Business briefs

2013-07-23T00:00:00Z Business briefsFrom Wire Reports From Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star
July 23, 2013 12:00 am  • 

NATION

Gold climbs 3% to $1,337, its biggest gain of the year

NEW YORK - Gold prices rose by more than 3 percent Monday, their biggest gain of the year.

The move was driven by demand from Asia, as well as investors betting that the Federal Reserve will continue its intervention in the U.S. economy, analysts said. Gold for December delivery jumped $43.30 to $1,337.30 per ounce.

Gold prices fell for much of the spring.

Though the Fed programs are meant to boost the economy, they also make investors worry about inflation - and that makes many buy gold as an alternative.

The gain in gold also boosted the stocks of mining companies like Newmont Mining, which rose nearly 6 percent.

Silver rose by an even bigger percentage. It jumped 5 percent, up $1.049 to $20.509 per ounce. Copper rose more than 1 percent.

McDonald's 2Q profits up 4%, but tough year is seen

NEW YORK - McDonald's is mixing up its menu with healthier, fresher-sounding items such as its chicken McWraps, but too few customers are biting.

The world's biggest hamburger chain on Monday reported a second-quarter profit that rose 4 percent but fell short of Wall Street expectations. It also warned of a tough year ahead, given the heightened competition and rough economic conditions around the world.

U.S. home sales decline

WASHINGTON - U.S. sales of previously occupied homes slipped in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.08 million but remain near a 3 1/2-year high.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales fell 1.2 percent last month from an annual rate of 5.14 million in May. The NAR revised down May's sales, but they were still the highest since November 2009. Despite last month's dip, home sales have surged 15.2 percent from a year ago, buoyed by job gains and low mortgage rates.

Profits soar at Netflix, just not enough for Wall Street

SAN FRANCISCO - Netflix's revival of the comedy series "Arrested Development" didn't reel in as many subscribers to the Internet video service as Wall Street had hoped, turning a solid second-quarter earnings report into a reality check.

Even though Netflix's profit more than quadrupled, the report released Monday flopped among investors because it didn't live up to the lofty expectations propelling the company's high-flying stock. The shares have nearly tripled since the beginning of the year, raising the pressure on Netflix Inc. to deliver spectacular numbers.

WORLD

Swiss Banking giant UBS AG in US mortgage settlement

GENEVA - The U.S. government has reached "an agreement in principle" to settle its lawsuit against Swiss banking giant UBS AG that seeks to recoup more than $900 million in losses from mortgage-backed securities, the bank announced Monday.

In 2011, the U.S. government sued UBS and 17 other financial firms for selling some $196 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities to housing financing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, the securities turned toxic when the housing market collapsed.

Toyota opens $90M facility to train its mechanics

TAJIMI, Japan - Toyota is opening a $90 million training facility for mechanics complete with a test course that simulates 13 driving conditions including cobblestones and bumpy roads as part of the automaker's efforts to avoid a repeat of its recall fiasco.

Glaxo says some of its execs may have broken China laws

BEIJING - GlaxoSmithKline, target of a bribery probe in China, said Monday some executives may have broken the law, while rival drug maker AstraZeneca said police are investigating one of its sales representatives.

GSK said its president for Asia-Pacific and emerging markets met with Chinese police officials who are investigating whether GSK employees bribed doctors and hospital administrators to prescribe its drugs.

Four employees of GSK China, including a vice president, have been detained, according to police.

The Associated Press

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