Business Highlights


China’s shifting economy mints US corporate winners, losers

China is losing its appetite for dump trucks, iron ore and construction cranes. But the Chinese still want to travel and give their kids a better education.

Growth in the world’s second-largest economy is decelerating and rattling financial markets around the world. Behind that slowdown is an evolutionary shift in China’s economy— from a dependence on exports and investment in factories and housing — to a reliance on spending by its emerging middle class.

That transition, a gradual and perhaps painful one, will affect which U.S. companies stand to benefit and which will be squeezed as China’s growth slides from the double-digit annual rates of the mid-2000s to 7 per cent, 6 per cent, maybe even less.


United says CEO Jeff Smisek is out, effective immediately

The chairman and CEO of United Airlines is stepping down in connection with an investigation into dealings with the agency that operates New York-area airports.

United Continental Holdings Inc. said Tuesday that Jeff Smisek and two other senior executives had resigned and railroad executive Oscar Munoz was named CEO and president.

United disclosed earlier this year that the company and some of its executives had received subpoenas from a federal grand jury for information about dealings with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. United said it was conducting its own internal investigation.


Apple event to focus on new iPhones, Apple TV and Siri

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hey, Siri, what does Apple have in store for us this week?

Along with new iPhones, the iconic tech company is expected to show off a new Apple TV system and a bigger role in the home for Siri, its voice-activated digital assistant.

After a series of high-profile Apple launches over the past year — super-sized iPhones, a digital wallet, a sleek smartwatch — analysts say this week’s news might not seem as dramatic. But the event could reveal more about the company’s strategy and its aspirations to be an indispensable part of daily life.


Drilling boom brings rising number of harmful waste spills

CROSSROADS, N.M. (AP) — Carl Johnson and son Justin, who have complained for years about spills of oilfield wastewater where they raise cattle in the high plains of New Mexico, stroll across a 1 1/2-acre patch of sandy soil — lifeless, save for a scattering of stunted weeds.

Five years ago, a broken pipe soaked the land with as much as 420,000 gallons of wastewater, a salty drilling byproduct that killed the shrubs and grass. It was among dozens of spills that have damaged the Johnsons’ grazing lands and made them worry about their groundwater.

Their plight illustrates a side effect of oil and gas production that has worsened with the past decade’s drilling boom: spills of wastewater that foul the land, kill wildlife and threaten freshwater supplies. An Associated Press analysis of data from leading oil- and gas-producing states found more than 180 million gallons of wastewater spilled from 2009 to 2014 in incidents involving ruptured pipes, overflowing storage tanks and even deliberate dumping.


Dubai pursues property wonders despite signs of slowdown

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Mideast metropolis of real estate wonders is at it again.

Dubai developers in recent months have been busily rolling out plans for floating houses with underwater chambers and an even bigger indoor ski slope to top the city’s existing one.

A complex of theme parks that includes the region’s first Legoland is rising in the Dubai desert. A canal that will boost the amount of sellable waterfront property is being dug under the city’s main artery, in view of the world’s tallest building. The planet’s biggest Ferris wheel is going up too.


US consumer borrowing hits fresh record in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer borrowing climbed to a fresh record in July, the latest evidence that the U.S. economy is on track to grow at a healthy pace in the second half of this year.

The Federal Reserve says consumer borrowing rose by $19.1 billion in July, pushing the total to a record $3.45 trillion. This followed an even larger $27 billion increase in June, the biggest one-month gain in credit since November 2001. The June increase was revised up significantly from an initial estimate of $20.7 billion.

Economists believe strong job gains will support increased borrowing and consumer spending, which accounts for nearly 70 per cent of economic activity.


Buffett plies volatile waters, digs in on IBM

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Investor Warren Buffett has been adding to his company’s sizable stake in IBM during recent market turmoil, and he said Berkshire Hathaway’s $32 billion Precision Castparts deal hasn’t left him short on cash for other investments.

Buffett appeared on CNBC Tuesday before dining with the winners of this year’s auction of a private lunch. Chinese online game maker Dalian Zeus Entertainment Co. paid $2,345,678 to win this year’s auction.

Buffett has periodically added to Berkshire’s IBM investment ever since he first disclosed it in late 2011 even though the stock has disappointed. At the end of June, Berkshire held 79.57 million shares of IBM stock.


Macy’s says it will close 35 to 40 stores in early 2016

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy’s says it will close 35 to 40 stores in early 2016, or as much as 5 per cent of its namesake department stores.

Macy’s said Tuesday it hasn’t selected all of the stores that will be closed yet. It expects the locations will have about $300 million in combined revenue. The company says employees who work at the closing stores may be offered positions at nearby locations, and workers who are laid off will be offered severance benefits.


Mylan says it will launch $27.14B bid for Perrigo

NEW YORK (AP) — Dutch drugmaker Mylan says it will launch a $27.14 billion offer for Irish generic drug and ingredients maker Perrigo next Monday.

Perrigo has already turned down several offers from Mylan, so Mylan said Tuesday that it will take the latest offer directly to the company’s shareholders. The company said in August that it was confident its shareholders would reject Mylan’s overture.


Toyota to roll out new Prius hybrid as gas prices tumble

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The rollout of Toyota’s new Prius comes at an inauspicious time for gas-sipping vehicles.

The Japanese automaker plans to roll out a sleeker version of the car that runs on gas and electricity at a glitzy event Tuesday night in Las Vegas. But gas prices nationwide were at $2.39 per gallon Thursday, the lowest level in since 2004, and analysts expect more declines now that summer driving season has ended. South Carolina prices are under $2 per gallon according to AAA, and four other states at $2.10 or lower.


Los Angeles Times publisher gets replaced after year on job

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tribune Publishing Co. said Tuesday that it replaced the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, who was on the job for a little more than a year.

Tribune gave no explanation for Austin Buetner’s abrupt departure, which took effect immediately. It appointed Timothy Ryan, publisher of The Baltimore Sun, to replace Buetner as head of the company’s California Newspaper Group, which includes The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Buetner, a former investment banker and Los Angeles civic leader who was named publisher in August 2014, said on Facebook that he was fired.


Eurozone economic growth revised up despite Greece crisis

LONDON (AP) — The 19-country eurozone’s economy grew faster than previously estimated over the first half of the year, a further indication that the region managed to withstand the escalating crisis in Greece.

In rare revisions to its back data, the European Union’s statistics agency on Tuesday increased both the first and second quarter growth rates by 0.1 percentage points to 0.5 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively. The quarterly expansion in the first three months of this year is now the highest rate since early 2011.


By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 390.30 points, or 2.4 per cent, to 16,492.68. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 48.19 points, or 2.5 per cent, to 1,969.41. The Nasdaq composite added 128.01 points, or 2.7 per cent, to 4,811.93.

U.S. crude fell 11 cents to close at $45.94 a barrel in New York. Brent Crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, rose $1.89 to close at $49.52 in London, reversing Monday’s steep decline. Wholesale gasoline fell 1.6 cents to close at $1.402 a gallon. Heating oil fell 0.2 cent to close at $1.594 a gallon. Natural gas rose 5.5 cents to close at $2.710 per 1,000 cubic feet.