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Study: 30 top firms paid no federal income taxes
Post Date: 2011-11-03 17:01:38 by Skip Intro
Thirty large and profitable Fortune 500 corporations paid no federal income taxes between 2008 and 2010, according to a new study Thursday on corporate loopholes. In fact, the 30 companies enjoyed a negative effective income tax rate over the three-year period, even as they earned pre-tax profits of $160 billion, according to two think tanks, Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. A negative tax rate represents a tax benefit like a credit, not necessarily direct funds from the government. Pepco Holdings, a Washington, D.C.-area power company, had the lowest effective tax rate at negative 57.6 percent and 78 of the 280 Fortune 500 corporations studied ...

Weekly Jobless Claims Drop Below 400,000
Post Date: 2011-11-03 12:51:57 by Brian S
The number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits dipped below 400,000 last week, a key move that indicates the job market is improving. The 397,000 initial claims were down 9,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday. The figure has hovered near 400,000 for several weeks. The average over the last month has been 404,500. At the height of the Great Recession, in early 2009, weekly claims were above 600,000. The new data come a day before the government will release the October unemployment report. Economists are expecting about 100,000 jobs were created last month, slow growth that is unlikely to significantly move the nation's 9.1% unemployment ...

U.S. Companies Add More-Than-Expected 110,000 Workers in October, ADP Says
Post Date: 2011-11-02 12:13:36 by Brian S
Companies added workers in October, easing concern the job market is stagnating in the third year of the U.S. recovery, according to a private report based on payrolls. The 110,000 increased followed a revised 116,000 gain the prior month, Roseland, New Jersey-based ADP Employer Services said today. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a advance of 100,000. A pickup in private hiring is needed to help reduce unemployment and boost consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy. Businesses added 125,000 jobs in October and the jobless rate was 9.1 percent for a fourth straight month, economists in a Bloomberg survey projected ahead ...

Chrysler October U.S. Sales Rise 27%
Post Date: 2011-11-01 11:05:18 by Brian S
General Motors Co. (GM), the largest U.S. automaker, said its October U.S. vehicle sales rose 1.7 percent. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for an increase of 6.7 percent. GM disclosed the sales result in a statement.

ISM Index of U.S. Manufacturing Falls
Post Date: 2011-11-01 11:02:44 by Brian S
The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index fell to 50.8 in October from 51.6 the prior month, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. A reading of 50 is the dividing line between expansion and contraction in manufacturing. Economists projected the gauge would climb to 52, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Estimates of the 85 economists ranged from 50.5 to 55. An index above 42.5 generally indicates an expansion in the overall economy. Other figures today showed global manufacturing cooled last month. A Chinese factory index dropped to the lowest level since February 2009, while a U.K. manufacturing gauge declined to a 28-month low. The ...

UFCW Bosses Busted For Racketeering, Extortion, Money Laundering & More…
Post Date: 2011-11-01 08:02:12 by CZ82
UFCW Bosses Busted For Racketeering, Extortion, Money Laundering & More… Posted by LaborUnionReport Friday, October 28th at 2:30PM EDT A powerful United Food & Commercial Workers local union (348s) in New York was closed for business on Thursday as police arrested three family members who run the union local. Police arrested the president, former president, and treasurer of Local 348 United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) on Thursday. Anthony Fazio Sr., John Fazio Jr., and Anthony Fazio Jr. were charged with racketeering, extortion, money laundering, and witness tampering. The Fazios used their positions in the union to extort money from employers ...

Broadband companyÂ’s demise puts taxpayers on hook for $74 million loan
Post Date: 2011-10-29 08:17:50 by CZ82
Broadband company’s demise puts taxpayers on hook for $74 million loan By Cecilia Kang, Published: October 26, 2011 As the government prepares Thursday to commit billions of dollars to bring high-speed Internet to rural areas, the biggest-­ever such project has collapsed. The company Open Range, backed by a commitment of $267 million in loans from the Agriculture Department, filed for bankruptcy this month. Taxpayers are on the hook for $74 million that the upstart hasn’t repaid. And now the company, some analysts and a senior government official are blaming poor judgment and Washington bureaucracy as the reasons Open Range failed. The two agencies that oversaw the ...

