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Top Headlines - part 65

Sharp Decline In Premium Air Travel Bad Omen For Business Travel

Sharp Decline In Premium Air Travel Bad Omen For Business Travel

BUSINESS

  • IATA reports sharp drop in premium air travel, raising concerns about rebounding market
  • Not all sectors are down - tickets sold in Far East up 12.5%
  • Airlines looking to revamp packages to halt trend

After rising sharply this summer, premium travel has fallen back to the fourth-quarter levels of last year, with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reporting a drop for the month of August - the most recent month for available statistics. 

IATA says economy-class travel also decreased but not as much as premium.

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FedEx Forecasts Huge Holiday Season

FedEx Forecasts Huge Holiday Season

BUSINESS

  • FedEx holiday deliveries to jump 12% to 260 million
  • 17 million packages to be shipped on busiest day – 10% more than 2010
  • 20,000 seasonal workers to be hired to deal with volume increase
  • Company stock rises 2.7% to $81.52

FedEx is preparing for a massive jump in United States deliveries, with projections indicating it may be its busiest festive season on record. The world’s second-biggest parcel deliverer has projected demand between Thanksgiving and Christmas to rise as much as 12% to over 260 million packages.

On its busiest day, expected to be December 12, up to 17 million deliveries should be processed – 10% more than its peak in 2010.

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US Housing Market: Stable Prices Provide Positive Outlook

US Housing Market: Stable Prices Provide Positive Outlook

ECONOMY

  • Rising home prices a sign housing market is stabilizing
  • Analysts warn prices may fall again
  • Obama administration to make refinancing easier

The housing market in the United States may be stabilizing: a recent private survey reveals home prices are up in half of all major US cities.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index also showed an increase in 10 of the 20 cities it studied, marking a fifth-consecutive month of increases. The index compared prices with January 2000, and creates a three-month average.

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Canada Sees Inflation Increase Over 3%

Canada Sees Inflation Increase Over 3%

ECONOMY

  • Food prices up 4.5% and energy prices up by 12.5%
  • Economists predict no immediate increase in bank interest rates
  • Gas prices in constant flux

Canada’s inflation rate has reached new heights, now climbing over 3% in the last twelve months, with Statistics Canada reporting food price increases of almost 4.5% and energy prices up by 12.5%.

Without food and energy as part of the equation, inflation rates would have increased by slightly less than 2% over the twelve month-period prior to the end of September.

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AT&T Wants Sprint Out Of T-Mobile Antitrust Case

AT&T Wants Sprint Out Of T-Mobile Antitrust Case

BUSINESS

  • AT&T asks federal judge to throw out Sprint antitrust lawsuit
  • Sprint says $39 billion T-Mobile takeover bad for competition
  • Merger would make AT&T by far the biggest US wireless network

AT&T will appeal to a federal court in Washington to dismiss an antitrust case brought forward by Sprint Nextel to block its acquisition of T-Mobile USA. Sprint opened a lawsuit saying the proposed merger between AT&T, the second largest wireless carrier in the US, and T-Mobile, the fourth largest, would limit competition within the industry.

Sprint also said the acquisition would damage its own business prospects which, on the back of 15 straight quarterly losses, it can ill afford.

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Mobile Satellite Navigation Leader TomTom Sees Shares Driven Up by Strong Q3 Profits

Mobile Satellite Navigation Leader TomTom Sees Shares Driven Up by Strong Q3 Profits

BUSINESS

  • Shares up 23% after 50% jump in profits
  • Full-year revenue forecast up to $1.77 billion
  • Restructuring plan to include job cuts

Shares in TomTom rose 23% as the satellite navigation device manufacturer posted its biggest quarterly profit since June 2009, sending full year forecasts upwards. The Dutch company’s third-quarter net income beat projections by a huge margin, jumping 50% to $40.1 million when analysts had predicted a best-case scenario of around $22 million.

Revenue expectations for 2011 are now as high as $1.77 billion.

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Consistent Nutritional Food Rating Proposed

Consistent Nutritional Food Rating Proposed

WORLD

  • US Institute of Medicine says food should rate fat, sodium and sugar content
  • Obesity rates have doubled in last 30 years
  • Without Obama administration system, may not be executed

A new report from the US Institute of Medicine says that food products need better nutritional content labels that clearly show fat, sodium and sugar content to help consumers make better diet choices.

It suggests a new nutrition label system, which would be visible on the front of food packaging, that uses a series of points, check marks or stars on a scale of zero to three, based on serving size. If key elements (sodium, fat, sugar) are balanced, the food gets a point. A healthy product could get a maximum of three points, while some foods or beverages may get zero points.

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Galileo Satellites Launched as European GPS Takes Off

Galileo Satellites Launched as European GPS Takes Off

WORLD

  • Soyuz rockets take two Galileo satellites into orbit
  • New GPS system to generate up to $124 million for European economies
  • $6.2 billion in public funds already spent with a further $9.6 billion required

The European GPS program Galileo has successfully launched its first two satellites from the European Space Station in French Guiana. The global navigation system is scheduled to become operational in 2014 and will play a major part in generating as much as $124 million for European economies over the next 20 years.

The satellites were launched on Russian Soyuz rockets to an altitude of 23,000 kilometers, with another two set for launch in 2012.

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Green Light for Nissan’s Electric Car

Green Light for Nissan’s Electric Car

BUSINESS

  • Nissan sets its sights on top spot in green car market at 1.5 million units
  • Nissan’s plug-in hybrid to cut CO2 emissions 20% by 2016
  • Electric Leaf car sales exceed 16,500 since December 2010

Nissan Motor Co. intends on being the world’s leading green-car manufacturer, implementing a plan to deliver 1.5 million zero-emissions vehicles in conjunction with French carmaker Renault SA, which has an almost 44% share in Nissan.

Nissan plans to bring out a plug-in hybrid in 2016 and cut carbon dioxide emissions 20% on 2005 emissions. The Japanese car manufacturer is planning on boosting fuel efficiency by 35% in the same period. The company is also seeking to meet demand from developing countries such as India, Russia and Brazil.

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Bank of America Reports Over $6 Billion Gain

Bank of America Reports Over $6 Billion Gain

FINANCE

  • Bank of America gains gain 56 cents per share in third quarter
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co report $2.3 trillion assets in third quarter
  • Bank of America to shed 30,000 jobs to cut expenses

Bank of America earned more than $6 billion in the third fiscal quarter of 2011 due to accounting gains and the sale of its share of a Chinese bank. Profits from other banking activities - including investment banking, real estate and credit card businesses - meanwhile declined.

In the third quarter of 2010, Bank of America saw its profits fall close to $7.5 billion, representing 77 cents per share. In comparison, the third quarter of 2011 has seen the bank gain 56 cents per share. However, the bank’s assets worth has declined to just over $2.2 trillion in the quarter, seeing competitor JPMorgan Chase & Co. take the lead with assets worth close to $2.3 trillion.

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