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Oil Prices Slide on Demand Drop; Home Prices and Sales Fall in August; Nike Adjusted Earnings Up 10%; GM to Sell Strasbourg Plant; Digg's New Dough; Ad Sales Slump; Yahoo's New Ad Platform; Daimler Trying to Unload Chrysler
- Oil prices slid back below $106 a barrel yesterday (Wednesday) after the Energy Information Administration said demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Sept. 19 was 3.5% lower than a year earlier, averaging 9 million barrels a day. Light, sweet crude for November delivery fell 88 cents to settle at $105.73 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after having risen about $15 in the past week.
- Prices of existing homes fell by record amounts in August and the rate of sales tumbled the National Association of Realtors said yesterday (Wednesday). The pace of existing home sales decreased 2.2% to an annual pace of 4.91 million units while the median national home price declined a record 9.5% to $203,100, the group said.
- Nike Inc. (NKE) said yesterday (Wednesday) that it posted a 10% rise in adjusted first-quarter earnings. First-quarter net profit was $510.5 million, or $1.03 per share, down from $569.7 million, or $1.12 per share, a year earlier. But that was largely due to a $105.4 million tax benefit in 2007. Revenue rose 17% to $5.4 billion in the quarter.
- General Motors Corp. (GM) is looking to sell a plant in Strasbourg, France, and will entertain possible buyers next month when it goes to sell its Hummer SUV brand, Reuters reported. The company previously outlined a plan to raise up to $4 billion by next year, but it did not mention the Stasbourg plant. GM said it would make further announcements about its asset sales program in the fourth quarter.
- Digg Inc., the Web site that allows users to vote on news stories, yesterday (Wednesday) raised another $28.7 million from venture-capital investors. Digg's Chief Executive Jay Adelson says the company will use the funds to expand the size of its current staff and to create regional versions of the site, The New York Times reported.
- Overall ad spending was down 1.6% in the first-half of 2008, according to a recent study from TNS, a division of Taylor Nelson Sofres PLC (PINK: TYNLF) that tracks ad spending across 20 media segments, Forbes reported. Second-half results could be higher due to the media blitz surrounding the Summer Olympics.
- Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) yesterday (Wednesday) introduced an upgrade to its online advertising platform. The new service known as APT is targeted at winning back display ad market share from rivals, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- Daimler AG (DAI) is in talks with Cerberus Capital Management LP to sell its remaining 19.9% stake in domestic automaker Chrysler LLC. "We are currently in discussions," Cerberus spokesman Peter Duda said, Bloomberg News reported. "In the event of a successful transaction, all existing industrial relationships between Daimler and Chrysler would continue."