By The Associated Press
FedEx says economy is stalling, cuts outlook
NEW YORK (AP) - FedEx Corp. says the global economy is stalling, and it's going to get worse next year.
The conditions are shrinking earnings at the world's second-largest package delivery company. Factories are making fewer items for FedEx to ship and customers are opting for cheaper delivery options to save money.
FedEx on Tuesday cut its outlook for global growth and industrial production while slashing the forecast for company earnings. CEO Fred Smith suggested trade has slowed to levels seen during the last two significant economic downturns.
Apple shares hit $700 for first time
NEW YORK (AP) - Apple's stock closed above $700 for the first time on Tuesday, the day after it announced that orders for its iPhone 5 topped 2 million in the first 24 hours.
Shares rose $2.13 to close at $701.91. Earlier, the stock traded as high as $702.33.
The rally in Apple's stock price puts the company's market value at over $657 billion.
US homebuilder confidence surges to 6-year high
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rose this month to its highest level in six years and many expect the housing recovery will strengthen in the next six months.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Tuesday increased to 40 in September. That's up from 37 in August and the highest reading since June 2006, just before the housing bubble burst.
Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market. The index hasn't reached that level since April 2006, the peak of the housing boom.
Broadest US trade deficit fell in Q2 to $117.4 billion
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. current account trade deficit narrowed in the April-June period, pushed lower by an increase in American exports and cheaper oil imports.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the deficit in the current account decreased 12.1 percent to $117.4 billion in the second quarter. That's down from a deficit of $133.6 billion in the January-March quarter, which had been the largest in three years.
The current account is the broadest measure of trade. It tracks the sale of merchandise and services between nations as well as investment flows. Economists watch the current account as a sign of how much the U.S. needs to borrow from foreigners.
Ford hopes its new Fusion will be Camry crusher
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) - Ford hopes the redesigned Fusion will finally trounce the Camry.
The Fusion has become Ford's best-selling car since it went on sale in 2005, and it's one of the top sellers in the country. But Ford hopes the sexier styling, improved fuel economy and features like automatic parallel parking on the 2013 version will help it pass the perennial leader, the Toyota Camry.
Ford is enlisting "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest to introduce the redesigned sedan alongside CEO Alan Mulally in New York's Times Square Tuesday. It also is holding events in Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and on the lawn of its headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.
Alpha closing 8 mines, cutting 1,200 jobs
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources said Tuesday it was cutting production by 16 million tons and eliminating 1,200 jobs companywide, laying off 400 workers immediately by closing mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
The mine shutdowns start Tuesday, while the rest of the layoffs will be completed by the end of the first quarter after Alpha fulfills current sales obligations, CEO Kevin Crutchfield said. In all, the layoffs amount to nearly a tenth of Alpha's 13,000-person workforce.
Alpha said it will close four mines in West Virginia, three in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania. They are a mix of deep and surface mines, and all are non-union operations.
Alaskans to get $878 in yearly oil wealth payout
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Buy an iPhone 5 or replace the leaky rain gutters? Splurge or save? Ah, the tough choices that befall Alaskans every year, when they get their dividend checks from the state's oil savings account, just for living here.
State officials said Tuesday that each eligible Alaskan will receive $878 this year. That's significantly less than last year's dividend of $1,174, which was the smallest since 2006. The payout will be distributed Oct. 4.
The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. last month suggested residents could expect a smaller dividend this year.
Yahoo closes $7.6 billion deal with Alibaba Group
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Yahoo has completed a long-awaited $7.6 billion deal with China's Alibaba Group, generating a windfall that could help ease the pain of Yahoo shareholders who have endured the company's foibles during the past few years.
After Yahoo distributes most of the proceeds to its shareholders, its recently hired CEO Marissa Mayer will still have an extra $1.3 billion to finance acquisitions or hire new talent as she tries revive the company's revenue growth.
Tuesday's announcement comes four months after Yahoo Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. outlined the details of a complex transaction that took more than two years of on-again, off-again negotiations to hammer out. The deal will give Alibaba greater autonomy as it prepares to pursue an initial public offering of stock within the next three years, while rewarding Yahoo for one of the few moves that has gone right for the troubled company in the past few years.
Goldman Sachs' Schwartz to replace Viniar as CFO
NEW YORK (AP) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s chief financial officer is retiring, and his replacement is a longtime executive at the investment bank.
David Viniar, 57, is stepping down after 32 years with Goldman, the last 12 as CFO. Harvey M. Schwartz, 48, will replace him at the end of January, the bank said Tuesday
After Viniar leaves the post, he will join Goldman's board as a non-independent director.
Schwartz served most recently as the global co-head of Goldman' securities division. He joined the firm as a vice president in 1997, became a managing director in 1999, and was named partner in 2002.
Microsoft hikes dividend by 15 percent to 23 cents per share
REDMOND, Wash. (AP) - Microsoft Corp. is increasing its quarterly dividend by 15 percent.
The Redmond, Wash.-based software company said Tuesday that it will pay a dividend of 23 cents per share on Dec. 13 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 15.
That is up from its prior-quarter dividend of 20 cents.
Microsoft also said that long-time board member Raymond Gilmartin will retire. The 71-year old former CEO of Merck & Co. has been on Microsoft's board for 11 years. Gilmartin said he is reducing his professional commitments to have more personal time.
By The Associated Press(equals)
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 11.54 points to 13,564.64. The S&P 500 index fell 1.87 points to close at 1,459.32. The Nasdaq closed down 0.87 point at 3,177.80.
Benchmark crude closed down $1.33 to $95.29 in New York, a drop of 1.4 percent. Brent crude dropped $1.76 to $112.03 a barrel in London.
Wholesale gasoline fell 4.43 cents to finish at $2.899 per gallon. Heating oil slipped 3.63 cents to end at $3.1271 per gallon. Natural gas lost 9.2 cents to finish at $2.773 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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