Job market brightens a bit as service sector grows
The Associated Press
Job market brightens a bit as service sector grows
WASHINGTON (AP) - The service sector, which makes up 80 percent of the economy, grew for the seventh month in a row, and state aid to preserve jobs for tens of thousands of teachers and other public employees cleared a key hurdle in Congress on Wednesday.
Of course, the job market still has a long way to go. A key employment report due out Friday is expected to show the nation actually lost jobs in July, mostly because of temporary census work that came to an end.
Stocks rise on jobs, service sector growth
NEW YORK (AP) - Reassuring signs on employment and growth in the service industry got the stock market back on an upward trajectory Wednesday.
Major indexes rose moderately after reports showed private sector hiring and services activity both grew more than expected in July. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 44 points.
Investors were relieved that the two reports provided no signs that the economy might be headed back into recession, even though growth might be sluggish.
Toyota posts $2.2 bln profit as car sales recover
TOKYO (AP) - Toyota reported a quarterly profit of $2.2 billion, reversing from red ink a year earlier as the world's top automaker benefited from a global sales recovery that offset lingering doubts about the safety of its cars.
The company, which makes the Camry sedan and Prius hybrid, raised its full year earnings forecast Wednesday, and said it now expects to sell 7.38 million vehicles worldwide for the year through March 2011, up from 7.24 million the previous year. Previously it forecast sales of 7.29 million vehicles.
AOL execs, some analysts see changes taking hold
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - AOL Inc. reported a $1 billion-plus second-quarter loss and tumbling revenue, yet the dismal-sounding numbers appear to belie a more positive reality: The troubled Internet company is actually chugging along on its long road to recovery.
AOL is in the midst of a turnaround effort under CEO Tim Armstrong, a former Google Inc. executive who is trying to shift AOL from relying on a shrinking dial-up Internet business to finding growth in online ad sales.
So far, this has not been easy. Since splitting from Time Warner Inc. in December, the company has shown few obvious signs of progress, and on the surface the second quarter may sound like more bad news.
Time Warner posts rise in 2Q earnings, boosts view
NEW YORK (AP) - A rebound in advertising markets and strong box office results helped lift Time Warner Inc.'s second-quarter profit 7 percent, the media conglomerate said Wednesday.
The results topped Wall Street expectations, and Time Warner signaled growing confidence by boosting its full-year profit forecast.
Time Warner's results offered more evidence that businesses have started spending again to reach customers after cutting back during the recession. At the company's cable channels, which include CNN, TBS, the Cartoon Network and others, ad revenue was up by $126 million, or 14 percent, over the same quarter a year ago.
Gov't OKs $600M in housing aid for 5 states
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration plans to send $600 million to help unemployed homeowners avoid foreclosure in five states.
The Treasury Department said Wednesday that mortgage-assistance proposals submitted by North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina received approval. The states estimate their efforts could help up to 50,000 homeowners.
The administration is directing $2.1 billion from its existing $75 billion mortgage assistance program to a total of 10 states. Each state designed its own plan. Treasury approved money in June for Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada.
Homebuilder PulteGroup returns to profit in 2Q
LOS ANGELES (AP) - PulteGroup Inc., the nation's largest homebuilder, said Wednesday it returned to a quarterly profit for the first time in more than three years, as revenue surged amid a rush by Americans to complete their home purchase in time to qualify for federal tax credits.
The builder's acquisition of rival Centex Corp. last year was key, bolstering its inventory of homes geared for first-time buyers, many of which seized on the government incentives to become homeowners.
CEO Richard J. Dugas Jr., said buyer demand fell after the tax credit expired in April. It has since been stable, but well below normal levels.
Gasoline prices rise after recent rally in oil
The recent rise in oil prices is translating into higher prices at the pump.
The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded rose 2.1 cents to $2.747 a gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. Oil has traded above $82 for two straight days. It was around $77 a week ago.
Motorists are paying about 3 cents more than they were two weeks ago and 18.6 cents more than a year ago.
Oil prices were slightly lower Thursday. After dropping during European trading, they rallied on reports that contained good news on the U.S. jobs front before leveling off.
Allstate's net income drops in second quarter
NEW YORK (AP) - Property and casualty insurer Allstate Corp. says its net income fell sharply in the second quarter as a result of investment losses.
The Northbrook, Ill., company says it earned $145 million, or 27 cents per share, in the three months ended June 30. That compares with a profit of $389 million, or 72 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Not including one-time items, the company said it earned 81 cents per share.
By that measure, analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected Allstate to post a net income of 69 cents per share on revenue of $6.61 billion.
FTC says computer buyers benefit from Intel deal
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Federal Trade Commission is trumpeting its settlement with Intel Corp. as a victory for consumers who have overpaid for computer chips for a decade, though computer buyers shouldn't expect a sudden drop in prices.
The deal announced Wednesday represents the end to the harshest antitrust lawsuit Intel has faced yet from government regulators, and it imposes the strictest set of changes onto the way Intel does business.
But any changes as a result of the FTC's actions would likely be gradual, and possibly imperceptible, to most people.
By The Associated Press
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 44.05, or 0.4 percent, to 10,680.43.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 6.78, or 0.6 percent, to 1,127.24, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 20.05, or 0.9 percent, to 2,303.57.
Benchmark crude for September delivery fell 8 cents to $82.47 a barrel in early trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In other Nymex trading in September contracts, heating oil rose 0.22 cent to $2.2022 a gallon, gasoline lost 1.85 cents to $2.1750 a gallon and natural gas added 9.8 cents to $4.737 per 1,000 cubic feet.
In London, Brent crude fell 48 cents to $82.68 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.