JPMorgan, government finalizes deal
WASHINGTON (AP) — JPMorgan Chase & Co. reached a record $13 billion settlement with federal and state authorities, resolving claims over the bank’s sales of low-quality, high-risk mortgage-backed securities that collapsed in value during the U.S. housing crisis.
The agreement is the latest chapter in the bursting of the housing bubble.
The settlement announced Tuesday requires JPMorgan to pay $9 billion and provide $4 billion in consumer relief, including principal reductions and other mortgage modifications for homeowners facing foreclosure.
Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.5 billion to settle hip replacement suits
WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson said late Tuesday that it will pay $2.5 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits brought by hip replacement patients who accuse the company of selling faulty implants that led to injuries and additional surgeries.
The agreement presented in U.S. District Court in Toledo, Ohio, is one of the largest for the medical device industry. It resolves an estimated 8,000 cases of patients who had to have the company’s metal ball-and-socket hip implant removed or replaced. J&J pulled the implant from the market in 2010 after data showed it failed sooner than older implants.
The deal provides roughly $250,000 per patient and covers those who had their implants removed or replaced before Aug. 31 this year. The company expects to make most of the payments to patients in 2014.
US safety agency opens probe into Tesla fires
DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government’s auto safety watchdog is investigating whether Tesla’s Model S electric car is vulnerable to fires because roadway debris can pierce the car’s underbody and battery.
The National Highway Traffic Administration, which announced the probe early Tuesday, is looking into two incidents in which Model S drivers struck metal objects on highways. The objects penetrated the bottom of the car, punctured the battery and caused fires.
Both drivers were warned of a problem by the car and escaped safely.
Corporations still deal-shy even as stocks surge
NEW YORK (AP) — A surging stock market usually comes with a boom in corporate deal-making.
But deals are lagging this year, even as the market notches a series of record highs and is headed for its best year in a decade.
Deal levels are sluggish for a number of reasons. The U.S. economic recovery has been slow and unsteady. Investors are concerned that growth could falter if the Federal Reserve withdraws its huge stimulus program too quickly. Stock valuations are getting pricier. There are also fears of more budget fights in Washington and a possible default by the U.S. government.
Florida businesses eye Mideast aviation bonanza
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Tucked near the back of one of the world’s largest airshows is a modest pavilion for the state of Florida, where a handful of businesses are trying to get a piece of the billions being invested in the aviation industry by wealthy Arab governments.
Facing stagnation and even economic downturn back home, 11 Florida companies are hawking aviation equipment and training services at the Dubai Airshow, located in a sprawling Arabian desert site that will soon be home to the region’s newest mega-airport.
The industry’s most lucrative deals are increasingly being inked in the Middle East, and the biennial airshow gives businesses a chance to promote their products globally. Nearly $200 billion in deals have been announced over the first two days. Florida, which has more than 2,000 aviation and aerospace companies operating there, is the only U.S. state represented.
Butterball mystery: Turkeys wouldn’t fatten up
NEW YORK (AP) — Butterball apparently has a big fat mystery on its hands: The company says it doesn’t know why some of its turkeys wouldn’t plump up in time for Thanksgiving this year.
CEO Rod Brenneman says in an interview with the AP that it’s the first time it happened and that the company is investigating what went wrong. Butterball had announced last week that it will have a limited supply of large, fresh turkeys that are 16 pounds or heavier for the holidays.
Butterball, a privately held company based in Garner, N.C., declined to say whether it made any changes to its feed formula this year. But the problem seems to have come up rather recently.
Best Buy posts 3Q profit, sales flat
NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy says it is committed to “winning” the holiday season with price matching, doorbusters and deals as well as its earliest ever opening hours on Thanksgiving — even if that means profit pressure for the electronics retailer in the fourth quarter.
Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly has been cutting costs, adding employee training and matching online prices to get customers into stores as it faces competition from discounters and online retailers.
On Tuesday the Minneapolis company reported it returned to a profit in the third quarter as the busy holiday season revs up. But the company says it expects a tough competitive environment during the last two months of the year, which can account for up to 40 per cent of a retailer’s annual revenue.
Kicking the can: Campbell hit by fresh-food shift
NEW YORK (AP) — Americans’ shift toward fresh foods is kicking Campbell Soup right in the can.
The company on Tuesday said its quarterly profit fell 30 per cent as U.S. sales of soups and V8 beverage declined. A recall of its recently acquired Plum Organics products also hurt results and the company cut its outlook for the year.
Campbell Soup, based in Camden, N.J., has been trying to reshape its image as a purveyor of shelf-stable canned and other packaged products that are sold in the centre aisles of supermarkets. The push comes as people increasingly reach for foods they feel are fresh, migrating toward the perimeters of grocery stores where produce, meats and dairy are sold.
Home Depot 3Q results up on strength at US stores
ATLANTA (AP) — Home Depot’s fiscal third-quarter profit climbed as sales at its U.S. stores strengthened amid the improvement of the housing market.
The results for the nation’s biggest home improvement company beat analysts’ estimates and the chain also lifted its full-year forecast again on Tuesday. Its shares briefly touched an all-time high.
Home improvement companies have been benefiting from record-low interest rates and rising home prices, spurring customers to spend more to renovate their homes.
NYC bans tobacco sales to anyone under age 21
NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed landmark legislation Tuesday banning the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21, making New York the first large city or state in the country to prohibit sales to young adults.
During a brief ceremony at City Hall, Bloomberg said raising the legal purchase age from 18 to 21 will help prevent young people from experimenting with tobacco at the age when they are most likely to become addicted. City health officials say 80 per cent of smokers start before age 21.
The mayor, a former smoker, also signed companion legislation setting a minimum price for all cigarettes sold in the city: $10.50 per pack. The same new law bans retailers from offering coupons, 2-for-1 specials, or discounts.
By The Associated Press=
The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 8.99 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 15,967.03. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 3.66 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 1,787.87 and the Nasdaq composite fell 17.51 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 3,931.55.
Benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery gained 31 cents to close at $93.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for January delivery, the benchmark for an international variety of crude, dropped $1.55 to $106.92 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Wholesale gasoline slipped 2 cents to $2.64 a gallon. Heating oil fell 2 cents to $2.91 a gallon. Natural gas lost 6 cents to $3.56 per 1,000 cubic feet.