BC-Business News Digest
Business News at 1:30 p.m.
The supervisor is Skip Wollenberg (800-845-8450, ext. 1680). For photos, ext. 1900. For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact email@example.com or call 877-836-9477.
If you have questions about transmission of financial market listings, please call 800-3AP-STOX.
A selection of top photos can be found at: http://bit.ly/APTopPhotos .
All times EDT.
FRANKFURT, Germany — Well, that didn't last long. After four quarters of meager growth, the fragile economic recovery in the 18-country eurozone creaked to a halt in the second quarter. Growth was zero. After only 0.2 percent in the first quarter. Now who will get out and push? The European Central Bank, with a further monetary stimulus? Or governments in France and Italy, which have dragged their heels in making their economies more business-friendly? By David McHugh. SENT: 980 words, photos.
— GERMANY-ECONOMY — Germany's economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the second quarter of 2014, losing momentum after a robust first quarter which was helped by the mild winter. SENT: 120 words.
— FRANCE-ECONOMY — France's economy stagnated in the second quarter, leaving President Francois Hollande increasingly desperate to fulfill his two-year-old pledge to get the country growing again. SENT: 250 words.
NEW YORK — The back-to-school shopping season is off to a promising start, but the increased business is coming with a hefty price. Retailers are sacrificing profits for sales. These days, they have to discount their merchandise heavily and spend significantly on their websites and in stores to lure shoppers. By Anne D'Innocenzio. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 p.m.
— EARNS-WAL-MART — Wal-Mart cuts its annual profit outlook amid sluggish sales, higher-than-expected health care costs and the need to invest more in its e-commerce operations. The world's largest retailer eked out a 0.6 percent increase in second-quarter profit, dragged down by a weak U.S. business. SENT: 900 words, photo.
NEW YORK — There is no proven vaccine or treatment for the deadly Ebola virus, but several companies are working on it. The companies are in various stages of developing drugs to prevent or treat the virus that has killed more than 1,000 people in West Africa recently. By Matthew Perrone. Incorporates EBOLA-POTENTIAL VACCINE. UPCOMING: 700 words by 4 p.m.
MUMBAI, India — Finding a way into India's vast but vexing market has long frustrated foreign retailers. Now, overseas investors are pouring billions of dollars into e-commerce ventures that are circumventing the barriers holding back retail powers such as Wal-Mart and Ikea. By Kay Johnson. SENT: 990 words.
CARP FOR CASH
GRAFTON, Ill. — When the Asian carp — cursed as a menace to American lakes and rivers — arrive at the processing plant, they're raked onto a conveyer belt and quickly ground to a bloody pulp in a maze of machines that churn their bony bodies into dehydrated meal and fish oil. American Heartland Fish Products is the latest company to venture into the small but growing business of carp-rendering, and their experiment offers another test of whether private enterprise can help reduce invasive species by turning them into food. But for plant workers, purging the nation's waterways of carp that muscle out native fish isn't about balancing nature. It's strictly about making money. By Jim Suhr. SENT: 800 words, photos.
MARKETS & ECONOMY:
NEW YORK FED-AUTO LOANS
WASHINGTON — U.S. auto loans jump to the highest level in eight years this spring, fueled by a big increase in lending to risky borrowers, according to a new report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 550 words.
WASHINGTON — More people apply for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, although jobless claims continue to be close to pre-recession levels. The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment aid climbed 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 311,000. The prior week's was revised up slightly to 290,000. By Josh Boak. SENT: 370 words, photo.
WASHINGTON — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, approaching their lows for the year. Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year loan slipped to 4.12 percent from 4.14 percent last week. SENT: 320 words, photo.
NEW YORK — The U.S. stock market creeps up in midday trading following a mixed batch of corporate news. By Matthew Craft. SENT: 500 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.
— BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY STOCK — The stock price of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway company tops $200,000 for the first time. SENT: 220 words.
— SHELL-SHALE SALE — Royal Dutch Shell says it has agreed to sell drilling rights in shale formations in Louisiana and Wyoming for $2.1 billion in two transactions. SENT: 380 words.
— SKOREA-KOREAN AIR-EBOLA — Korean Air Lines says it will suspend flights to and from Kenya in what it says is a measure to prevent the spread of Ebola. SENT: 150 words.
— EARNS-JC PENNEY — J.C. Penney Co. reports quarterly financial results after the market closes. UPCOMING: 200 words after release.
