US FINANCIAL MARKET
U.S. Stocks Advance as Ukraine Optimism Outweighs Iraq
- U.S. stocks rose, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell to the lowest level since April yesterday.
- Equity futures jumped earlier today after RIA Novosti reported that Russia seeks a de-escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.
- The U.S. carried out airstrikes against militants from Islamic State in Iraq, the Pentagon said.
- Data today showed the productivity of U.S. workers rose more than projected in the second quarter.
CBS Profit Tops Estimates on Buybacks; Dividend Boosted
- The company doubled its buyback and raised the dividend.
- CBS increased its stock-buyback program to $6 billion from $3 billion, while raising the quarterly dividend 25 percent to 15 cents a share.
- The network enters the new season with a package of National Football League games on Thursday nights beginning Sept. 11.
- Net profit from continuing operations fell 3.9 percent to $418 million.
- Sales dropped 5.4 percent to $3.19 billion from $3.37 billion a year earlier, citing the absence of college basketball semifinals and softness in the ad market during the quarter.
- Analysts had projected $3.2 billion.
McDonald’s July Sales Drop as U.S. Slumps for Third Month
- The world’s biggest restaurant chain said sales at stores open at least 13 months fell 2.5 percent in July as the U.S. slumped for the third straight month and a food scare in Asia hurt results.
- Analysts estimated a 1.1 percent global decline.
- Sales fell 3.2 percent in the U.S. and 7.3 percent in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
Productivity Rises More Than Forecast, Limiting U.S. Costs
- The measure of employee output per hour increased at a 2.5 percent annualized rate, after a revised 4.5 percent decrease in the prior three months that was the biggest since 1981.
- Among manufacturers, productivity increased at a 3.6 percent rate.
- Unit labor costs, which are adjusted for efficiency gains, were forecast to rise 1 percent in the second quarter.
- Adjusted for inflation, hourly earnings increased at a 0.1 percent rate, after increasing at a 4.8 percent pace.
U.S. Carries Out Airstrikes against Islamist Militants in Iraq
- The U.S. planes carried out a strike on artillery that had been used by the militants to attack Kurdish forces defending their regional capital Erbil.
- President Barack Obama authorized the strikes yesterday, justifying them as necessary to protect U.S. personnel and prevent a massacre of Yezidis, a minority sect concentrated in northern Iraq.
U.S. wholesale inventories rise less than expected, sales slow
- Inventories increased 0.3 percent after a downwardly revised 0.3 percent gain in May.
- Economists had expected stocks at wholesalers to rise 0.6 percent in June.
- Inventories are a key component GDP changes.
- The government said inventories contributed 1.66 percentage points to GDP growth, which expanded at a 4.0 percent annual pace.
EUROPE & WORLD
Europe Stocks Decline as German, French Indexes Fall 10%
- The first back-to-back weekly losses in European stocks since March sent equity benchmark gauges in France and Germany down more than 10 percent from their highs.
China posts record trade surplus, but domestic economy may lag
- Exports in July jumped 14.5 percent from a year earlier – the fastest pace in 15 months.
- Imports fell 1.6 percent.
- Exports to the United States, China’s top export destination, rose 12.3 percent in June, quickening from a rise of 7.5 percent in June, while those to the European Union, the second-biggest market, grew 17 percent, compared with 13.1 percent in June.
BMW sales up 8.4 percent in July but lead over Audi shrinks
- BMW sales rose 8.4 percent last month from a year earlier to 139,399 autos.
- BMW said seven-month brand sales increased 10 percent to a record 1.03 million autos.
- Audi, Volkswagen’s flagship luxury brand, announced on Thursday 144,000 deliveries in July.
- July was the third month this year that saw Audi outsell BMW.
TODAY in HISTORY
- Thomas Edison patented the mimeograph machine (1876)
- President Nixon announced he would resign the following day as a result of the Watergate scandal (1974)
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