Business Highlights

Posted October 14


Nearly half of young adults lack retirement savings, pension

Young Americans with even just $1 saved for retirement are ahead of the pack.

Forty-eight percent of all Americans aged 18 to 30 have zero in retirement savings and no access to a traditional pension, according to a GenForward poll by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The youngest in that group are more likely to still be in school, but the trend also holds for those in their late 20s. More than 4 in 10 of those aged 25 to 30 have nothing for retirement.


Yellen: Slow recovery confounds economists' expectations

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday that the slow recovery from the Great Recession has surprised economists, confounding long-held beliefs about growth and inflation. Her remarks could help explain why the Fed has been reluctant to raise U.S. interest rates.

Speaking to an economic conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Yellen did not address the Fed's timetable for rates. The central bank is widely expected to resume raising rates in December, a reflection of an improved economy.

Yellen said sluggish worldwide growth would likely keep global interest rates low, making it harder for central banks to combat the next recession with rate cuts.


US bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones from airliners

The Transportation Department is issuing an emergency order banning passengers and flight crews from bringing Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones on airline flights in response to reports of the phones catching fire.

The order goes into effect Saturday at noon eastern time. It says the phone may not be carried on board or packed in checked bags on flights to and from the United States or within the country. The phones also can't be shipped as air cargo.

The department says passengers who attempt to travel with the phones will have the phones confiscated and may face fines.


US stocks inch higher as banks rise and drugmakers fall

U.S. stocks gave up large gains and finished barely higher Friday. Banks and technology companies traded higher, while stocks that pay large dividends fell thanks to a jump in bond yields.

Stocks were on track for large gains early in the day as reports showed consumers in both the U.S. and China appeared to be spending more. Banks rose after JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup disclosed solid quarterly results. But the gains faded as the day wore on. Drug company stocks continued to fall and energy companies slipped.


US retail sales up 0.6 pct., but signs of caution emerge

U.S. shoppers stepped up their spending in September, with sharply higher sales at auto dealers, restaurants and gas stations. But the government's retail sales report released Friday also contained some evidence that spending might be slowing.

For much of this year, consumers have spent at a solid pace as income gains have accelerated and the job market has improved. Last month's overall retail sales gain was a decent seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent. Much of it, though, was due to higher oil prices, which increased how much people spent at gas stations but were not necessarily a sign of stronger consumer spending.


Wells Fargo's earnings fall as bank deals with scandal

Wells Fargo's earnings slipped in the third quarter as the banking giant started dealing with the aftermath of a sales practices scandal.

Wells said Friday that it earned $5.6 billion, or $1.03 per share, compared with $5.8 billion, or $1.05 per share, in the same period a year earlier. The results beat analysts' expectations of $1.01 per share.

The bank is being roiled by a crisis that ultimately toppled its CEO this week. Wells reached a $185 million settlement with regulators last month following allegations that its employees opened up to 2 million bank and credit card accounts without their customers' authorization in order to meet sales goals.


JPMorgan's 3Q earnings fall 8 percent, still beat estimates

JPMorgan Chase's third-quarter profit fell 8 percent as higher revenue in retail and investment banking was offset by money set aside to cover loans that might go bad. However, the results still beat Wall Street's expectations.

The largest U.S. bank by assets and revenue said it earned $6.29 billion in the quarter, or $1.58 per share, down from a profit of $6.80 billion, or $1.68 per share, in the same period a year earlier. The results beat the $1.39 per share analysts were looking for, according to FactSet.


Citigroup's profit falls 11 percent, but beats forecasts

Citigroup said Friday that its profit fell nearly 11 percent in its third quarter, but the results easily beat Wall Street expectations and its shares rose.

The bank reported net income of $3.8 billion, or $1.24 per share, in the three months ending Sept. 30, compared with $4.3 billion, or $1.35 per share, in the same quarter the year before. That's better than the $1.15 per share that Wall Street analysts expected, according to FactSet.

Revenue fell 5 percent to $17.76 billion in the quarter, beating the $17.29 billion that analysts expected.


Hershey's CEO John Bilbrey plans to retire next year

Hershey says CEO John Bilbrey plans to retire from the chocolate company next year.

The news comes less than two months after Oreo cookie maker Mondelez ended talks to buy Hershey, in a deal that would have brought together some of the world's best known chocolate and snack brands. Hershey makes Reese's peanut butter cups, Kisses and other chocolates and candies.

Bilbrey will retire on July 1, 2017 and stay on as a non-executive chairman. Bilbrey, who is 60, was named CEO five years ago and joined the Hershey, Pennsylvania-based company 13 years ago.


Chinese nationals who defrauded Goodyear get prison in Ohio

Federal authorities say two Chinese nationals who defrauded Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. out of $1.5 million in a kickback scheme have each been sentenced in Ohio to more than two years in prison.

Authorities say Xin Franco Fan and Rex Xu Yu earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud. They were sentenced Thursday in Akron to 27 months in prison and ordered to repay the $1.5 million.

Affidavits say Akron-based Goodyear contacted the FBI in February about the men, who worked for a Singapore-based subsidiary that acquires $1 billion a year in rubber for Goodyear.


Medicare unveils far-reaching overhaul of doctors' pay

Changing the way it does business, Medicare on Friday unveiled a far-reaching overhaul of how it pays doctors and other clinicians. The goal is to reward quality, penalize poor performance, and avoid paying piecemeal for services. Whether it succeeds or fails, it's one of the biggest changes in Medicare's 50-year history.

The complex regulation is nearly 2,400 pages long and will take years to fully implement. It's meant to carry out bipartisan legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama last year.


The Dow Jones industrial average inched up 39.44 points, or 0.2 percent, at 18,138.38. The Standard & Poor's 500 added 0.43 points to 2,132.98. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.83 points to 5,214.16.

U.S. crude oil gave up 9 cents to $50.35 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 8 cents to $51.95 a barrel in London. That sent energy companies lower. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline added 1 cent to $1.49 a gallon. Heating oil lost 1 cent to $1.57 a gallon. Natural gas slumped 6 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $3.29 per 1,000 cubic feet.


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