Economy in U.S. Surpasses Pre-Recession Level
Post Date: 2011-10-28 11:12:27 by Brian S
The value of goods and services produced in the U.S. surpassed its pre-recession level after 15 quarters, taking three times longer than the average for 10 previous recoveries since World War II. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the period from July through September, the Commerce Department reported yesterday, the fastest pace in a year and up from 1.3 percent in the prior three-month period. After adjusting for inflation, GDP climbed to $13.35 trillion last quarter, topping the $13.33 trillion peak reached in the last three months of 2007. “The American economy finally has accomplished the recovery and has now entered the expansion,” said Neal ...

S&P 500 Extends Best Month Since ’74, Euro Rises
Post Date: 2011-10-27 18:02:29 by Brian S
Stocks surged, extending the biggest monthly rally for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since 1974, and the euro strengthened as European leaders agreed to expand a bailout fund to stem the region’s debt crisis. Treasuries sank, while metals and oil led a rally in commodities. The S&P 500 jumped 3.4 percent to 1,284.59 at 4 p.m. in New York, sending its October gain to 14 percent and erasing its 2011 loss. The 20 percent monthly advance for the Dow Jones Transportation Average, a proxy for the economy, is the biggest since 1939. Benchmark gauges in France, Italy and Germany rose more than 5 percent as German and emerging-market stocks extended gains from this year’s ...

Chrysler Reports $212 Million Profit, Boosts Guidance for 2011
Post Date: 2011-10-27 11:56:52 by Brian S
Chrysler Group LLC, the U.S. automaker majority owned by Fiat SpA (F), reported a third-quarter net income of $212 million and boosted its forecast for profit this year. The profit compares with a net loss of $84 million during the same July through September period last year, the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based automaker said today in a statement. The average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for net income of $211 million. Chrysler raised the forecast for its first annual profit to about $600 million from its previous guidance for this year of $200 million to $500 million, excluding costs associated with paying back U.S. and Canadian government loans. A lineup of ...

US GDP Climbs 2.5% In Third Quarter, Allaying Recession Fears
Post Date: 2011-10-27 11:50:34 by Brian S
WASHINGTON -- US economic growth accelerated this summer as consumers and businesses boosted spending, allaying at least for now concerns of a slide back toward recession. Gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of all the goods and services produced in an economy, grew at an inflation-adjusted annual rate of 2.5 percent from July through September, the strongest performance in a year, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected GDP to rise 2.7 percent. The economy grew a paltry 0.4 percent in the first quarter and 1.3 percent in the second quarter of the year, sparking concerns of a new downturn. But in the third quarter, ...

Sales of New U.S. Homes Hits Five-Month High
Post Date: 2011-10-26 12:54:55 by Brian S
Purchases of new U.S. houses rose more than forecast in September as discounted prices lured buyers in some parts of the country. Sales climbed 5.7 percent to a 313,000 annual pace, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a gain to 300,000. The median price slumped 10 percent from September 2010, the biggest drop in more than two years. Another report showed demand for durable goods excluding transportation equipment climbed last month by the most since March. The increase in home sales was paced by rising demand in the West and South, while other parts of the country slumped, showing an ...

U.S. Economy: Durable Goods Orders Help Sustain Expansion
Post Date: 2011-10-26 12:44:10 by Brian S
Orders for U.S. durable goods other than transportation gear rose in September by the most in six months, indicating manufacturing will help sustain an economy hobbled by 9.1 percent unemployment. Demand for goods meant to last at least three years, excluding airplanes and automobiles, climbed 1.7 percent, according to figures from the Commerce Department issued today in Washington. Another report from the department showed purchases of new homes rose more than forecast. A government tax break aimed at spurring business investment coupled with a 14 percent drop in the value of the dollar since June 2010 that is propelling American exports to record levels may keep boosting sales at ...

