Families face tough decisions as cost of elder care soars
NEW YORK (AP) — Doris Ranzman had followed the expert advice, planning ahead in case she wound up unable to care for herself one day. But when a nursing-home bill tops $14,000 a month, the best-laid plans get tossed aside.
Even with insurance and her Social Security check, Ranzman still had to come up with around $4,000 every month to cover her care in the Amsterdam Nursing Home in Manhattan. “An awful situation,” said her daughter, Sharon Goldblum.
Like others faced with the stunning cost of elderly care in the U.S., Goldblum did the math and realized that her mother could easily outlive her savings. So she pulled her out of the home.
Apple has cash cow in iPhone even as phone industry slows
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Smartphone sales may be slowing for some tech companies, but not for Apple.
Analysts expect another powerhouse performance from the California tech giant when it reports quarterly financial results Tuesday. Apple’s signature iPhones remain popular, even as other smartphone makers are seeing demand slow down.
Wall Street analysts estimate Apple will report a hefty $10.3 billion in profit after selling $49 billion worth of iPhones, iPads, Mac computers and other products during the April-June quarter. That’s an increase of more than 30 per cent in both revenue and profit from the same period a year earlier.
Greek banks reopen but cash limits remain and taxes soar
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek banks reopened Monday for the first time in three weeks, but strict limits on cash withdrawals and higher taxes on everything from coffee to diapers meant the economic outlook for the recession-battered country was far from back to normal.
There were hopeful developments: The cash-strapped nation got a short-term loan from European creditors to pay more than 6 billion euros ($6.5 billion) owed to the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. Non-payment of either would have derailed Greece’s latest bailout request.
Lockheed Martin to buy Sikorsky Aircraft for $9 billion
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Lockheed Martin will acquire Black Hawk helicopter maker Sikorsky Aircraft for $9 billion as it seeks greater access to the military and commercial helicopter market.
United Technologies Corp. said in June it planned to shed Sikorsky so that the aerospace and building systems conglomerate could better focus on high-technology systems for both of those industries.
Lockheed will add the world’s largest builder of military helicopters to its arsenal.
Sikorsky also makes presidential helicopters and its aircraft have returned astronauts home after they splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at the end of their space travels.
Cheating website Ashley Madison hacked, personal info posted
NEW YORK (AP) — The parent company of Ashley Madison, a matchmaking website for cheating spouses, says it was hacked and that the personal information of some of its users was posted online.
In addition, the person or persons behind the attack are threatening to release all of the site’s personal information — including its members’ sexual fantasies and financial information — if the company doesn’t take Ashley Madison offline, according to a prominent security blog.
Toronto-based Avid Life Media Inc. says it has had the hackers’ posts — which included snippets of personal information — taken down and has hired a technology security firm. The company and law enforcement agencies are investigating.
Survey: US companies less optimistic about future sales
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses’ outlook on sales in the coming months has darkened after sales growth slowed in the second quarter, according to a survey released Monday.
More companies also expect to cut back on their investment in equipment and buildings in the July-September quarter, the survey found. However, hiring and wage and salary increases are likely to continue at about the same pace in the third quarter as they did in the previous three months. The overall survey results, compiled by the National Association for Business Economics, portray an economy muddling along at a steady, if tepid, pace.
Morgan Stanley 2Q profit tops estimates, helped by trading
NEW YORK (AP) — Morgan Stanley’s second-quarter results topped Wall Street’s expectations Monday, as the investment bank’s trading and wealth management businesses helped lift revenue.
While Morgan Stanley’s profits fell 8.5 per cent, that drop was largely because to a tough comparison to the year before, when the bank had a one-time tax benefit. Excluding that year-earlier boost, the bank saw growth in all three of its core businesses in the latest quarter.
Fed directs 8 biggest US banks to hold extra capital
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are directing the eight biggest U.S. banks to hold capital at levels above industry requirements to cushion against unexpected losses and reduce the chances of future taxpayer bailouts.
The Federal Reserve’s action Monday means the eight banks together will be required to shore up their financial bases with about $200 billion in additional capital. The requirements also are aimed at encouraging the Wall Street mega-banks to shrink so they pose less risk to the financial system. The banks include JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America.
Cost of insurance forcing many in Detroit to ‘drive dirty’
DETROIT (AP) — Like most Americans, the drivers of Detroit are required to carry auto insurance whenever they get behind the wheel, but many law-abiding residents can’t afford the Motor City’s highest-in-the-nation auto premiums, which top $5,000 a year in some neighbourhoods.
So fully half of Detroit drivers do what’s known locally as “driving dirty” — taking to the streets without any coverage. It’s practically a tradition here.
Now Mayor Mike Duggan is trying to do something about the high insurance costs based on concerns that they are deterring new residents and investment from coming to Detroit as it rebuilds after emerging from bankruptcy last year.
New marijuana industry wrestles with pesticides and safety
DENVER (AP) — Microscopic bugs and mildew can destroy a marijuana operation faster than any police raid. And because the crop has been illegal for so long, neither growers nor scientists have any reliable research to help fight the infestations.
As legal marijuana moves from basements and backwoods to warehouses and commercial fields, the mould and spider mites that once ruined only a few plants at a time can now quickly create a multimillion-dollar crisis for growers. Some are turning to industrial-strength chemicals, raising concerns about safety.
University of Michigan opens test “city” for autonomous cars
ANN Arbour, Michigan (AP) — Automakers and researchers say a new simulated city at the University of Michigan could help speed the development of driverless and connected cars.
The 32-acre site on the university’s campus officially opened Monday. The $10 million testing ground will be run by the Mobility Transformation Center, a partnership between the university, state and federal governments and auto and technology companies.
Shares of PayPal rise on 1st day of trading
NEW YORK (AP) — PayPal shares jumped in its first day as a separate and publicly traded company as the firm outlined plans to capitalize on the rise of mobile payments and the growing digitization of money.
The payments system company officially split with eBay Inc. on Friday, 10 months after they announced that they were going their separate ways.
PayPal processed $235 billion in total payment volume last year and logged revenue of about $8 billion. It plans to grow market share in mobile and online payments as well as expanding in areas like in-store payments.
New era in ties begins as Cuba raises flag at embassy in US
WASHINGTON (AP) — Cuba’s blue, red and white-starred flag was hoisted Monday at the country’s embassy in Washington in a symbolic move signalling the start of a new post-Cold War era in U.S.-Cuba relations.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez presided over the flag-raising ceremony hours after full diplomatic relations with the United States were restored at the stroke of midnight, when an agreement to resume normal ties on July 20 took effect. Earlier, without ceremony, the Cuban flag was hung in the lobby of the State Department alongside those of other countries with which the U.S. has diplomatic ties. U.S. and Cuban diplomats in Washington and Havana had also noted the upgrade in social media posts.
By The Associated Press=
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 13.96, or 0.1 per cent, to close at 18,100.41. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 1.64, or 0.1 per cent, to 2,128.28. The Nasdaq composite gained 8.72, or 0.2 per cent, to 5,218.86.
Benchmark U.S. crude dipped below $50 briefly for the first time since April and closed down 74 cents to $50.15 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 45 cents to close at $56.65 in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 0.1 cent to close at $1.930 a gallon. Heating oil fell 0.6 cent to close at $1.658 a gallon. Natural gas fell 4.7 cents to close at $2.823 per 1,000 cubic feet.