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The Associated Press | October 3, 2013 06:15 PM EST | AP


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Twitter unseals IPO papers, hopes to raise $1 billion

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter has unsealed the documents for its planned initial public offering of stock and says it hopes to raise up to $1 billion.

The company is also disclosing that it generated $317 million in revenue in 2012 and that it had more than 218 million active users as of the end of June, up 44 percent from a year earlier. That compares with Facebook's nearly 1.2 billion and LinkedIn's 240 million.

The company disclosed last month that it had filed confidential IPO papers to start the process of going public. On Thursday, San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. unsealed the papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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With no jobs report, what's an economist to do?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest victims of the government's partial shutdown: policy wonks, politicians and TV talking heads who are losing their monthly opportunity to dissect the jobs report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The ritual unfolds every month: The jobs report comes out, and Wall Street panics or exults. Political advocates spin. And economic analysts crowd cable-TV to offer us their insights.

It happens the first Friday of the month at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.

Except this Friday.

The government's partial shutdown means the September jobs report is being postponed. The workers who produce it aren't deemed "essential," which is why they're among the 800,000 federal employees being furloughed.

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Tesla fire shows electrics face safety challenges

When debris on a Seattle-area freeway pierced the battery of a $70,000-plus Tesla Model S and touched off a raging fire, it raised new safety concerns for electric-vehicle owners.

It also caused rare jitters among investors, who of late have viewed Tesla as nearly invincible.

Electric vehicles have scored well in government tests of front and side crashes — the Model S earned the highest score possible. But Tuesday's incident demonstrates that real-world driving could reveal some vulnerabilities that don't show up in laboratory testing.

Tesla said the Seattle-area driver hit a large metal object in the road, which damaged a battery cell and caused a fire. The company said the car acted as designed by containing the blaze in the front of the car.

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Holiday shopping is expected to be up ... unless

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans, who're increasingly optimistic about improving economic conditions, are expected to spend at a more rapid clip during the upcoming holiday shopping season than they did last year.

But that could change if the partial government shutdown that has forced about 800,000 federal workers off the job continues and causes shoppers to lose confidence in the economy.

The National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade group, on Thursday forecast that sales in November and December will rise 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion. That's above the 3.5 percent increase a year ago and the 10-year average in holiday sales growth of 3.3 percent.

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China recycling cleanup jolts global industry

BEIJING (AP) — China for years has welcomed the world's trash, creating a roaring business in recycling and livelihoods for tens of thousands. Now authorities are clamping down on an industry that has helped the rich West dispose of its waste but also added to the degradation of China's environment.

The Chinese campaign is aimed at enforcing standards for waste imports after Beijing decided too many were unusable or even dangerous and would end up in its landfills. Under the crackdown dubbed Green Fence, China has rejected hundreds of containers of waste it said were contaminated or that improperly mixed different types of scrap.

It is abruptly changing a multibillion-dollar global industry in which China is a major processing center for the world's discarded soft drink bottles, scrap metal, electronics and other materials. Whole villages in China's southeast are devoted to processing single products, such as electronics. Household workshops break down discarded computers or appliances to recover copper and other metals. Some use crude smelters or burn leftover plastic and other materials, releasing lead and other toxins into the air. Green Fence is in line with the ruling Communist Party's pledges to make the economy cleaner and more efficient after three decades of breakneck growth that fouled rivers and left China's cities choking on smog.

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Weekly US jobless aid applications tick up to 308,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose just 1,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 308,000, hovering near six-year lows. Companies are still cutting very few jobs, however the decline in layoffs has not been accompanied by a pickup in hiring.

The less volatile four-week average for applications fell to 305,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the lowest since May 2007, seven months before the recession began.

Weekly applications could increase next week because of the partial government shutdown. Defense contractors and other companies that do business with the government may temporarily lay off workers. Federal workers who are temporarily laid off may also file for benefits, though their numbers are reported separately and published a week later than the other applications.

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Growth at US service firms slows from 8-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) — Growth at U.S. service companies slowed in September from an eight-year high in August, as sales fell sharply, new orders dipped and hiring weakened.

The Institute of Supply Management said Thursday that its service-sector index fell to 54.4 in September, down from 58.6 in August. August's reading was the highest since December 2005. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The sharp drop in sales suggests consumers and businesses pulled back on spending last month, which should keep growth weak. And the decline comes at a critical time when the government shutdown threatens to weigh on growth in the October-December quarter, if it goes beyond a week.

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Average US 30-year mortgage rate down to 4.22 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell for the third straight week to their lowest point in three months, as a decline in consumer confidence and the onset of the government shutdown forced rates down.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan dropped to 4.22 percent from 4.32 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed loan declined to 3.29 percent from 3.37 percent.

Both are the lowest averages since early July.

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Adobe says attack exposed customer financial info

Adobe Systems Inc. said a cyberattack on its systems has exposed credit-card information of 2.9 million customers.

The maker of Photoshop and other software said Thursday that the attacker accessed Adobe customer IDs and passwords on its systems. Through that, they were able to remove customer names, encrypted credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates and other information related to orders from customers worldwide. The company does not believe attackers removed credit and debit card numbers that weren't encrypted.

Adobe is notifying customers and resetting passwords. It has alerted banks processing Adobe payments to help protect customer accounts. It is also working with federal law enforcement on its related investigation.

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European recovery gathering momentum

LONDON (AP) — While the U.S. economic outlook has become murkier because of the partial shutdown of the government, the picture in Europe — so long the laggard of the global economy — has brightened.

Another round of economic data Thursday provided evidence that Europe's recovery from recession is becoming broad-based and self-sustaining.

Particularly encouraging was the news that retail sales across the eurozone rose a forecast-busting 0.7 percent in August from the previous month, according to Eurostat, the EU's statistics office. Retail sales are an important barometer of economic confidence as they show consumers are more willing to spend rather than save despite many headwinds, such as high unemployment and government-imposed austerity measures. They are also a major component of growth.

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By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 136.66 points, or 0.9 percent, to 14,996.48. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 15.21 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,678.66. The Nasdaq composite fell 40.68 points, or 1.1 percent, to 3,774.34.

Benchmark oil contract for November delivery fell 79 cents to close at $103.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark used to price imported crude used by many U.S. refineries, slipped 19 cents to $109 in London.

Wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $2.64 per gallon. Natural gas dropped 4 cents to $3.50 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil rose 1 cent to $3.00 per gallon.