Business Highlights

AP News
Posted: Oct 16, 2015 5:20 PM


The world's first female sex drug could spur similar meds

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most women with low sexual desire won't rush to get the first prescription drug to boost female libido when it becomes available on Saturday. But they may have more options down the road.

Addyi is a daily medication and cannot be taken with alcohol or certain other medications, which will likely limit its use. But experts believe those restrictions could spur development of better treatments for women's sexual problems after more than a decade of neglect by most of the world's large drugmakers.


Wal-Mart, others speed up deliveries to shoppers

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) — Amazon, Wal-Mart, Macy's and other retailers are working behind the scenes to make sure they can deliver online orders to shoppers faster this holiday season.

Retailers are building bigger warehouses, using robots to process orders, shipping directly from stores and using sophisticated software to find the quickest, cheapest way to get orders shipped.

It's a race for time by retailers as more people shop online. U.S. online sales are expected to increase 12 percent to $371 billion this year, accounting for 10 percent of overall retail sales.


GM catches new ignition switch problem early

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. has another ignition switch problem that can cause engines to stall, but this time it was discovered before anyone got hurt.

The automaker is recalling about 3,300 big pickup trucks and SUVs mainly in North America to fix the ignitions, which can get stuck in the "start" position and slip into "accessory" if jostled. That causes engines to shut off and disables power steering, power brakes and possibly the air bags.

The problem is similar to one last year that cost the company billions and brought an admission that engineers and others knew about the trouble but didn't act to recall the cars for a decade. This time, an employee who owned one of the trucks had the problem and informed higher-ups through a new "Speak Up For Safety" program, which rewards workers for reporting safety issues.


United Airlines new CEO admitted to hospital

United Airlines said Friday that its new CEO, Oscar Munoz, has been admitted to a hospital.

The airline gave no explanation or details of his condition. The Wall Street Journal reported that Munoz suffered a heart attack, citing people familiar with the matter. United said that Munoz's family informed the company that he was admitted to a hospital on Thursday.

Munoz, 56, was named CEO of United Continental Holdings Inc. on Sept. 9.


US factory output drops in latest sign of weak growth

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing production fell for the second straight month in September as factories cranked out fewer appliances, computers, and electronics.

Factory output declined 0.1 percent, the Federal Reserve said Friday, following a drop of 0.4 percent in August. Manufacturers also cut back on production of steel and other metals.

The decline suggests that a strong dollar, weak overseas economies, and cautious U.S. consumers are holding back factory output. Many companies are also focused on reducing stockpiles that were built up in the spring by cutting back on orders for new goods.


US employers advertised fewer jobs in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers advertised fewer job openings in August and kept hiring flat, another sign the American jobs market has lost strength since spring.

The Labor Department reported Friday that job openings slid to 5.4 million in August from a record high 5.7 million in July. Hiring was little-changed at 5.1 million. The number of people quitting jobs — a measure of confidence in the job market — was also essentially unchanged from July at 2.7 million.


Modest rise gives stocks a third straight week of gains

U.S. stocks closed modestly higher Friday, giving the market its third straight week of gains.

Consumer staples and health care stocks were among the biggest risers as investors assessed the latest company earnings and economic news.

After several weeks speculating about the implications of a slowdown in China and the timing of an interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve, traders are squarely tuned into company earnings as they hunt for insight into how the global economy is doing.


GE beats forecasts as it refocuses on industry

NEW YORK (AP) — Industrial conglomerate General Electric Co. on Friday reported a decline in third-quarter profit, but strong performances from its core units helped the company top Wall Street expectations.

General Electric has been making a push to focus on industrial businesses — making large, complicated equipment for other companies — and shrinking its other businesses that focus on finance. The largest change involves selling most of GE Capital's assets, including $26.5 billion in real estate assets.


VW hires anti-corruption exec as it deals with scandal

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen is hiring a top anti-corruption manager from competitor Daimler as it struggles to clean up a scandal over cheating on U.S. diesel emissions tests.

The company said Friday it would hire lawyer Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt as an executive on its top management body tasked with integrity and legal affairs. She begins Jan. 1.

Before working for Daimler, Hohmann-Dennhardt, 65, served as a judge on Germany's Federal Constitutional Court and as justice minister in the state of Hesse in southwestern Germany.


Oil companies pledge support for Paris climate deal

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The chief executives of 10 of the world's biggest oil and gas companies have pledged support for an "effective" deal to fight global warming at a Paris conference next month.

In a statement Friday, the CEOs of BP, Shell, Saudi Aramco, Total, Repsol, Statoil, Eni, Petroleos Mexicanos, Reliance Industries and BG Group said they recognize greenhouse gas emissions trends are inconsistent with the ambition to keep warming below a level many consider dangerous.

Burning coal, oil and gas for energy is a key emissions source.


US Airways has final flight before merger complete

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — US Airways' final flight took off Friday - a roundtrip journey between Philadelphia and San Francisco.

Flight 1939, named for the airline's founding year, departed from Philadelphia International Airport Friday morning and was scheduled to make stops in Charlotte, North Carolina, Phoenix and San Francisco before returning as a red-eye flight back to Philadelphia on Saturday.

All future flights will fly under the American Airlines banner, following the completion of a merger between the two airlines.


By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 74.22 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,215.97. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 9.25 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,033.11. The Nasdaq composite added 16.59 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,886.69.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 88 cents to close at $47.26 in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 73 cents to close at $50.46 a barrel in London.

In other futures trading on the NYMEX, wholesale gasoline rose 2.1 cents to close at $1.328 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1 cent to close at $1.497 a gallon. Natural gas fell 2.3 cents to close at $2.43 per 1,000 cubic feet.