Retailers Report 4.3% Bump in Sales; Toyota Changes Direction; Whirlpool Closes Two Factories; Brazil and Vietnam Come Together; GE Spin-Off; New Wachovia CEO; IAM Wants Fair Bidding; Oil Jumps Over $5 on Political Tension
- Retailers reported a 4.3% increase in sales in June gain as rebate checks again bolstered consumer spending. Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT), BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. (BJ) and Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) were also among the best performers.
- Toyota Motor Corp. (ADR: TM) will start producing the hybrid Prius in the United States for the first time as the Japanese automaker adjusts its manufacturing operations to meet demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, the Associated Press reported. .
- Appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. (WHR) said yesterday (Thursday) that it will , the Associated Press reported. Approximately 1,250 jobs will be lost as a result of the closings.
- Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva visited Vietnam yesterday (Thursday) to enhance trade relations between the two nations. " " Silva said through a translator at a joint news conference with his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Minh Triet.
- General Electric Co. (GE) announced yesterday (Thursday) that it would spin off its GE Consumer & Industrial Group in an effort to bolster a sagging stock price, Bloomberg News reported. Two months prior, GE announced it was selling its well-known appliance division.
- Wachovia Corp. (WB) appointed . He replaces Kenneth Thompson. Dealing with problem assets still on the bank's balance sheet is "mission No. 1," Steel said, DowJones reported.
- The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) wants Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates to ensure that BA)] tanker is evaluated on a fair, level playing field," said IAM General Vice President Rich Michalski. "We will not accept, nor should American taxpayers accept a process or an outcome that is only slightly less rigged than the initial round of bidding." , MarketWatch reported. "We are calling for aggressive oversight of the bidding process to make sure [The Boeing Co.'s (
- Crude oil for August delivery closed at $141.60 yesterday (Thursday) on the New York Mercantile Exchange after a jump of $5.60 a barrel, which recouped some of the previous days' losses. "This market, losing $9 in two days, has really been oversold," Zachary Oxman, senior trader at futures brokerage Wisdom Financial, told MarketWatch. "Geopolitical pressures mixed with the oversold condition are" driving up oil prices.