— CHINA-EARNS-LENOVO — Lenovo Group, the world's biggest personal computer maker, says its latest quarterly profit rose 23 percent on strong growth in sales of smartphones and other mobile devices. SENT: 350 words.
— CHINA-EARNS-CHINA MOBILE — China Mobile Ltd., the world's biggest phone carrier by number of subscribers, says its first-half profit fell 8.5 percent as the company rolled out fourth-generation service. SENT: 230 words.
TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:
BEIJING — A panel that advises China's Cabinet on anti-monopoly policy has fired an economist who was paid to help prepare a report for Qualcomm, a U.S. company that is the target of a pricing investigation By Joe McDonald. SENT: 500 words.
— ONLINE-NETFLIX COMEDIANS — You can have Bill Cosby in the palm of your hand. And Jim Jefferies will tickle you at your discretion. Netflix is announcing performances by both comics and three more, set to roll out this fall. It's the latest in the original-content initiative from this subscription Internet channel. SENT: 680 words, photo.
— BOOKS-AMAZON-ORWELL — The literary executor of George Orwell's estate is accusing Amazon.com of doublespeak. Bill Hamilton criticized Amazon for "turning the facts inside out" by alleging that Orwell had urged publishers in the 1930s to jointly oppose paperbacks. SENT: 480 words.
— TWEETING CRIME — Police in Washington state are asking the public to stop tweeting during shootings and manhunts to avoid accidentally telling the bad guys what officers are doing. The "TweetSmart" campaign began in late July by a coalition of nine agencies, including the Washington state patrol and the Seattle police, and aims to raise awareness about social media's potential impact on law enforcement. SENT: 620 words.
— GERMANY UBER — Berlin taxi drivers are celebrating a decision by authorities to ban the ridesharing service Uber from operating in the city. SENT: 330 words, photos.
— WEBSITE OVERSIGHT — New York's attorney general says new owners of the website Ask.fm have agreed to provide more oversight of complaints in an attempt to curb harassment and bullying. SENT: 140 words.
— SKOREA-POPE-POPEMOBILE — Pope Francis' choice of wheels during his five-day South Korean visit has surprised many in this painfully self-conscious country, where big-shots rarely hit the streets in anything but expensive luxury cars. After his arrival, the pope left the airport in a compact black Kia that many South Koreans would consider too humble a conveyance for a globally powerful figure. SENT: 320 words, photos.
— SKOREA-ECONOMY — South Korea's central bank cuts its key interest rate for the first time in 15 months, providing support to an economy dragged down by the shock of a ferry sinking that killed hundreds of teenagers. SENT: 300 words, photo.
— ARGENTINA-DEFAULT — Negotiations on a private-sector deal to end the battle that triggered a default by Argentina have apparently ended without success. SENT: 330 words.
OF MUTUAL INTEREST-BOND LIQUIDITY
If bonds start to tumble, should I sell my bond mutual fund? It's a question some investors are asking as expectations rise for a more volatile bond market. But a better question may be: Will your fund manager be able to sell? Worries are rising that some fund managers looking to sell will have a tougher time finding buyers for their bonds, right when buyers are most needed. UPCOMING: 800 words by 5 p.m.
A sampling of Money & Markets modules is below. The full digest for AP's Money & Markets service can be found at markets.ap.org. For questions about Money & Markets content, please contact Trevor Delaney (800-845-8450, ext. 1807). For technical support: Todd Balog (816-654-1096). After 6 p.m., contact the AP Business News desk (800-845-8450, ext. 1680) for content questions; 1-800-3AP-STOX for technical support and 212-621-1905 for graphics help.
There are signs that investors are getting skittish. The stock market's surge has stalled since the Standard & Poor's 500 index set a record high in late July, and investors are questioning whether it's due for another correction. Investors have pulled more money out of U.S. stock funds than they've put in for four straight months, according to preliminary figures. It's the longest such streak since 2012. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.
Keurig Green Mtn. to raise prices
Coffee prices are going up and Keurig Green Mountain says it will raise prices by up to 9 percent in early November. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.
MONEY & MARKETS EXTRA
For the week ending Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014
$200,000 a share
The price tag for Berkshire Hathaway's Class A shares, long the most expensive on the market, tops $200,000 for the first time. The conglomerate led by billionaire Warren Buffett attracts attention because of the CEO's investing prowess and because of the 80-odd subsidiaries it owns that helped Berkshire generate second-quarter profits of $6.4 billion, or $3,889 per Class A share. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.