Posted: Jul 23, 2012 1:26 AM
Updated: Jul 23, 2012 1:26 AM
Stocks log gains for the week
NEW YORK (AP) Stocks saw declines in the previous session on Wall Street, but still managed a weekly gain.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 121 points, or 0.9 percent, to 12,823. The S&P fell 14 points to 1,363. The Nasdaq dropped 41 to 2,925.
For the week, the key averages were up between 0.4 to 0.6 percent.
Asian stock markets slide on Europe, China woes
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) Asian stock markets slid today as investors fretted about Europe's debt crisis and worries persisted over a slowdown in China.
A batch of downbeat reports over the weekend from Europe and China undermined investor sentiment that is already fragile from downgrade of the global economic growth forecasts, unleashing a sell-off in Asian markets.
Investors are awaiting quarterly financial results from industry bellwethers around the world from tech giants Apple, Amazon and Facebook, to automakers and energy firms.
Benchmark crude oil fell more than $1.50 to just above $90 a barrel. The dollar fell against the yen.
Business events scheduled for the coming week
WASHINGTON (AP) The early focus of this week is on earnings for Wall Street. McDonald's posts its results today and Apple and Netflix report quarterly earnings tomorrow.
On the economic calendar, the Commerce Department on Wednesday reports on June new home sales.
Later in the week, readings on durable goods orders, jobless claims and second-quarter growth are due.
German minister: Greek euro exit has lost 'horror'
BERLIN (AP) Germany's vice chancellor is questioning whether Greece can fulfill the conditions to receive further international aid and says the idea of it leaving the euro has "lost its horror."
Philipp Roesler, who is also economy minister, leads the Free Democratic Party, the junior partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition. It often talks tough on Europe's debt crisis.
Roesler's comments come as Greece's debt inspectors examine whether Athens has implemented enough reforms and budget cuts to merit more help.
Roesler told ARD television Sunday he is "more than skeptical" and that, if Greece doesn't fulfill the conditions, "there can be no further payments to Greece."
He added: "I think that for many experts, for the FDP, for me too, a Greek exit from the eurozone has long since lost its horror."
EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK
ECB's Draghi: euro not in danger
BERLIN (AP) The head of the European Central Bank says the euro is "absolutely not" in danger as the continent's financial crisis simmers.
Mario Draghi said in an interview with French daily Le Monde posted on the bank's website Saturday that predictions of a eurozone "explosion" underestimate "the political capital that our leaders have invested in this union, as well as the support of European citizens."
He added: "The euro is irrevocable."
Asked whether the ECB should do more to ease the economy, Draghi replied: "We are very open. We do not have any taboos."
The ECB this month cut its benchmark interest rate to a record-low 0.75 percent but gave little sign of further action soon to ease the crisis. It already made two rounds of three-year emergency loans to banks.
POVERTY IN AMERICA
US poverty on track to rise to highest since 1960s
WASHINGTON (AP) The ranks of America's poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century. That means gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s are being erased amid a weak economy and fraying government safety net.
Census figures for 2011 will be released this fall in the weeks before the election.
The Associated Press surveyed more than a dozen economists, think tanks and academics, and found a broad consensus: The official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent.
Poverty is spreading at record levels across many groups, from underemployed workers and suburban families to the poorest poor. More discouraged workers are giving up on the job market, and suburbs are seeing increases in poverty.
NRG ENERGY-GENON ENERGY
NRG Energy to buy GenOn in $1.7B stock deal
PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) NRG Energy says it has reached an agreement to buy wholesale power provider GenOn Energy in an all-stock deal worth about $1.7 billion.
Under terms of the deal, GenOn Energy Inc. shareholders will get 0.1216 of a NRG Energy Inc. share for each of their GenOn shares. Based on NRG's Friday closing stock price, the offer equates to about $2.20 per GenOn share. That represents about an 18 percent premium over Houston-based GenOn's Friday closing stock price.
NRG, based in Princeton, N.J., sells power on the wholesale market and to retail customers in states that have deregulated their electric power industry. It said the acquisition will allow it to cut costs, while boosting efficiency and cash flow.
GAS DRILLING-SCIENCE AND FEAR
Experts: Some fracking critics use bad science
PITTSBURGH (AP) In the debate over natural gas drilling, the companies are often the ones accused of twisting the facts. But scientists say opponents sometimes mislead the public, too.
Critics of fracking often raise alarms about groundwater pollution, air pollution and cancer risks, and there are still many uncertainties. But some of the claims have little or nothing to back them.
For example, researchers told The Associated Press that reports of breast cancer rates rising in a region with heavy gas drilling are false.
Fears that natural radioactivity in drilling waste could contaminate drinking water aren't being confirmed by monitoring, either.
And concerns about air pollution from the industry often don't acknowledge that natural gas is a far cleaner burning fuel than coal.
Manufacturing problem caused Ford Escape recall
DETROIT (AP) A manufacturing problem at a company that makes fuel lines is the reason Ford recalled 11,500 of its brand-new Escape small SUVs and told owners to stop driving them right away.
Ford Motor Co. announced the recall Thursday, citing the risk of an engine fire.
In documents filed by Ford and posted Friday on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website, the company said fuel lines were "mechanically scored," or damaged during manufacturing. The lines, made by TI Group Automotive Systems, can split and leaking fuel could ignite.
Ford urged customers in the U.S. and Canada not to drive the SUVs and to contact dealers, who would pick up the Escape and drop off a loaner car. The problem affects only 2013 Escapes equipped with 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engines.
'Dark Knight Rises' reportedly earns $160 million
LOS ANGELES (AP) "The Dark Knight Rises" is on track to earn $160 million after a shooting that left 12 dead and 58 wounded at a midnight screening of the Batman sequel in Colorado.
The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, New York Times and other media outlets reported Sunday that the film earned $160 to $162 million, based on box-office insiders.
Hollywood studios joined "Dark Knight Rises" distributor Warner Bros. in publicly withholding their box-office numbers for the weekend. Box-office tracking service Rentrak also did not report figures this weekend.
An opening of $160 million would give the 2-D "Dark Knight Rises" the third-highest opening ever after the 3-D films "The Avengers" with $207.4 million and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" with $169.2 million.