Top Headlines - part 70

US Retail: Wal-Mart Profit Slips, Sales Still Strong

US Retail: Wal-Mart Profit Slips, Sales Still Strong

FINANCE

  • Wal-Mart sees 2.9% drop in profit for third fiscal quarter, with net income of $3.3 billion
  • Wal-Mart sales up by $8.3 billion
  • Layaway makes comeback to encourage holiday spending

The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart saw its profits drop slightly in the third fiscal quarter, with net income of $3.3 billion, or 2.9% less than third quarter last year. However, net sales increased by $8.3 billion over 2010.

In the US, sales for Wal-Mart stores increased by 1.3% while Sam’s Club stores increased by 9%. Internationally, Wal-Mart sales increased over 20% with the highest rates of growth in Mexico and Argentina. International sales were also helped by acquisitions in Great Britain and South Africa, which totaled $2.1 billion.

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Universal Poised To Sing To Google’s Tune For Music Launch

Universal Poised To Sing To Google’s Tune For Music Launch

BUSINESS

  • Google set to partner with Universal on cloud music downloads
  • Warner and Sony’s absence from Google press event points to soured talks
  • Google researches space elevators and helper robots in its secret labs

As Google prepares to add song downloads to its cloud music service, the company looks on the verge of signing an agreement with the leading music company in the world, Universal Music Group.

The search engine giant plans to bring out an online music-download store, allowing customers to store copies of songs online that they could access from several devices. Google is also looking to secure music-sharing rights for members of its Google+ social network.

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Study: Stem Cell Therapy Success In Repairing Heart Attack Damage

Study: Stem Cell Therapy Success In Repairing Heart Attack  Damage

WORLD

  • Stem cell injection boosts heart function 12% in one year
  • World’s biggest stem cell medical center opens in Beijing
  • Stem cell company Geron axes 40% of its full-time positions

Cardiac damage following a heart attack can be combated with a patient’s own stem cells, stem cell researchers have discovered.

Heart failure manifests as fatigue and shortness of breath, and is caused by cardiac muscle damage, which reduces the heart’s function. While traditional treatments seek to ease symptoms, the recent stem cell research breakthrough goes further to repair the heart with an injection of 1 million stem cells from other parts of the patient’s own heart.

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Foreign Banks Offload Shares In China’s Banking Sector

Foreign Banks Offload Shares In China’s Banking Sector

FINANCE

  • Bank of America earns almost $10 billion in two CCB stake sales
  • IMF warns Chinese financial sector is vulnerable
  • Obama demands China afford equal opportunity to foreign business

Selling the majority of its shares in China Construction Bank (CCB) saw Bank of America turn a profit while signaling falling confidence in Chinese banks.

Bank of America earned close to $2 billion after-tax profit from its CCB stake sale. The deal follows the $8.3-billion sale of its stake in CCB in August. Goldman Sachs offloaded a $1 billion stake in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in November.

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Toyota Sales Take Another Hit With Recent Recall

Toyota Sales Take Another Hit With Recent Recall

BUSINESS

  • Toyota recalls 400,000 Toyota and Lexus V6 vehicles due to faulty power steering
  • Production in Japan to be back on track beginning November 21
  • Toyota drops to number three in race to be top automaker worldwide

In the wake of recent natural disasters dramatically affecting Toyota Motor Sales Inc.’s production, Toyota is hit with yet another setback: Toyota and Lexus have voluntarily recalled over 400,000 vehicles due to issues with the power steering mechanism.

According to Toyota, specific Toyota and Lexus vehicles with V6 engines may have a problem with the crankshaft pulley that could cause the power steering belt to dislodge, making steering difficult. Toyota will notify owners via mail starting January 2012 when it anticipates the parts should become available.

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Newly Appointed NSW Labor Leader Calls For Suspension On Coal Seam Gas Licenses

Newly Appointed NSW Labor Leader Calls For Suspension On Coal Seam Gas Licenses

WORLD

  • Robertson announces decision to halt the issuance of new CSG licenses as well as suspend current licenses
  • CSG emissions could impact water supply and environment
  • Australia Greens question decision to suspend CSG licenses

New South Wales Labor leader John Robertson has announced a new policy calling for the O’Farrell Government to suspend all current coal seam gas (CSG) licenses as well as the issuing of coal seam gas extraction licenses and applications to expand existing operations.

According to Robertson, he feels that the CSG industry “doesn’t have a proven track record when it comes to things like water aquifer contamination” and fears the impact it could have on water quality as well as the atmosphere as a whole.

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Japan: Economy rebounds as GDP climbs 1.5%

Japan: Economy rebounds as GDP climbs 1.5%

ECONOMY

  • Japan reports 6% annualized growth in July-September quarter
  • Exports up 6%, with economic output reaching $7 trillion
  • Private sector machinery orders fell more than 8% in September

Japan is showing good recovery following the quake that shook its economy, reporting 6% annualized growth in the July-September quarter, its first growth in four quarters.

The March 11 earthquake and tsunami lead to a nuclear crisis in Japan, hitting industrial growth, especially in the automotive sector, which was hit by production shortages. The country’s economic recovery is likely to be slowed by a precarious wider economic climate and a strong yen.

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Middle East Gives Boeing Strong Profit Tailwinds

Middle East Gives Boeing Strong Profit Tailwinds

BUSINESS

  • Emirates places $18 billion worth of orders for 50 Boeing 777 mini jumbos
  • Boeing forecasts $450 billion worth of Middle East business through 2030
  • Tension in Iran to lead to scramble for Gulf military aircraft orders

Boeing is to meet Middle East demand for long-haul fleets, providing more than 35,000 pilots and 53,000 maintenance staff, taking in orders for over 50 of its 777 mini-jumbos, worth over $18 billion from Emirates airline.

The US planemaker forecasts Middle East orders for over 2,500 jetliners, representing $450 billion worth of business throughout 2030. Demand is led by Gulf airlines such as Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad.

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FBI Shuts Down $14 Billion Internet Fraud Ring

FBI Shuts Down $14 Billion Internet Fraud Ring

WORLD

  • Online advertising scam impacted millions of hijacked computers
  • Malware redirected search queries from infected systems to sites featuring ads for their clients
  • Computers affected in 100 countries, including machines owned by NASA

The FBI has dismantled an internet fraud ring that illegally earned at least $14 billion from an online advertising scam that impacted millions of hijacked computers around the world, including some at NASA.

Six Estonian nationals have been arrested in Estonia and charged with five counts of wire and computer intrusion crimes relating to the fraud, which took place from 2007 to October 2011. A seventh suspect, a Russian national, is still at large.

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Will US States Collect Online Sales Tax?

Will US States Collect Online Sales Tax?

BUSINESS

  • Marketplace Fairness Act could mean billions of dollars in tax revenue
  • Small businesses afforded $500,000 exemption on yearly sales
  • Amazon falls in line with bill, eBay continues to oppose move

A bill allowing states to collect online sales tax is to be passed in 2012. The bill was introduced by several US Senators - including Michael Enzi, Lamar Alexander, and Illinois Democratic Senator Richard Durban - who hope to open the matter in a Senate committee hearing before the end of the year.

If passed, the bill, known as the Marketplace Fairness Act, would allow state governments to collect billions of dollars worth of tax revenue. To collect sales taxes from goods bought online, US states would need to sign a legal agreement to make tax codes conform across multiple states. States that do not sign the multi-state agreement could still oblige online sellers to collect sales tax.

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