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Business Update for 12/13/13

Business news for Friday, December 13.

Quick Chek in Hillsborough
Quick Chek in Hillsborough (Townsquare Media NJ)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are edging higher in early Wall Street trading after a three-day funk caused by worries that a Federal Reserve meeting next week will be the beginning of the end for generous monetary policies. The Dow Jones industrial average, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Nasdaq composite are all down for the week despite strong reports on employment, housing, and retail spending.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cheaper gasoline and home heating oil have pushed wholesale prices down for the third consecutive month. The Labor Department says the producer price index declined 0.1 percent in November. Gas costs tumbled 0.7 percent last month after a steep drop in October. Excluding volatile energy and food prices, wholesale costs increased 0.1 percent in November and 1.3 percent in the past 12 months.

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese leaders say the world’s second-largest economy faces “downward pressure,” and they’re calling for boldness in carrying out promised reforms aimed at reviving slowing growth. In a report following an annual planning meeting, Communist Party leaders say the country faces problems including excess production capacity in some industries and environmental degradation.

DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland’s finance chief says the country’s exit from its international bailout this week should be celebrated as a eurozone triumph, but won’t mean an end to austerity. On Sunday, Ireland officially ends its reliance on a $93 billion loan program that European governments and the International Monetary Fund provided in 2010 to save it from bankruptcy. Ireland is the first country in the 17-member eurozone to regain economic sovereignty after a bailout.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California has long been a union stronghold, but a new poll suggests voters are gradually taking a more negative view of organized labor. The independent Field Poll released today finds that by a narrow margin, more voters said unions do more harm than good, as opposed to those who see labor as beneficial. That’s a turnaround from 2011, when more voters said unions resulted in more good than harm.

DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland’s finance chief says the country’s exit from its international bailout this week should be celebrated as a eurozone triumph, but won’t mean an end to austerity. On Sunday, Ireland officially ends its reliance on a $93 billion loan program that European governments and the International Monetary Fund provided in 2010 to save it from bankruptcy. Ireland is the first country in the 17-member eurozone to regain economic sovereignty after a bailout.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California has long been a union stronghold, but a new poll suggests voters are gradually taking a more negative view of organized labor. The independent Field Poll released today finds that by a narrow margin, more voters said unions do more harm than good, as opposed to those who see labor as beneficial. That’s a turnaround from 2011, when more voters said unions resulted in more good than harm.

UNDATED (AP) — The end may be nearing for the Federal Reserve’s $85-billion a month bond-buying program that holds down long-term interest rates and supports the economy. That worries investors because the Fed’s stimulus has been a key factor in the bull market. Stocks dropped again yesterday. The Dow closed down 104 points. The S&P 500 fell seven and the Nasdaq was down five. Futures point to gains at this morning’s opening.

BEIJING (AP) — International stock markets are tentative Friday as investors prepare for the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision next week on whether to reduce its monetary stimulus. Benchmark crude oil fell slight to just under $97.50 per barrel. The dollar rose against the yen and fell against the euro.

WASHINGTON (AP) — It remains to be seen whether the House’s bi-partisan approval yesterday of a budget bill to ease federal spending cuts and head off future government shutdowns will affect the market today. Other than that, investors will have only one government report to digest. It’s the Producer Price Index for November.

SEATTLE (AP) — A top national negotiator for the Machinists union says Washington state union members should get a chance to decide on a Boeing contract offer that would keep much of the work on a new 777X jet in the Puget Sound region. Local union leaders have said that the price Boeing is demanding is too high and the company’s latest offer is “mostly unchanged” from an offer area machinists rejected last month.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines, fresh out of bankruptcy and newly merged with US Airways, says it’s buying 90 new regional jets from Brazil’s Embraer S.A. and Canada’s Bombardier Inc.. The jets will be used to replace smaller, less fuel-efficient planes. American says the new planes will reduce operating costs and allow for first-class cabins, economy seats with more legroom that the airline sells for a premium and in-flight Internet service. Financial terms were not disclosed.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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