Business Highlights

Business Highlights by The Associated Press Posted Aug 12, 2015 3:54 pm MDT Last Updated Aug 12, 2015 at 4:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email ___As Chinese yuan falls more, some see little cause for alarmWASHINGTON (AP) — A free-falling Chinese currency could make China’s goods cheaper for foreigners, squeeze Western companies, discourage Chinese tourism, increase China’s exports and complicate the Federal Reserve’s decision on whether to raise American interest rates.If the yuan keeps falling, that is.The Chinese currency sank again Wednesday, a day after Beijing engineered the biggest one-day decline in the yuan in a decade.___No easy formula for best time to book airline ticketsTravellers dream of the perfect trick to find the cheapest airfare every time, every trip.There are theories, some of them backed up by real number-crunching — shop on a Tuesday, 57 days before your flight. But using a tidy formula to find the cheapest fare may be as futile as trying to time the stock market.Airlines Reporting Corp., which handles tickets sold through travel agents, pinpointed Day 57 as when you’ll find the cheapest average domestic fares. But in a nod to the inexactness of the science, it also said that the lowest domestic prices are relatively unchanged about 50 to 100 days before a flight.___Top workers buying businesses from retiring boomer bossesNEW YORK (AP) — As retiring baby boomers look to sell the small businesses they have run for years, top employees are often becoming the boss.The new owners are likely to be general managers, chief operating officers or foremen who have worked for the company for many years and have the savvy to run the business well.Between them, Chris Goodrich and Les Korsos have nearly 25 years at Ewing Sports, a company that sells soccer uniforms to school and other teams. Goodrich, the general manager, and Korsos, the sales manager, closed a deal for the Ewing, New Jersey-based company in July.___US hiring reaches six-month high in June; quits also riseWASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers filled more of their available jobs in June, evidence that steady if modest economic growth is putting more Americans to work.The Labor Department said Wednesday that total hiring rose 2.3 per cent to 5.18 million in June, the most in six months and second-highest total since the recession ended in June 2009.Employers posted fewer job openings, but that figure has risen strongly in the past year. And more people quit their jobs, which is a good sign because many people quit when they have new jobs lined up, typically at higher pay. More hiring, quitting and healthy levels of job openings could pressure companies to lift wages.___US budget deficit swells in July due to calendar quirkWASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government ran a much higher budget deficit in July than a year ago, but it’s still on track for the lowest full-year deficit in eight years.The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the July deficit totalled $149.2 billion, up from a deficit of $94.6 billion a year earlier. The deterioration stemmed mainly from the fact that Aug. 1 fell on a Saturday. As a result, the government paid out $42 billion in August benefits in late July instead.___Global Blood Therapeutics latest biotech to double in debutNEW YORK (AP) — Blood disorder drug developer Global Blood Therapeutics shares more than doubled Wednesday as the company became the latest biotechnology company to get a powerful response from investors in its stock market debut.Global Blood Therapeutics Inc. says its treatment for sickle cell disease might stop red blood cells from becoming misshapen, treating the disease rather than its symptoms. The drug, GBT440, is in early clinical testing: as of July 31, it had been given to 30 healthy volunteers and six people with sickle cell disease. The company wants to begin at least one mid-stage trial of the drug in early 2016.___Alibaba’s 1Q sales short of expectations, shares fallNEW YORK (AP) — With sales growth slowing in China, Alibaba is looking across its borders to give sales a boost.The Chinese e-commerce powerhouse reported first-quarter net income more than doubled on strong growth across its online and mobile platforms.Though revenue jumped 28 per cent, the growth fell short of Wall Street expectations and shares fell 6 per cent in early trading.Conlumino analyst Neil Saunders pointed out that revenue growth over the past fiscal year was 39 per cent, and it reached 59 per cent the year before that.___Macy’s sets its sights on China amid tough US climateNEW YORK (AP) — Macy’s Inc. is setting its sights on Chinese shoppers, with plans to test selling goods online in the world’s second-largest economy late this year.The news, announced Wednesday, came as the retailer reported a 26 per cent drop in second-quarter profit and sales that came in short of Wall Street expectations. The company cut its annual sales forecast, and its shares tumbled 5 per cent Wednesday.___Kraft Heinz slashing 2,500 jobs in US, Canada after mergerNEW YORK (AP) — Kraft Heinz says it is cutting about 2,500 jobs as part of its plan to slash costs after the food companies combined.Spokesman Michael Mullen says affected workers are in the U.S. and Canada and were to be notified in person. About 700 of the cuts were coming in Northfield, Illinois, where Kraft had been headquartered.The company would not specify where other cuts were taking place but said that all the jobs were salaried. It said none of the job cuts involved factory workers.___Pipeline: US review taking 5 times longer than averageWASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government review of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas has dragged on for nearly seven years, more than five times the average for such applications.The White House insists it’s simply following a standard and well-established process.In the 6 1/2 years since TransCanada Corp. first applied for a permit, the $8 billion project has become a flashpoint in the debate over climate change.___Acts find unique ways to sell music, reach fans on TwitterATLANTA (AP) — From Kanye West to Taylor Swift to Rihanna, more and more musicians are debuting audio, photo and video content on Twitter to boost marketing efforts without spending big bucks.The social networking platform has also been used by The Rolling Stones and Diana Ross, who recently created accounts to connect with millennials.West unveiled his new album title on Twitter in February. In the same month, Lady Gaga used Twitter’s new video product tool to announce her role on the upcoming season of FX’s “American Horror Story: Hotel.”___Rdio enables saving of tracks from 500 live radio stationsLOS ANGELES (AP) — Rdio, the music subscription service backed by Skype co-founder Janus Friis, is partnering to bring simulcasts of 500 traditional radio stations to its app in the U.S.The move is the next step in its partnership with station owner Cumulus Media Inc., which took a 15 per cent stake in Rdio in 2013.By gaining access to data about what’s playing on the Cumulus-owned stations, like KFOG in San Francisco or KLOS in Los Angeles, the app now allows users to pick favourite tracks and save them for later playback. Playback requires a subscription of at least $4 a month, which caps offline listening at 25 songs. Rollout with other stations and in other countries is planned over the next year.___Greek bailout details pored over across EuropeATHENS, Greece (AP) — Details of Greece’s latest bailout package were being pored over across Europe on Wednesday as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras insisted the agreement with creditors would put “a definitive end” to the country’s economic uncertainty.Tsipras has called an emergency session of parliament to discuss and vote on the bill, which includes painful tax hikes and spending cuts, in time for a confirmed meeting Friday of the eurozone’s 19 finance ministers in Brussels.___By The Associated Press=The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.33 of a point to close at 17,402.51. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index finished with a gain of 1.98 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 2,086.05. The Nasdaq composite inched up 7.60 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5,044.39.U.S. crude rose 22 cents to close at $43.30. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, rose 48 cents to close at $49.66 in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 7 cents to close at $1.764 a gallon. Heating oil rose 2.4 cents to close at $1.587 a gallon. Natural gas rose 8.7 cents to close at $2.931 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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