Price of Oil Reaches Seven Month Low, U.S. Supply on the Rise
The price of oil fell below $90 in U.S. trading on Wednesday for the first time in nearly seven months as U.S. supplies continue to grow, USA Today reports. Gas prices at the pump were flat at $3.678 per gallon on Wednesday, according AAA. The nationwide average for a gallon of regular unleaded has dropped by 26 cents since peaking in the first week of April. Gasoline is 16.5 cents per gallon cheaper than it was the same time last year. Commodity prices, including oil, are falling across the board on fears that Europe's debt crisis may deepen at the same time that supplies of many of those commodities are on the rise. Concern about the strength of the global economy, particularly Europe, contributed to Wednesday's oil price decline and is a large reason that oil has plunged nearly 15 percent in May. Analysts are predicting the European economy will continue to slow. The government said U.S. oil supplies grew last week by 900,000 barrels and hit the highest level since 1990. Analysts expected supplies to grow by 750,000 barrels.
Court: Federal Jury Rejects Google Copyright Infringement Case
Google did not infringe on Oracle's patents when the Internet search leader developed its popular Android software for mobile devices, a Federal jury ruled Wednesday. The verdict comes about two weeks after the same jury, with two additional members, failed to agree on a pivotal issue in Oracle's copyright-infringement case against the search engine, the Associated Press reports. As a result, Google Inc. faced maximum damages of only $150,000 - not the hundreds of millions of dollars that Oracle Corp. was seeking. Because U.S. District Judge William Alsup dismissed the jury and skipped the damages phase that had been originally scheduled, Google did not have to publicly reveal how money it makes from its Android software.
Macy’s Looks East – Far East – For Online Customers
Macy’s Inc. has bought a $15 million share of VIPStore Co., a Chinese e-commerce firm, and will begin selling some of its private merchandise to Chinese consumers through Omei.com, a new China-based online retailer operated by the firm, the website Internet Retailer reported yesterday. A top Internet retailer, Macy’s is one of several venture capital providers, including Intel Capital, to acquire a minority stake in VIPStore. The relationship will allow Macy’s to explore how Chinese consumers interact with the quintessential American retailer and its products, Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s president, told Internet Retailer. Eventually visitors to the Macy’s section of Omei.com will be able to link to the full selection of products available to Chinese customers on Macys.com, said Internet Retailer.
HP Shares Rise After Company Announces 27,000 Layoffs
Markets reacted positively yesterday to a better-than-expected second quarter report from Hewlett-Packard Co. and news that the computer maker plans to eliminate 27,000 jobs, about 8 percent of its workforce, Bloomberg News reports. Shares rose as high as $23.52 on the announcements, closing at $21.08, Bloomberg reports. Buoying prices was news that profit before some costs was 98 cents a share, compared with the average analysts’ estimate of 91 cents a share. The job cuts, designed to streamline the tech giant, are expected to save the company up to $3.5 billion by the end of 2014. The forecast for the third quarter profits of 94 cents to 97 cents a share fell below analysts’ expectations as the company faces a slowdown in demand for printers, data-center equipment and services as companies cut back on IT spending.
Shareholders Sue Facebook, IPO Underwriters
Three investors filed suit against Facebook and its IPO underwriters yesterday, claiming the companies withheld negative information about the initial public offering, CNN Money reports. Three investors sued Facebook and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, along with lead underwriter Morgan Stanley and a host of other underwriters, accusing them of withholding negative information about the social network's initial public offering. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhatttan, claims that “material information” regarding the growth outlook for Facebook were selectively shared with preferred investors, but omitted from stock registration documents, according to CNN Money. A Facebook spokesperson told CNN the lawsuit lacked merit and would be “vigorously” defended. Underwriters targeted in the suit include Morgan Stanley, Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and the Merrill Lynch unit of Bank of America.