Business Highlights

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Updated: October 12, 2015 at 4:39 pm


Dell buying EMC in $67 billion bet on data storage

NEW YORK (AP) — Dell is buying data storage company EMC for $67 billion to expand its reach into data storage and services, which has proven a more profitable industry than the sagging personal computers market.

The price makes this the largest deal ever between two technology companies.

Since going private in a $25 billion deal completed in 2013, Dell Inc. has been investing in research and development and expanding its software and services business as those in the technology industry continue to struggle with soft PC sales.


Angus Deaton wins Nobel economics prize for work on poverty

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Angus Deaton of Princeton University won the Nobel prize in economics Monday for improving understanding of poverty and how people in poor countries respond to changes in economic policy.

Deaton, 69, won the 8 million Swedish kronor (about $975,000) prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for work that the award committee said has had "immense importance for human welfare, not least in poor countries."

The committee's leadership praised Deaton's work for illustrating how individual behavior affects a broader economy and demonstrating that "we cannot understand the whole without understanding what is happening in the miniature economy of our daily choices."


US stocks edge higher after a big week; Oil slumps

U.S. stocks edged higher Monday on a quiet day for the market ahead of a busy weak for corporate earnings.

Investors will be focusing on corporate earnings this week as they try to assess the impact that slowing global growth is having on company profits. Analysts are projecting that earnings contracted more than 5 percent in the third quarter as overseas demand weakened. JPMorgan Chase, Intel and Johnson & Johnson are among companies that will publish their earnings in coming days.

While the stock market was open Monday, bond trading was closed in observance of the Columbus Day holiday.


Economists still expect rate hike before end of 2015

NEW YORK (AP) — A survey of business economists finds that a majority still expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates before the end of the year, with the broader economy expected to grow at a slightly faster pace in 2015 than previously forecast.

Economists now expect the gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, to rise 2.5 percent for the year, according to the survey by the National Association for Business Economics. That's up from the previous forecast of 2.4 percent in June.

The uptick is the result of a stronger-than-expected growth in the first half of the year, however. For the remainder of the year, economists lowered their forecast.


Budweiser's parent AB InBev raises offer for SABMiller

LONDON (AP) — Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev raised its takeover bid for SABMiller to 70.4 billion pounds ($108.2 billion) Monday in its latest effort to win backing for its plan to create the "first truly global beer company."

AB InBev has been trying for nearly a month to get its hands on SABMiller but its previous offers have met with resistance. It will be hoping that its latest offer, which values SABMiller at 43.50 pounds a share — 3.2 percent more than its previous bid and 14 percent higher than its initial offer — will finally win the day.

SABMiller declined to comment on the fresh offer.


Washington investors seek to pin Madoff losses on auditors

SEATTLE (AP) — Nearly seven years after Bernie Madoff's investment empire was revealed to be a $17.5 billion fraud, the battle by investors to recover their losses ramps up in a case that goes to trial this week in Seattle.

A Washington state investment company is seeking to pin about $100 million of its losses from Madoff's crimes on auditor Ernst & Young.

FutureSelect Portfolio Management of Redmond and some related firms lost a total of about $129 million in the scheme. In court papers, the company alleges that Ernst & Young would have uncovered the scheme if it had taken even the most basic steps to verify Madoff's assets — something the firm denies it had any obligation to do.


VW diesel cars recalled in China, sales halted in Singapore

BEIJING (AP) — Volkswagen said Monday it is recalling 1,950 diesel vehicles in China to change engine software it has admitted cheats on emissions tests and Singapore suspended sales of the company's diesel cars.

The German automaker admitted last month that 11 million of its vehicles worldwide were fitted with cheating software to beat emission tests.

Volkswagen's business in China has suffered little impact from the emissions scandal due to the lack of popularity of diesel cars among Chinese drivers. But foreign companies are closely watched by Chinese authorities, and state media publicize suggestions of misconduct.


Fiat Chrysler kick-starts sale of Ferrari stake

MILAN (AP) — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV has begun the process of selling a near 10-percent stake in luxury sports car brand Ferrari to Wall Street investors.

In a statement Monday, Fiat Chrysler said the initial public offering will price Ferrari at $48 and $52 per share, which will value one of Formula 1's most famous marques at $9.8 billion.

Fiat said the stake sale is part of a "series of transactions to separate Ferrari from FCA." It said the sale is aimed at distinguishing the luxury brand from its mass-market parent, while unlocking value in sports car maker to raise money to support Fiat Chrysler's growth plans.


As US kombucha sales boom, makers seek new alcohol test

DENVER (AP) — Kombucha has moved into the mainstream, but it's also moved into the hot seat amid renewed concerns about it containing low levels of alcohol.

Federal authorities are again warning producers to relabel their products to indicate alcohol content or face fines. But this time around dozens of producers are resisting, and have asked for new federal tests to help them avoid running afoul of alcohol laws.

Kombucha is a tea that has been fermented with bacteria and yeast, giving it a tart, vinegar-like zip and high levels of bacteria that some consider to impart health benefits.


Southwest operations appear on track after day of delays

DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines flights were running more smoothly Monday, a day after technology problems delayed hundreds of flights.

Southwest said workers fixed a failed software application that had caused the problems but there was no indication that hackers were to blame.

The airline said that about 800 of its 3,355 scheduled flights were delayed at least 15 minutes Sunday. Passengers reported long lines at several airports including major hubs like Los Angeles International, where airport workers handed out water and provided shade canopies to travelers stuck in lines outside the terminal.


6 held in Air France union brawl that left execs shirtless

PARIS (AP) — French prosecutors say six people have been arrested in connection with an Air France union meeting brawl that left two executives shirtless.

During a meeting a week ago about fiercely contested job cuts at the money-losing airline, union activists assaulted the managers and ripped their shirts from their bodies, prompting them to flee over a fence.

The Bobigny prosecutor's office confirmed that five people were arrested early Monday, saying the allegations of aggravated assault carried a maximum five years in prison. A sixth was detained later in the day.

Air France blames the violence on "isolated individuals" and negotiations have resumed.


By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 47.37 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,131.86. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2.57 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,017.46. The Nasdaq composite climbed 8.17 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,838.64.

The price of oil fell Monday. Benchmark U.S. crude dropped $2.53 to close at $47.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell $2.79 to $49.86 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline fell 7.6 cents to close at $1.341 a gallon. Heating oil fell 8.9 cents to close at $1.502 a gallon. Natural gas rose 3.3 cents to close at $2.535 per 1,000 cubic