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 DETROIT (AP) - The U.S. government expects to sell its remaining General Motors stock by the end of the year. The Treasury Department says in a statement Thursday that it still owns 31.1 million shares of the auto giant. It has recovered $38.4 billion of the $49.5 billion it spent bailing out the company. At Wednesday's closing price of $37.69, the treasury would get an additional $1.2 billion. That means taxpayers will lose roughly $10 billion on the bailout. The government says the bailout was needed five years ago to save the American auto industry and more than a million jobs. The government got 912 million shares, or a 61 percent stake in GM, in exchange for the bailout. Treasury gradually has sold off its stake since a November 2010 initial public offering.

Thursday, 21 November 2013 09:34

Pinterest launches location-based pins

NEW YORK (AP) - Pinterest, the online pinboard for sharing everything from wedding china ideas to travel inspiration, is now letting users add location to their pins.  San Francisco-based Pinterest says that its "Place Pins," were designed to "combine all the beautiful imagery of a travel magazine with the utility of a map and put it all online so you can share it with friends." Pinterest says there are more than 750 million travel-related pins on the site already. With the new location-based pins, users will be able to create maps for friends visiting from out of town, or vacation spots they want to see. According to comScore, Pinterest has more than 53 million users. The San Francisco-based company is privately held and is only testing the waters of generating any revenue. 

WASHINGTON (AP) - JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $13 billion in a landmark settlement for activities that prosecutors say were "symptomatic of the recklessness on Wall Street." JPMorgan was among the major banks that sold mortgage-backed securities that plunged in value when the housing market collapsed in 2006 and 2007. Those losses triggered a financial crisis that pushed the economy into the worst recession since the 1930s. As part of the deal, JPMorgan has agreed to provide $4 billion in relief to homeowners affected by the bad loans. The bank also acknowledged that it misled investors about the quality of risky mortgage-backed securities. The $13 billion settlement eclipses the record $4 billion levied on oil giant BP in January over the 2010 offshore oil spill, which was the worst in U.S. history. JPMorgan could still face criminal charges. An investigation is under way by the office of U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner in Sacramento, Calif., focused primarily on JPMorgan employees.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - More Americans fell behind on their credit card payments in the third quarter, when many consumers traditionally hit stores for back-to-school supplies. Credit reporting agency TransUnion said Wednesday that the rate of credit card payments at least 90 days overdue was 1.36 percent in the July-September quarter. That's up from 1.27 percent in the previous three-month period, but down from 1.50 percent in the third quarter last year. The latest card delinquency rate remains the second-lowest on TransUnion's records, which go back to 2007. Card balances have been dropping over the past year and remain near historically low levels. Still, TransUnion expects the card delinquency rate to rise slightly in the fourth quarter as many holiday season shoppers put off credit card payments until early next year. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013 09:47

J.C. Penney's 3Q loss widens; sales even out

NEW YORK (AP) - J.C. Penney is reporting a wider third-quarter loss, but the results showed its business is starting to stabilize. The department store chain, based in Plano, Texas, says Wednesday that it lost $489 million, or $1.94 per share, in the three months that ended Nov. 2. That compares with a loss of $123 million, or 56 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 5.1 percent to $2.78 billion. The company's adjusted loss was $1.81 per share. Analysts expected a loss of $1.74 per share on revenue of $2.79 billion. Revenue at stores open at least a year fell 4.8 percent for the quarter, but the period ended with its first monthly gain since December 2011. Shares of J.C. Penney are up more than 6 percent in premarket trading.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013 09:47

US retail sales rise solid 0.4 percent in October

WASHINGTON (AP) - Consumers shrugged off the 16-day partial government shutdown and spent more on autos, clothing and furniture in October, pushing U.S. retail sales up by the largest amount in four months. The Commerce Department says retail sales rose 0.4 percent in October, up from a flat reading in September. Sales were held back by a steep drop in gas prices. Excluding sales at gas stations, retail spending increased an even stronger 0.5 percent. And core sales, a category that excludes volatile spending on autos, building supplies and gas, also rose 0.5 percent, up from a 0.3 percent gain in September. The October retail sales indicate that consumers stepped up spending at the start of the October-December quarter. Their spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

ATLANTA (AP) - Home Depot's fiscal third-quarter profit climbed as sales at U.S. stores strengthened amid the continued improvement of the housing market. The results for the nation's biggest home improvement company beat analysts' estimates. The chain also lifted its full-year forecast on Tuesday. For the three months ended Nov. 3, Home Depot Inc. earned $1.35 billion, or 95 cents per share. That compares with $947 million, or 63 cents per share, a year ago. The prior-year period was weighed down by a charge tied to store closings in China. Analysts expected earnings of 89 cents per share. Revenue for the Atlanta company rose 7 percent to $19.47 billion from $18.13 billion.  Wall Street predicted $19.18 billion. Sales at U.S. stores open at least a year increased 8.2 percent. 

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) - Campbell Soup's first-quarter net income tumbled 30 percent on declining U.S. soup sales and rising costs. The Camden, N.J. company fell well short of Wall Street expectations and it cut its forecast for the year because of the slow start. Shares fell 7 percent before the opening bell Tuesday. Campbell Soup Co. earned $172 million, or 54 cents per share. That's down from $245 million, or 78 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding restructuring charges and other items, adjusted earnings from continuing operations were 66 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet predicted earnings of 86 cents per share. Revenue dipped 2 percent to $2.17 billion from $2.21 billion. Wall Street was looking for $2.29 billion in revenue. U.S. soup sales declined 6 percent as retailers adjusted their inventory.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013 09:55

Best Buy reports 3rd quarter profit

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Electronics retailer Best Buy Co. says it returned to a profit in the third quarter as the busy holiday season revs up. However, the company says it expects a tough competitive environment during the holiday season and shares fell 8 percent in premarket trading. Best Buy has been cutting costs, adding employee training and matching online prices to get customers into stores as it faces competition from discounters and online retailers. The Minneapolis-based company says third-quarter net income totaled $54 million, or 16 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $10 million, or 3 cents per share, in the prior-year quarter. Analysts expected 13 cents per share. Revenue was nearly flat at $9.36 billion. Analysts expected revenue of $9.37 billion.

LIVONIA, Mich. (AP) - Eastern Michigan University is sponsoring a job fair for college seniors and alumni from Michigan's two- or four-year colleges. The Michigan Collegiate Job Fair is set for Friday in Livonia. Organizers say it's one of the largest and longest-running job fair events in the state. They expect more than 700 job candidates to attend. Participants include a number of state and federal agencies, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, ProMedica Health System, Quicken Loans, Target and Total Quality Logistics. Job candidates are encouraged to dress appropriately, bring about 25 copies of their resume and be prepared to discuss their skills.

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