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US Close Lower; Teen retailers slide

 

Business Roundup for Tuesday, March 11.

Urban Outfitters store in London
Urban Outfitters store in London (Dan Dennison/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are closing lower as a thin slate of economic news and corporate results left investors unwilling to drive up a market that hit three record highs last week. Teen retailers American Eagle and Urban Outfitters sank after releasing results and projections that disappointed investors. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost nine points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,867 Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 67 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,351. The Nasdaq composite fell 27 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,307. Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank rose sharply after the two clothing store chains agreed to combine after months of back-and-forth negotiations. Men’s Wearhouse rose 5 percent and Jos. A. Bank rose 4 percent. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged down to 2.76 percent.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Labor Department says employers advertised slightly more jobs in January than in December. Employers posted 3.9 million job openings, up 1.5 percent from December. That’s below November’s nearly six-year high of 4.1 million, and falls short of what analysts were expecting. The report says there are about 2.6 unemployed Americans, on average, for each open job. That’s close to the ratio of 2 to 1 that is typical of healthier economies.

NEW YORK (AP) — After months of back-and-forth, a deal is finally in place between two men’s clothing stores. Men’s Wearhouse announced today that it’s buying rival Jos. A. Bank for $1.8 billion. The combined company will have more than 1,700 U.S. stores. The Jos. A. Bank outlets will keep their name — and possibly their “buy one suit and get three free” deals.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. dairy producers, cheese makers and food companies are fighting a push by the European Union to ban the use of European names like Parmesan, feta and Gruyere on cheeses made in the United States. The argument is that the American-made cheese is a shadow of the original European brands, and it cuts into sales and identity of the original cheeses. The Europeans say Parmesan should only be from Parma, Italy, not in those familiar green cylinders that American companies sell.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is wading into the complex question of how to regulate the use of cars that rely on computers instead of people to drive them. The DMV is hearing ideas today on how to integrate driverless cars onto public roads. Questions range from data privacy and security — to whether a person will have to be in the driver’s seat at all.

WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) – Wholesale businesses suffered their steepest sales drop in nearly five years in January. Yet they continued to increase their stockpiles, suggesting that they expect the economy to bounce back after an abrupt winter slowdown. The Commerce Department says wholesalers boosted stockpiles 0.6 percent in January, but sales tumbled 1.9 percent. That’s the largest decline since March 2009, when the economy was in recession.

DETROIT (AP) — A congressional committee is looking into the way General Motors and a federal safety agency handled a serious switch problem in compact cars. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received a large number of complaints about the problem during the past decade, but GM didn’t recall 1.6 million cars worldwide until last month. GM says 13 deaths and 31 crashes have been linked to the problem with ignition switches on older-model Chevrolet Cobalts and five other GM models.

LONDON (AP) — In another sign that Europe’s economy is turning the corner, a leading ratings agency says the value of new stock market listings more than tripled in 2013. Standard & Poor’s says $16.6 billion worth of new equity was floated last year. That’s 13 billion euros, up from around 4 billion euros the year before. The jump took the value of initial public offerings, or IPOs, up to the average over the past 10 years. S&P expects the revival to continue this year, barring any economic or market shocks.

WASHINGTON (AP) — George Washington University is naming its public health school for Michael Milken. The 1980s king of Wall Street “junk” bonds spent 22 months in prison but later devoted himself to philanthropy and advocated for medical research. The university in Washington, D.C., also announced gifts today that include $40 million from the Milken Institute to support research and scholarships.

BANGKOK (AP) — International stock markets steadied today after a sell-off the day before. Most indexes were flat or modestly higher. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose toward $101.50 a barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and the yen.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inventories and jobs news are the subjects of today’s government economic data. The Commerce Department releases its report on wholesale trade inventories for January this morning. December’s report showed businesses increased stockpiles at the slowest pace since last summer. Also this morning, the Labor Department releases its job openings and labor turnover survey for January.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The job outlook is looking up for the second quarter. ManpowerGroup’s quarterly Manpower Employment Outlook Survey of employers’ intentions to increase or trim back their workforce found a net increase of 13 percent. The workforce solutions company says 19 percent of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed anticipate increasing staff levels.

BEIJING (AP) — The central bank governor says China is likely to ease controls on interest rates paid on bank savings within two years and will allow wider use of its tightly controlled currency for trade and investment. Allowing banks to compete for deposits by paying higher rates on savings would put more money in the pockets of Chinese families, helping to achieve official goals of boosting consumer spending and reducing reliance on trade and investment.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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