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Associated Press

Posted on September 20, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 20 at 4:01 PM

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Obama moves to limit power-plant carbon pollution

WASHINGTON (AP) — Linking global warming to public health, disease and extreme weather, the Obama administration pressed ahead Friday with tough requirements to limit carbon pollution from new power plants, despite protests from industry and Republicans that it would dim coal's future.

The proposal, which would set the first national limits on heat-trapping pollution from future power plants, is intended to help reshape where Americans get electricity, moving from a coal-dependent past into a future fired by cleaner sources of energy. It's also a key step in President Barack Obama's global warming plans, because it would put in motion proposals to end what he called "the limitless dumping of carbon pollution" from all power plants.

Under the law once the Environmental Protection Agency controls carbon at new plants, it will also control carbon at existing plants — a regulation the agency said Friday it would start work on immediately to meet a June 2014 deadline.

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BlackBerry previews big loss, to cut 4,500 workers

TORONTO (AP) — BlackBerry said Friday that it will lay off 4,500 employees, or 40 percent of its global workforce, as it reports a nearly $1 billion second-quarter loss a week earlier than the results were expected.

Shares were halted pending the news and plunged as low as $8.01 when the stock reopened for trading. Shares regained some ground to close down 17 percent at $8.72.

BlackBerry had been scheduled to release earnings next week. But the Canadian company said late Friday afternoon that it expects to post a staggering loss of $950 million to $995 million for the quarter, including a massive $930 million to $960 million write down of the value of its inventory due to increasing competition. Revenue of $1.6 billion is only about half of the $3 billion that analysts expected, according to FactSet. The company's expected adjusted loss of 47 cents to 51 cents per share falls far below the loss of 16 cents per share projected by Wall Street.

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Burst of IPOs follows gains in stock market

The stock market has been heating up, driving demand for IPOs.

There have been 140 initial public offerings of stock this year, up 46 percent from the same time in 2012, according to IPO tracking firm Renaissance Capital. Of the eight companies that went public this week, two —cybersecurity software maker FireEye and technology advertising company RocketFuel — nearly doubled in value Friday.

The pace does not appear be slowing down. Next week, market watchers expect as many as 13 more companies to make their debuts. If all of them price, it will be the most IPOs in the U.S. in one week since 2007, when 14 hit the market at once, according to data provider Dealogic.

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Employers cut jobs in 20 US states in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers cut jobs in 20 states last month, suggesting modest improvement in the U.S. job market this year is not enough to benefit all areas of the country.

The Labor Department said Friday that 29 states added jobs, while Montana showed no net gain or loss in August. Unemployment rates rose in 18 states, fell in 17 and were unchanged in 15.

Nationally, the economy added 169,000 jobs in August, a modest gain but hardly enough to suggest a robust job market. The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.3 percent.

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Target to hire fewer seasonal holiday workers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Target plans to hire about 70,000 seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season, down about 20 percent from a year ago. The discounter is aiming to be more efficient in its hiring practices.

The move to hire 18,000 fewer temporary holiday workers versus last year's 88,000 comes as the Minneapolis-based chain saw that its own permanent employees wanted to get first dibs on working extra hours for the holiday season.

Target Corp. said it also wants to respond more quickly to the peaks and valleys of customer traffic, which have become more pronounced for many stores as shoppers time their buying for when they believe they can get the best deals.

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Revamps for Olive Garden, Red Lobster fall flat

NEW YORK (AP) — Darden can't seem to convince more people to sit down for a meal at its Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants.

The company reported a sharply lower quarterly profit on Friday that missed Wall Street expectations, with sales down at its two biggest chains despite ongoing attempts to revamp their menus with lighter, cheaper options. Darden said it would slash costs to prepare for future challenges, in part by reducing its workforce.

It also said that its president and chief operating officer, Drew Madsen, was retiring and would be succeeded by Gene Lee, effective immediately. Lee headed Darden's specialty restaurants such as The Capital Grille and Bahama Breeze, which had fared relatively better than the company's flagship chains.

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Kroger CEO Dillon to retire in January

CINCINNATI (AP) — Kroger CEO David Dillon will retire from that post when the new year begins but will stay on for another year as chairman. President and Chief Operating Officer W. Rodney McMullen will step into the CEO role as part of its long-term succession plan.

Dillon's retirement is effective on Jan. 1, which is also when McMullen will take over the CEO position.

The nation's largest traditional supermarket operator said Friday that the Dillon, 62, will continue to serve as chairman through Dec. 31, 2014. He's served as CEO since 2003.

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Sprint joins national rivals with upgrade program

NEW YORK (AP) — Sprint is launching a new program that gives customers the chance to upgrade their phones every 12 months, becoming the last of the four national wireless carriers to target customers who want the latest devices.

Sprint Corp.'s new One Up plan is most similar to Jump from T-Mobile US Inc. T-Mobile allows for more frequent upgrades, but requires a $10 monthly fee to participate. Sprint's is free, but doesn't include insurance, as Jump does.

Like T-Mobile, Sprint is reducing the monthly cost of voice, text and data services while charging for the phone in installments. But unlike T-Mobile, Sprint's discount ends after the phone is paid off over two years. T-Mobile customers can keep the lower service rates indefinitely.

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FDA requires tracking codes on medical implants

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health regulators will begin tracking millions of medical devices, from pacemakers to hip replacements, using a new electronic system designed to protect patients by catching problematic implants earlier.

The Food and Drug Administration published new rules Friday that require most medical devices sold in the U.S. to carry a unique code, identifying its make, manufacture date and lot number. The codes will be stored in a publicly accessible database to help regulators, doctors and companies monitor safety issues with devices.

The tracking system has been promoted by doctors and public safety advocates for years. Other industries, from food processors to automakers, have used unique identification codes to track their products through the supply chain for decades.

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BMW recalls more than 134,000 5-Series cars

DETROIT (AP) — BMW is recalling more than 134,000 5-Series cars in the U.S. because the rear lights can fail.

The recall, posted Friday on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, affects 528i, 535i, 550i and M5 cars from the 2008 through 2010 model years.

The U.S. safety agency says that increased electrical resistance can damage connections to the lights. That could cause loss of tail, brake turn-signal or backup lights. The agency says the loss of lights can increase the risk of a crash, although BMW says in documents that it has no reports of any accidents or injuries from the problem.

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By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 185.46 points, or 1.2 percent, to close at 15,451.09. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 12.43 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,709.91. The Nasdaq composite fell 14.66 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,774.73.

Benchmark oil for October delivery dropped $1.72, or 1.4 percent, to close at $104.67 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the benchmark for international crudes used by many U.S. refineries, gained 46 cents to $109.22 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cents to $2.68 per gallon. Natural gas fell 3 cents to $3.69 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil was flat at $3.00 per gallon.

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