U.S. futures look bright, the Tribune makes news with split decision and USB regains its top ranking. Read more about these and other of the day's top business news stories.
Stocks Rise for Fourth Consecutive Day
All major stocks indexes rose Tuesday. The Russell 2000, an index of small-company stocks, climbed for a fourth straight day. It gained 0.9 percent to 1,1018.05. The index has risen more this year than the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index. The gains suggest that investors are getting more confident about the economy's prospects, The Associated Press reports. The Dow Jones transportation index rose the most among major U.S. indexes, led by strong gains for Alaska Air Group and FedEx. The index jumped 148 points, or 2.4 percent, to 6,446. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 75 points, or 0.5 percent, to 15,300.34. The S&P 500 index, which has risen for four consecutive days, gained 11 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,652.32. The Nasdaq composite rose 19 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3,504.26 Second-quarter corporate earnings results should give traders and investors fresh insights into the economy.
Tribune Co. Splits Publishing, Broadcast Businesses
Reuters reported Wednesday that the Tribune Company will split its two businesses, the publishing arm and the broadcast division, to create two separate entities. The broadcast arm will remain the Chicago Tribune Company, and it runs 42 local TV stations, superstation WGN America, and has other broadcast related assets. The print division, to be known as Tribune Publishing Co., runs eight newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. The Tribune Co. looked into selling its newspapers earlier this year, Reuters said.
Who’s No. 1? UBS
The Swiss bank UBS reclaimed its title of the world’s largest private bank from Bank of America Corp, Reuters reports. It edged out the U.S. bank with 9.7 percent growth in overall assets to $1.705 trillion, compared with Bank of America’s 5.9 percent, according to an annual benchmark compiled by London-based wealth management consultant Scorpio Partnership. The ranking marks a dramatic turnaround for UBS, which in October said it would let go 10,000 staff members and scale back its risker investment banking division in favor of its private bank, Reuters said. Overall, private banks won 24 percent more net new money. Financial providers to the wealthy had struggled to win back client confidence in the wake of the global financial crisis. U.S. banks Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Switzerland’s Credit Suisse round out the top five.
Apple and Amazon Lawsuit Dismissed
At the companies’ request, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton on Tuesday dismissed the March 2011 trademark lawsuit between Apple Inc. and Amazon.com over who has the right to use the "app store" name, Reuters reports. The action clears the way for both companies to use it. Apple had accused Amazon of misusing the "app store" name to solicit developers for a mobile software download service, while Amazon contended that the term had become so generic that its use could not be characterized as false advertising.
Blackberry Hung Up Over Phone Launch
Speaking at the company’s annual meeting, Thorsten Heins, the president and chief executive of BlackBerry, asked investors for patience in the wake of the disappointing launch in the U.S. of the company’s new line of phones, The New York Times reports. The phones were two years in development and were supposed to revive the flagging brand. Late last month, BlackBerry said that it had shipped just 2.7 million of the new models, about a million fewer than analysts expected. The company also reported an $84 million loss in the latest quarter. Subsequently, Blackberry stock dropped sharply.
Corruption and Graft Continue to Rise Worldwide
The anti-corruption watchdog group Transparency International reports that graft and corruption has worsened throughout the world over the past two years, in the eyes of more than half of the people surveyed in a global opinion report. The report states that people have the least amount of trust in the officials’ selected to protect them, such as police, the courts and political parties. The survey spoke to people in 107 countries and found out that political parties are believed to be the most corrupt overall. The financial needs of the political parties is what spawns corruption, the survey reported.
U.S. Birth Rate Remains Down: CDC
The Centers for Disease Control report that the U.S. fertility rate continues to be extremely low historically, with further reports that the birth rate is tied to the economic atmosphere in the country. In 2012, there were 63.2 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 22, down from 69.3 births in 2007 (for comparison). While most experts believe families will try to play catch up at some point, it is unlikely they will have as many children.