Consumer Confidence Falls to Two-Year Low
Post Date: 2011-10-25 12:39:22 by Brian S
Consumer confidence in the U.S. unexpectedly sank and home prices stagnated, showing why the Obama administration and some Federal Reserve policy makers are pivoting to stem a housing slump that is threatening the economic recovery. The New York-based Conference Board’s household sentiment index slumped to 39.8 in October, the lowest level since March 2009 and less than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg News survey, the group’s data showed today. Property values in 20 cities were little changed in August from the prior month and down 3.8 percent from 2010, according to S&P/Case-Shiller. “The outlook continues to deteriorate,” said Yelena Shulyatyeva, a ...

U.S. Median Incomes Fall As Number Of Millionaires Grow
Post Date: 2011-10-20 17:18:13 by Brian S
Americans' incomes are falling, perhaps a reason why pessimism about their personal finances is now the lowest it's been in a decade. The median income fell in 2010 for the second year in a row to $26,364, a 1.2 percent drop from 2009, and the lowest level since 1999, according to David Cay Johnston at Reuters. Meanwhile, U.S. households are growing increasingly concerned about their finances with more than 20 percent of adult Americans rating their financial situation as "poor," a Gallup poll finds. That's a larger share than the 16 to 19 percent of Americans who viewed their finances as poor during and after the recession. It's also the highest percentage since ...

U.S. Factory, Jobs Data Offer Hope For Economy
Post Date: 2011-10-20 11:36:48 by Brian S
Factory activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region rebounded in October and the number of Americans claiming new jobless benefits fell last week, fresh signs that the economy was likely to duck a new recession. Optimism over the economy was, however, tempered by other data on Thursday showing a drop in sales of previously owned homes last month and only a small rise in a gauge of future growth. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 403,000, the Labor Department said. Economists had forecast claims falling to 400,000. Separately, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index rebounded to 8.7 in October, the highest ...

Wall Street Has Worst Quarter Since Crisis
Post Date: 2011-10-20 11:30:36 by Brian S
The biggest Wall Street firms posted their worst quarter in both trading and investment banking since the depths of the financial crisis as they face questions about the future of their business. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Citigroup Inc. (C), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Morgan Stanley posted $13.5 billion in trading revenue minus accounting gains for the third quarter, down 35 percent from a year earlier. Investment- banking revenue plunged 41 percent from the second quarter to $4.47 billion. Bank of America posted a roughly 90 percent drop in fixed- income trading revenue and Goldman Sachs had its lowest debt underwriting quarter since 2003. ...

Consumers Most Negative Since Recession
Post Date: 2011-10-20 11:29:15 by Brian S
Consumer confidence in the U.S. economic outlook slumped in October to the lowest level since the recession, highlighting the challenges facing the biggest part of the economy. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index’s monthly expectations gauge dropped to minus 45, the worst reading since February 2009. The weekly measure of current conditions was minus 48.4 for the period ended Oct. 16, up from minus 50.8 the prior week that was close to a record low. A volatile stock market, little hiring and a lack of wage gains are souring Americans’ moods, raising the risk that the consumer spending that accounts for 70 percent of the economy will slump. Policy makers from Federal Reserve ...

Leaked Memo: The Corporate Board Rooms Fear the Occupy Movement
Post Date: 2011-10-19 16:29:35 by Brian S
Below is a memorandum leaked to the Freedom Plaza occupation of Washington, DC that comes from a corporate consultant and shows the fear they are developing of the Occupy Movement.  The memorandum from Fay Feeney, a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, describes how corporations should prepare to combat the Occupation Movement. Corporations fear their leaders being held personally accountable for the actions of concentrated corporate interests.  They especially fear their names and addresses being known and their board rooms being invaded by OccupyTheBoardroom.org. Feeney suggests: "board members and corporate counsels prepare themselves for a bumpy ride ...

