Apple beats earnings estimates, issues healthy forecast
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Defying skeptics on Wall Street, Apple says it plans to keep setting records for selling new iPhones around the world.
The giant tech company reported quarterly earnings Tuesday that beat analysts’ estimates, while forecasting healthy iPhone sales during the upcoming holidays. Apple also said sales nearly doubled in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan during the last quarter, despite concerns that China’s economy is slowing.
And in a closely watched indicator, Apple issued a forecast for the upcoming December quarter that suggests it will slightly surpass last year’s record of 74.5 million iPhones sold during the crucial holiday season.
GM recalling 1.4M cars; oil leaks can cause engine fires
DETROIT (AP) — For the third time in seven years, General Motors is recalling cars that can leak oil and catch fire, in some instances damaging garages and homes.
The recall, which covers 1.4 million vehicles dating to the 1997 model year, is needed because repairs from the first two recalls didn’t work.
The latest recall includes: the 1997-2004 Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick Regal; the 2000-2004 Chevrolet Impala; the 1998 and 1999 Chevrolet Lumina and Oldsmobile Intrigue; and the 1998-2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
Over time, a valve cover gasket can degrade, allowing oil to seep out. Oil drops can fall onto the exhaust manifold and catch fire.
Walgreens confirms it will buy Rite Aid for $9.41 billion
NEW YORK (AP) — Walgreens confirmed Tuesday that it will buy rival pharmacy chain Rite Aid for about $9.41 billion in cash.
Walgreens says it will pay $9 per share for Camp Hill, Pennsylvania-based Rite Aid Corp. That’s a premium of 48 per cent to the closing price of Rite Aid Monday. The deal is worth $17.2 billion when debt is included, the companies said.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., based in Deerfield, Illinois, is the largest U.S. drugstore chain, based on store counts. Rite Aid is the third largest.
The deal expected to close in the second half of next year.
US home values and rents defying global slowdown
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. housing appears to be insulated so far from the cooling global economy.
Home values and rental prices are steadily rising, fueled by strong demand and a tight supply, a pair of reports Tuesday showed.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 5.1 per cent in the 12 months that ended in August. And in September, median rents nationwide rose a seasonally adjusted 3.7 per cent from a year ago, according to real estate data firm Zillow.
How Comcast wants to meter the Internet
NEW YORK (AP) — Most home Internet service providers offer unlimited data, but cable giant Comcast is moving in the opposite direction.
It’s started charging heavy Internet users extra in more parts of the country.
The reason? A small but growing number of consumers are skipping cable subscriptions and doing their TV-watching over the Internet instead. So finding a way to charge for heavier Internet use could bolster Comcast’s revenue as the ranks of its cable customers shrink.
REI bucks Black Friday shopping, will close stores that day
KENT, Wash. (AP) — Outdoor retailer Recreational Equipment Inc., known as REI, has announced it will buck Black Friday and close its 143 stores on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
The Kent-based co-op told members the plan in an email Monday, saying instead of working they’ll pay their employees on Nov. 27 to be outside.
REI also created the social media hashtag #optoutside and a website where people can share their outdoorsy plans for that day.
US consumer confidence slips in October
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans turned slightly more anxious about the job market this month.
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell to 97.6 in October, down from a nine-month high of 102.6 in September.
Fewer people surveyed for the business research group described jobs as “plentiful” compared to September, with that measure slipping to 22.2 per cent from 24.8 per cent.
The decline likely reflects the results of two consecutive jobs reports. Employers added just 142,000 jobs in September and 136,000 jobs in August, after routinely chalking up monthly net jobs gains in excess of 200,000.
Ford 3Q earnings more than double on demand for trucks
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Pickup trucks powered Ford Motor Co. to record North American results in the third quarter.
Ford earned $2.7 billion in North America, up 89 per cent from a year ago, largely on higher sales of its new F-150 pickup truck. Ford introduced the aluminum-sided truck last fall but didn’t reach full production at its two U.S. factories until June.
The results were the strongest indication yet that Ford’s risky decision to remake its bestselling vehicle as a lighter aluminum model is paying off. Sales of F-Series pickups reached a nine-year high for the period. In the U.S. alone, Ford sold 207,271 F-Series trucks. That’s 85 trucks per hour.
Sales of new medicines boost 3Q results for US drugmakers
Growing revenue for promising new medicines for cancer, heart disease and other serious conditions helped U.S. drugmakers improve results after several disappointing quarters.
Buoyed by the stronger third-quarter results and rising prospects, Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. raised their 2015 profit forecasts, and their share prices rose as the broader markets declined.
Switzerland’s Novartis struggled, though, weighed down by lower sales in its Alcon eye care unit and other factors.
All four drugmakers were hurt by unfavourable exchange rates cutting the value of foreign sales, which are made in local currencies, by at least 7 per cent.
Twitter’s 3Q report illustrates challenges facing new CEO
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter’s losses are mounting as the messaging service struggles to grow its audience under recently hired CEO Jack Dorsey.
The challenges facing Dorsey came into sharper focus in a third-quarter report released Tuesday. The numbers covered the three months ending in September. That’s when Dorsey served as interim CEO before he was hired on a permanent basis.
Twitter ended the period with a core audience of 307 million active users, an increase of just 3 million from June. That wasn’t much better than a gain of 2 million users in the previous quarter, a letdown that led to the departure of Twitter’s previous CEO, Dick Costolo.
Revenue climbed 58 per cent from last year to $569 million.
Twitter still lost $132 million. The company’s stock plunged 11 per cent in extended trading.
Alibaba shares jump on better-than-expected 2Q
NEW YORK (AP) — Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba’s second-quarter net income topped expectations as revenue surged on mobile growth.
The news reassured investors about how Alibaba is fairing in the uncertain Chinese economy, and its shares closed trading up 4 per cent.
In a call with analysts, Joe Tsai, the executive vice chairman of Alibaba, said he doesn’t think the current macroeconomic environment will affect consumption patterns, pointing out that the individual Chinese consumer is “very liquid” with a high savings rate.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 41.62 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 17,581.43. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 5.29 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,065.89. The Nasdaq composite fell 4.56 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 5,030.15.
Benchmark U.S. crude fell 78 cents, nearly 2 per cent, closing at $43.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils used in many U.S. refineries, fell 73 cents to $46.81 a barrel in London.
Wholesale gasoline fell by a fraction of a cent to close at $1.287 a gallon in New York, heating oil fell 2 cents to $1.424 a gallon and natural gas edged up 3 cents to $2.092 per 1,000 cubic feet