Business Update for 12/3/13
Business news for Tuesday, December 3
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have been falling on Wall Street as investors worry about the Federal Reserve winding down its economic stimulus program. The Dow was down more than 125 points in afternoon trading, while the S&P 500 was off about 10 points, and the Nasdaq was down nearly 20.
DETROIT (AP) — A U.S. bankruptcy judge has declared Detroit eligible for bankruptcy. The ruling clears the way for the city to come up with a plan to shed $18 billion in debt. The judge rejected arguments from unions, pension funds and retirees who said the city failed to negotiate in good faith before the bankruptcy filing.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court has handed BP another victory in its bid to block what could be hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement payments to Gulf Coast businesses following the company’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A three-judge panel ruled today that a judge must reconsider BP’s arguments that the settlement shouldn’t compensate businesses if their losses can’t be directly traced to the massive spill.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Counselors helping people use the federal government’s online health exchange are giving mixed reviews to the updated site. Some say they are zipping through the application process while others report continuing sputters and crashes. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services say about 750,000 people had visited the site yesterday — about double the traffic for a typical Monday. Meanwhile, insurers are reporting problems with the enrollment data they’re receiving, saying some of it is corrupted by errors, duplication or garble.
NEW YORK (AP) — Chick-fil-A says it’s removing high-fructose corn syrup from its white buns and artificial dyes from its sauces and dressings as part of a push to improve the ingredients in its foods. The fast-food chicken chain says the reformulated buns are being tested at some 200 locations in Georgia. The sauces and dressings will be tested starting early next year. Chick-fil-A says it also removed a yellow dye from its chicken soup.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose only modestly in October, adding to signs that prices have stabilized after big gains earlier this year. Real estate data provider CoreLogic says prices increased 0.2 percent in October from September. That’s up from a 0.1 percent gain in September. But it is down sharply from a 0.9 percent increase in August.
DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler sales rose a surprising 16 percent in November. The company sold just over 142,000 vehicles last month, up from nearly 123,000 a year ago. And strong sales were led by the new Jeep Cherokee, which surpassed 10,000 sales during its first full month on the market. The Cherokee helped the Jeep brand to a 30 percent sales increase, its best November ever.
DETROIT (AP) — Ford’s U.S. sales rose 7 percent in November, led by strong demand for the Fusion midsize car and F-Series pickups. Ford says Fusion sales jumped 51 percent over last November and F-Series pickup sales were up 16 percent. But sales of the Escape SUV — one of Ford’s best sellers — dropped slightly to 20,988, and Focus small car sales were off almost 17 percent. Explorer SUV sales also were down nearly 9 percent.
ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Airlines says overall demand for Thanksgiving travel “was especially strong.” But the airline says because Thanksgiving came so late this year, many people returned home in December, and that resulted in a 3 percent decline in November passenger revenue compared to the same month last year. Delta says on a positive note, those December return flights plus “solid bookings” for the remainder of the year should boost passenger revenue this month from 7 percent to 9 percent.
NEW YORK (AP) — Economists hope Wall Street can shake off yesterday’s bearish performance, mostly in reaction to disappointing retail sales reports, and pick up steam again today. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 77 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 16,008.77 yesterday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell four points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,800.90. The Nasdaq composite fell 13 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,045.26. Futures point to a slightly lower opening
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — International stock markets mostly fell today as investors awaited a slew of U.S. economic data this week to gauge when the Federal Reserve will start reducing its monetary stimulus. Japan’s benchmark rose on a weaker yen. Benchmark crude oil rose above $94 a barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and rose against the yen.
DETROIT (AP) — A judge is expected to announce today whether Detroit can come up with a plan to get rid of $18 billion in debt in the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history. The case ultimately could crack a shield protecting public pensions and also put the city’s extraordinary art collection up for grabs. Judge Steven Rhodes will declare whether Detroit is eligible to stay in bankruptcy court.
BALI, Indonesia (AP) — It could be a make or break issue for the World Trade Organization. Top trade officials are in talks in Indonesia today that will either produce an eleventh hour deal that could boost the global economy by $1 trillion or possibly spell the end of the WTO’s relevance as a forum for negotiations.
NEW YORK (AP) — Early numbers indicate that online shopping was up more than 17 percent yesterday compared with Cyber Monday year. The figures are from IBM Benchmark. They suggest that nearly a third of all online shopping traffic was done by way of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
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