calling for thoughtful analysis of the facts. Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden is one of the Senate's leading progressives, with a voting record on every major issue defining liberalism that is second to none. Yet he has also been a target of attack by purist liberals -- because he has shown a willingness to mix liberal approaches (relying on government to assure social equity) with conservative principles (relying on private market ...
40 Points That Prove This is the Most Important Election Since 1980
Post Date: 2012-08-17 18:01:30 by jwpegler
What an exciting time it is in America. We are at a turning point in our history where we desperately need a change in direction. Fortunately, we are starting to get. In 2010, the Tea Party was responsible for electing 60 new GOP Congressmen, giving us the most conservative House since before the Great Depression. In addition, the GOP gained 680 seats in State Legislatures across the country, giving the GOP the largest number of State Legislative seats since 1928. This year, we have the clearest Presidential election since 1980, with the Marxist-influenced, black liberation theology-inspired President pitted against a lifelong successful business man. Unfortunately, there are still too ...
Bain Capital Plans To Outsource Jobs At Profitable Sensata Plant In Illinois
Post Date: 2012-08-10 14:20:44 by Brian S
The shock of losing a precious job in a town afflicted by high unemployment is always hard. A foundation for a stable family life and secure home instantly disappears, replaced with a future filled with fears over health insurance, missed mortgage payments and the potential for a slip below the breadline. But for Bonnie Borman and 170 other men and women in Freeport,Illinois there is a brutal twist to the torture. Borman, 52, and the other workers of a soon-to-be-shuttered car parts plant are personally training the Chinese workers who will replace them. Its a surreal experience, they say. For months they have watched their plant being dismantled and shipped to ...
Break-in leaves one dead after store owner opens fire (empties 30 round mag)
Post Date: 2012-08-10 14:03:56 by Hondo68
A North Augusta gun store owner used a semi-automatic weapon when he opened fire on three men who broke into his business early Thursday, killing one and sending two others to the hospital with gunshot wounds, officials said. The break-in occurred around 4 a.m. at the Guns and Ammo Gunsmith, located on Edgefield Road in North Augusta, said Aiken County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Jason Feemster, a spokesman for the agency. Stephen Bayazes Jr., 57, who lives in an attached apartment in the rear of the business with his wife, said he awoke to a loud bang and the silent store alarm going off. Police said he got out of bed, grabbed his AR-15 weapon and found three men inside the store. The men ...
Late Mortgage Payments Drop To A 3-Year Low
Post Date: 2012-08-09 11:58:55 by Brian S
U.S. homeowners are getting better about keeping up with their mortgage payments, driving the percentage of borrowers who have fallen behind to a three-year low, according to a new report. Still, the rate of decline remains slow, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Wednesday. The percentage of mortgages going unpaid is unlikely to return anytime soon to where it was before the housing market crashed. About 5.49 percent of the nation's mortgage holders were behind on their payments by 60 days or more in the April-to-June period, the agency said. That's the lowest level since the first quarter of 2009. The second-quarter delinquency rate is down from 5.82 percent in the same ...
Home Prices Gained in Most U.S. Cities Last Quarter as Markets Stabilized
Post Date: 2012-08-09 11:55:41 by Brian S
Prices for single-family homes climbed in most U.S. cities in the second quarter and values nationally jumped the most since 2006 as real estate markets stabilized. The median sales price increased from a year earlier in 110 of 147 metropolitan areas measured, the National Association of Realtors said in a report today. In the first quarter, 74 areas had gains. U.S. housing prices are beginning to lift off the bottom after the worst housing slump since the 1930s as buyers compete for a tight supply of available properties. At the end of June, 2.39 million previously owned homes were available for sale, 24 percent fewer than a year earlier, the Realtors said. The turnaround in home ...
Us Jobless Claims Fall By 6,000 To 361,000, Signaling Modest Improvement In The Job Market
Post Date: 2012-08-09 11:54:37 by Brian S
WASHINGTON The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell by 6,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 361,000, a level consistent with modest gains in hiring. The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average rose by 2,250 to 368,250 in the week that ended Aug. 4. Weekly applications bounced around in July, skewed by the difficulty of accounting for temporary summertime layoffs in the auto industry. The seasonal distortions had faded by last week. Applications measure the pace of layoffs. When they consistently fall below 375,000, it typically suggests hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate. Paul Dales, senior U.S. ...
Global Food Reserves Falling as Drought Wilts Crops
Post Date: 2012-08-09 11:47:06 by Brian S
Stockpiles of the biggest crops will decline for a third year as drought parches fields across three continents, raising food-import costs already forecast by the United Nations to reach a near-record $1.24 trillion. Combined inventories of corn, wheat, soybeans and rice will drop 1.8 percent to a four-year low before harvests in 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. Crops in the U.S., the biggest exporter, are in the worst condition since 1988, heat waves are battering European crops and Indias monsoon rainfall already is 20 percent below normal. The International Grains Council began July by forecasting record harvests. It ended with a prediction for a 2 percent drop ...
Job Openings Highest In Four Years In June
Post Date: 2012-08-07 12:31:48 by Brian S
(Reuters) - Job openings in June were the highest in four years but the pace of hiring slowed from the prior month, government data showed on Tuesday. Job openings - a measure of labor demand - rose to 3.76 million, the highest since July 2008, from 3.66 million in May, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The hiring rate, however, slipped to 3.3 percent from 3.4 percent in May.
Jobs Report Beats Forecasts With 163000 Jobs In July
Post Date: 2012-08-03 10:49:00 by Brian S
The nation's unemployment rate ticked up from 8.2% to 8.3% as the economy added a surprising 163,000 jobs in July. U.S. stock index futures rose after the report, and when stock markets opened an hour later, stocks rallied. The number of payroll jobs beat forecasts that called for about 100,000 new jobs, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Overall, private employers added 172,000 jobs in July while governments cut 9,000, the Labor Department reported. Employment rose in professional and business services, food services and drinking places and manufacturing, the government said. Employment continues to recover slowly from a recession that pushed unemployment to 10% in ...
Service Industries in U.S. Expand at a Faster Pace Amid Increase in Orders
Post Date: 2012-08-03 10:45:07 by Brian S
Service industries in the U.S. expanded in July at a faster pace than a month earlier, helped by a pickup in orders. The Institute for Supply Managements non-manufacturing index rose to 52.6, from 52.1 in June, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. The median forecast of 73 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for no change from June. A reading above 50 signals expansion. The measure is below the 54.2 average over the last six months, indicating services that make up almost 90 percent of the economy are hindered by slower global growth and concerns about the so-called U.S. fiscal cliff. The groups gauge of employment fell to the lowest level since September, a sign ...
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