Top Headlines - part 71

Online Review Site 'Angie’s List' Raises Almost $115 Million In IPO

Online Review Site 'Angie’s List' Raises Almost $115 Million In IPO

FINANCE

  • Review website Angie’s List rose 25% after 9 million share sale
  • Angie’s List 2011 revenue tops $62.5 million through September
  • Groupon raises $700 million in November IPO, Yelp aims for $100 million

Consumer review website Angie’s List Inc. jumped 25% after selling almost 9 million shares, raising nearly $115 million in its stock market launch. The Initial Public Offering price estimates the company’s value at over $900 million.

Angie’s List had aimed to sell less than 6.5 million shares, leaving 2.5 million to be sold by shareholders. BV Capital planned to take its 12% stake in the company down to under 9.5%, while Battery Ventures planned to cut its interest in the company from 18% to 15%.

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Chrysler: $1.7 Billion Investement In New Jeep SUV Brands

Chrysler: $1.7 Billion Investement In New Jeep SUV Brands

BUSINESS

  • Chrysler’s Toledo plant to see 1,000 jobs in 2013, $500 million investment
  • Chrysler’s 2012 Jeep Wrangler receives ALG’s Residual Value Award
  • 20 new US dealerships to open in 2012, boosting Fiat 500 sales

Chrysler is set to plough $1.7 billion into new Jeep models, creating more than 1,000 jobs in 2013 in its Toledo factory in Ohio. The money will be used to construct replacements for small S.U.V. models Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro for export as Chrysler seeks to grow its overseas market share in countries, including China and Russia.

Chrysler’s Toledo plant represents close to 2,000 jobs at present. The company will invest $500 million in upgrading the Toledo plant, including a body shop. New employees will start off at an hourly rate of $15. The company recently tried to cut out a 25% cap on entry-level employees that comes into play in 2015, but was blocked by the union during labor negotiations.

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US Unemployment Claims Drop, Home Building Permits Up

US Unemployment Claims Drop, Home Building Permits Up

ECONOMY

  • Unemployment claims lowest in 7 months; state unemployment benefits down to a 3-year low
  • New building permits up 11% last month
  • Home-builder sentiment index reaches 20

In the latest data to suggest an economic recovery, separate reports were posted that reveal a decline in unemployment claims and a spike in home construction permits: Unemployment claims dropped 5,000 to 388,000, while building permits for housing development soared to nearly 11% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 653,000.

As the US begins its economic recovery, the European debt crisis and rising gas prices remain two major obstacles to growth. Despite these promising figures, Europe's debt kept global stocks low.

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TripAdvisor Under Fire For False Travel Reviews

TripAdvisor Under Fire For False Travel Reviews

BUSINESS

  • 45 million people search TripAdvisor reviews monthly, making it world’s most influential travel review site
  • TripAdvisor under attack for false and fake reviews
  • TripAdvisor has initiated reforms but new companies offer alternatives for hoteliers and restaurants

An estimated 45 million consumers use the online travel review site TripAdvisor each month to help them choose hotels and restaurants. However, the site is now underfire with reports questioning the reliability of its giant rating system, which is easily the world’s largest.

Lawsuits are pending and alternative sites are popping due to "increasing pressure from hoteliers and restaurateurs, who claim that many of [TripAdvisors] anonymous reviews are either fake or defamatory,” writes the British-based newspaper The Telegraph. A recent television documentary summed it up as “Attack of the TripAdvisors.”

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US Retail: Steady Rise In Sales, Holiday Spending To Increase

US Retail: Steady Rise In Sales, Holiday Spending To Increase

BUSINESS

  • Holiday shopping expected to increase 2.8%
  • US retail sales up 1.2% in October, biggest increase since March
  • E-commerce sales in the US increase 13% to $36 billion

Many retailers are clamoring to attract holiday shoppers through a variety of offers, including earlier Black Friday hours, better-than-usual sales and a variety of e-commerce shopping alternatives.

Additionally, with the economy still struggling, some retailers are reinstituting, promoting and/or expanding ever-popular layaway programs. Perhaps that is why forecasts from the National Retail Foundation for 2011 holiday shopping predict a 2.8% increase overall in sales this year.

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Oil Breaches $100 Per Barrel Mark In 4-Month High

Oil Breaches $100 Per Barrel Mark In 4-Month High

ECONOMY

  • Benchmark crude jumps over 25% since end September
  • Report of rising consumer spending for 5 months fuels oil prices
  • Political tension in oil producing countries spurs oil prices

The benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil price has breached the $100 per barrel mark, climbing to $100.79.

The price of benchmark crude has jumped more than 25% since the close of September on the back of economic improvement. The impetus on the Federal Reserve to spur economic growth is mounting in the face of slowing inflation.

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US Manufacturing Boosts Economy As Inflation Eases

US Manufacturing Boosts Economy As Inflation Eases

ECONOMY

  • Industrial output grows 0.7%, exports up to $180 billion
  • Labor Department shows 0.1% CPI drop, 3.5% decline in inflation
  • Corporate spending boosts economy with over 17% rise

New manufacturing and inflation figures suggest that the US economy is weathering Europe's financial and political problems better than expected: the Federal Reserve has recorded a 0.7% improvement in industrial output, the quickest growth in three months, while the Labor Department reported a 0.1% decline in the consumer-price index (CPI) as the cost of living dropped for the first time in four months.

Analysts told the Associated Press that exports to Europe account for one-fourth of all US corporate revenue, and that they expect the US economy to slow next year as the unstable Euro makes American goods more expensive abroad.

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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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