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Dow Enacts Biggest-Ever Price Increase; South Africa Inflation Soars 10.4% in April; GE Closes the Spigot on Water Use; Dollar Tree Sprouts 14% 1Q Profit, Fed Governor Retires; Rockefeller Proposal Defeated; DHL Delivered by UPS; Deceptive Dell
- Global chemical producer Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) announced yesterday (Wednesday) that it would raise prices on all 3,200 of its products – some by as much as 20% – beginning at the start of the third quarter. Bloomberg News said it's the single-biggest price increase in the Michigan-based company's 111-year history. But Dow Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris said the price hike was made necessary by "unparalleled" increases in the costs of energy, transportation and raw materials, which together boosted Dow's expenses 42% in the first quarter, Reuters reported.
- A day after South Africa posted its slowest quarterly growth in six years (2.1%), the country's April inflation rate rose to 10.4%, the highest in more than five years. Analysts say this increases the chances that the country's central bank will raise interest rates at least more than twice this year, Bloomberg reported.
- Conglomerate General Electric Co. (GE) said it plans to cut its water consumption by 20% by 2012. To do so, the company will use its own treatment and filtration products, Bloomberg reported. "Water is the next big environmental issue we need to get our heads around," Lorraine Bolsinger, leader of GE's environmental initiatives, told Bloomberg.
- Discount retailer Dollar Tree Inc. (DLTR) said its first-quarter net income rose 14% to $43.6 million, or 48 cents a share. Sales were up 7.8% to $1.05 billion as rising food and gas prices forced shoppers to look for better deals.
- U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Frederic Mishkin submitted his written resignation, effective Aug. 31, to President Bush yesterday (Wednesday). The Fed's Aug. 5 meeting will be Mishkin's last, MarketWatch reported. He is leaving to return to Columbia University's Graduate School of Business.
- A proposal backed by descendents of legendary oil great John D. Rockefeller to split chief executive officer and chairman duties at Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) has been defeated by shareholders. Rex W. Tillerson currently serves as both chairman of the board and CEO. The proposal , CNNMoney.com reported.
- Yesterday (Wednesday), United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) announced a partnership deal with German-based Deutsche Post AG's U.S. subsidiary DHL Express Inc. UPS will deliver some freight for DHL in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The deal is expected to generate , Forbes reported.
- Dell Inc. (DELL) and were found guilty of fraud in advertising in a New York Supreme Court yesterday (Wednesday). " including false and deceptive advertising of financing promotions and the terms of warranties, fraudulent, misleading and deceptive practices in credit financing and failure to provide warranty service and rebates," Justice Joseph C. Teresi said in his decision, Forbes reported.