Business Highlights

The Associated Press 0

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US wholesale stockpiles rise 0.1 per cent in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesalers increased in their stockpiles only slightly in July after three monthly declines, while their sales barely rose. The tepid gains add to worries about slower economic growth in the July-September quarter.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that wholesale stockpiles rose just 0.1 per cent in July from June. That followed a 0.3 per cent decline in June.

Sales rose just 0.1 per cent in July, the smallest gain since December. Still, that’s the fourth straight month that sales have risen.

Some economists had thought that wholesalers would ramp up their stockpiles in July after cutting them from April through July. The smaller increase could weigh on economic growth in the third quarter. More restocking boosts factory production, driving overall growth.

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Verizon has biggest bond sale in history

NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon raised $49 billion on Wednesday in the largest corporate bond deal ever.

The sale dwarfs the previous record, Apple’s sale of $17 billion in bonds in April, and proceeds from the sale on Wednesday will help Verizon buy the rest of its U.S. wireless business from partner Vodafone.

That $130 billion buyout of Vodafone is expected to rank as the second-largest deal when completed. Along with the money from its bond sale, Verizon will use cash and stock to pay for the buyout.

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More than 350 economists back Yellen for Fed chair

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 350 economists have a signed a letter to President Barack Obama calling on him to nominate Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen to be the Fed’s next chairman. The letter is designed to draw attention back to Yellen amid signs that Obama is leaning toward nominating his former economic adviser Larry Summers.

The letter, whose signers include economists with past ties to Obama, credits Yellen for prescience in warning in 2005 about an impending real estate meltdown, for her consensus style of leadership and for her commitment to job growth.

Obama is expected to announce his nomination as early as this month. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s term ends Jan. 31, 2014.

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Airlines say US case against big merger is flawed

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines and US Airways say that the government’s opposition to their planned merger shows that it doesn’t understand the airline industry.

The Justice Department and several states sued last month to block the merger, on the grounds that it would hurt consumers.

The airlines said in court filings that the U.S. Justice Department’s analysis of the merger ignores competition that now exists from low-cost carriers such as Southwest. American says that the government instead relies on “anecdotes involving small numbers of passengers” and an idealized but outdated vision of the industry

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Study: Wind farms killed 67 eagles in 5 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wind energy facilities have killed at least 67 golden and bald eagles in the last five years, but the figure could be much higher, according to a new scientific study by government biologists.

The research represents one of the first tallies of eagle deaths attributed to the nation’s growing wind energy industry, which has been a pillar of President Barack Obama’s plans to reduce the pollution blamed for global warming. Wind power releases no air pollution.

But at a minimum, the scientists wrote, wind farms in 10 states have killed at least 85 eagles since 1997, with most deaths occurring between 2008 and 2012, as the industry was greatly expanding. Most deaths — 79 — were golden eagles that struck wind turbines. One of the eagles counted in the study was electrocuted by a power line.

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Report: Tina Brown to leave The Daily Beast

NEW YORK (AP) — Tina Brown, the editor who oversaw the ill-fated merger of Newsweek and The Daily Beast website, is parting ways with the company.

That’s according to a report by Buzzfeed business editor Peter Lauria, a former Daily Beast correspondent.

The website reported that Brown’s contract expires in January and will not be renewed. Brown, the former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, may take with her the Women in the World conference as part of her severance agreement.

A spokeswoman for IAC/InterActiveCorp, which owns The Daily Beast, declined to comment.

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Chinese developer declared new richest tycoon

BEIJING (AP) — A billionaire Chinese real estate developer who bought one of the biggest U.S. cinema chains last year has emerged as the country’s new richest tycoon.

The Hurun Report, which follows China’s wealthy, said Wednesday that a surge in stock prices helped to boost the number of Chinese worth at least $1 billion by 64 to 315 this year, compared with none a decade ago. The top five saw their wealth double.

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By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones Industrial average rose 135.54 points to close at 15,326.60 Wednesday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 edged up 5.14 points to 1,689.13. The Nasdaq Composite fell 4.01 points to 3,725. 01.

Benchmark oil for October delivery rose 17 cents to close at $107.56 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Wholesale gasoline fell 2 cents to $2.71 per gallon. Natural gas lost 2 cents to $3.57 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil added 1 cent to $3.07 per gallon.

Brent, the benchmark for international crudes, rose 25 cents to $111.50 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

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