Dropping gas prices, Beijing's first foreign-owned theme park and a high-flying order for Boeing top our roundup of the morning's top business news stories.
“Girl” Not Gone, Still No. 1
Four new films could not catch “Gone Girl” at theatres over the weekend. The thriller based on Gillian Flynn’s bestseller took in $26.8 million in its second week. That drove a stake into “Dracula Untold,” which opened in second place with $23.4 million. It was not a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad weekend for “Alexander,” a new family comedy based on the classic children’s book and which took in $19.1 million. Rounding out the top five at the box office were the horror film, “Annabelle” with $16.3 million, and “The Judge,” which debuted with $13.3 million.
Is Railroad Merger on Track?
CSX has reportedly rebuffed Canadian Pacific Railway’s approaches for a merger of the world’s largest railroad operators, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. If a merger were negotiated, the report said, it could surpass in size Berkshire Hathaway's $26 billion purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe in 2010. The U.S. Surface Transportation Board, which oversees railroads, has a history of intervening between industry deals. In 2000, its disapproval derailed a proposed merger of Burlington Northern and Canadian National Railway.
Boeing Gets Nearly $5 Billion Order
Boeing Co. said Sunday that Garuda Indonesia placed an order for 50 jets with a total sticker price of $4.9 billion. Garuda will buy 46 of Boeng’s 737 Max 8 aircraft and convert orders for four other 737s to the Max 8. The plane is designed to be more fuel-efficient than current models of the single-aisle jet. The first delivery of a 737 Max to an airline is scheduled for 2017. Boeing says it has received 2,295 orders for the 737 Max models from 47 airlines and other customers worldwide. The company reports a backlog of commercial jet orders as airlines dealing with high fuel prices order more efficient planes.
Gas Prices Continue Four-Month Drops
Americans are paying 12 cents on average less on gas than they were three weeks ago, according to a national survey of gas prices by industry analyst Trilby Lundberg. The average for regular grade gas is $3.26 per gallon, while midgrade averages $3.48 and premium $3.64. Lundberg credits lower crude oil prices for the prices which have decreased for 16 weeks. San Francisco averaged the highest average price at $3.66 per gallon, while Tulsa, Oklahoma, had the lowest average at $2.93.
China Trade Growth Rebounds in September
China's trade grew more strongly than expected in September, the Associated Press reports. Exports totaled $214 billion, up 15.3 percent from the same month last year, while imports of $183 billion were up 6.9 percent. Exports had grown 9.4 percent in August while imports had shrunk for two months running. Beijing rolled out limited stimulus measures earlier this year after first quarter economic growth in the world’s No. 2 economy dipped to 7.4 percent, the lowest in nearly two years. Growth improved only slightly to 7.5 percent in the second quarter.
Universal Theme Park Approved for Beijing
China has approved the development of a $3.3 billion Universal studios theme park in Beijing, the Associated Press reports. Comcast NBCUniversal and a consortium of four Chinese state-owned companies announced the plan Monday, saying the park will be developed on about 300 acres in eastern Beijing. It would be the first major foreign-owned theme park in the Chinese capital. It will include attractions from other U.S.-based Universal parks as well as new ones reflective of China’s cultural heritage. Universal has theme parks in Singapore and Osaka, Japan. Disney has opened a theme park in Hong Kong and is building another one in Shanghai. In June, Six Flags announced plans to build six parks in China over the next decade.