"Second Hand Dealer Law": Louisiana Bans Cash Transactions...
Post Date: 2011-10-19 13:02:55 by Brian S
Cold hard cash. It's good everywhere you go, right? You can use it to pay for anything. But that's not the case here in Louisiana now. It's a law that was passed during this year's busy legislative session. House bill 195 basically says those who buy and sell second hand goods cannot use cash to make those transactions, and it flew so far under the radar most businesses don't even know about it. "We're gonna lose a lot of business," says Danny Guidry, who owns the Pioneer Trading Post in Lafayette. He deals in buying and selling unique second hand items. "We don't want this cash transaction to be taken away from us. It's an everyday ...

Housing Starts in U.S. Rise 15%, Beat Forecast
Post Date: 2011-10-19 12:34:01 by Brian S
Builders began work on more U.S. homes than forecast in September and consumer prices climbed at the slowest pace in three months, supporting Federal Reserve forecasts for a pickup in growth and a moderation in inflation. Housing starts jumped 15 percent to a 658,000 annual rate, the most since April 2010, the Commerce Department reported today in Washington. Data from the Labor Department showed the cost of living climbed 0.3 percent from August, in line with the median projection of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The increase in building was led by a surge in construction of apartments and other multifamily dwellings that may continue to support the industry as the housing ...

Tea Party Buys In To Trade Deals
Post Date: 2011-10-18 17:51:14 by Brian S
Freshman House Republicans voted overwhelmingly for a trio of trade deals last week despite hopes from opponents that the faction would move en bloc to stop them. The 89 House Republicans new to Congress this year — many of whom were backed by the Tea Party — were courted by both sides of the debate over the long-stalled trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. With their views on trade relatively unknown, some opponents of the deals thought they had an opening to sink them from the right. But in the end, almost all of the GOP frosh voted in favor of the three agreements. Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) told The Hill a consensus formed among the newcomers that the trade deals ...

U.S. To Crack Down On Commodity Traders; Will It Stick?
Post Date: 2011-10-18 12:31:49 by Brian S
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is poised on Tuesday to push through the toughest measures yet to curtail speculation in commodity markets, likely shifting the focus of a fierce four-year debate from the regulators to the courts. In a measure decried by Wall Street and trading companies as a misguided political attempt to cap soaring oil and grain prices, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is set to vote in favor of “position limits” that will cap the number of futures, swaps and options contracts any trader can hold. If the rule maintains several of the key measures from a draft seen last month by Reuters, there will be some cause for relief in the industry. ...

Homebuilder Sentiment in U.S. Increases More Than Forecast
Post Date: 2011-10-18 11:28:12 by Brian S
Homebuilders in the U.S. were less pessimistic than forecast in October as near record-low borrowing costs and price decreases raised hopes the market will turn for the better over the next six months. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo sentiment index climbed to 18, the highest level since May 2010, from 14 in the prior month, data from the Washington-based group showed today. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected the measure would rise to 15, according to the median forecast. Readings below 50 mean more respondents said conditions were poor. The Federal Reserve’s unconventional measures to boost demand and spur job growth combined with concern over the ...

Home Short Sales Rise in ‘Dramatic Shift’ That May Boost U.S. House Prices
Post Date: 2011-10-18 11:25:15 by Brian S
U.S. home prices may get a boost from an unlikely source: a pickup in sales of properties in default before they reach the stage where they are repossessed by the bank and sold. There has been a “dramatic shift” in banks’ willingness to sell a property for less than the mortgage balance to avoid foreclosing, said Ron Peltier, chairman and chief executive officer of HomeServices of America Inc., the second-biggest U.S. residential brokerage. The transactions, known as short sales, typically change hands at a discount of about 20 percent to homes not in financial distress, compared with a 40 percent price cut for bank-owned homes, according to RealtyTrac Inc. Short sales ...

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