Toyota is recalling Tacoma pickup trucks; Wal-Mart says Tracy Morgan wasn't wearing a seat belt, and China is going to allow sale of the Apple iPhone. More news for the busy investor on Sept. 30, 2014.
Netflix Is Now REALLY Into Movies
The sequel to the classic film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” will be released next year by the U.S. video streaming service company Netflix, which will distribute the film through the Weinstein Company. Titled “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend’’, the film will be released simultaneously on Netflix and in selected IMAX theaters on Aug. 28, 2015. The film is part of an expected package of movies to premiere both on the site and in theaters at the same time. “Fans will have unprecedented choice in how they enjoy an amazing and memorable film that combines intense action and incredibly beauty,’’ said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a press release.
Wal-Mart Says Morgan Was Negligent
Actor-comedian Tracy Morgan and the others injured in an accident with a Wal-Mart truck in June were not wearing seatbelts, Wal-Mart says in a federal court filing. Wal-Mart is reacting to a lawsuit Morgan filed in July after he required several weeks of rehab for rib and leg injuries following the accident. “The company continues to stand willing to work with Mr. Morgan and the other plaintiffs to resolve this matter,’’ Wal-Mart said in a statement. One friend of Morgan’s was killed in the accident, in which the driver of the truck was said to have gone more than 24 hours without sleep. Wal-Mart says the passengers’ injuries were caused by their failure to wear seatbelts, which it calls unreasonable conduct.
IPhone Now in China
Starting Oct. 10, Chinese consumers will be able to pre-order the iPhone 6 from Apple’s online stores after sale of the device was approved by China. The country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology needed to approve the devices because of concerns of security risks related to hacking, as well as reported glitches in the latest Apple software update. Chinese customers will be able to buy the product in-store beginning Oct. 17. Apple has received criticism for glitches in two different device updates released after the initial sales period to address security flaws.
Hong Kong Protests Affect American Markets
The social unrest in Hong Kong related to a call for democracy could affect the U.S. markets as a result of Beijing’s growing role in the global marketplace. The wave of protests that began over the weekend and spilled into the work week produced reports of concern among American investors, who also worry about the weakness of the European market as well. Hong Kong is set to host a large series of art and collectible auctions over the next few weeks with thousands of wealthy investors set to attend, but those auctions over the next two months could be disrupted by the protests. Christies and Sotheby’s both have a total of 17 auctions set for Hong Kong to sell diamonds, watches, wine, and contemporary art. During their spring sales, Christie’s and Sotheby’s sold more than $800 million combined.
Home Prices Rise
The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of home sales show that U.S. single family home prices rose in July but not as much as economists expected. The index of 20 metropolitan areas showed a sales jump of 6.7 percent in July on a year-over-year basis, but expectations were for a 7.5 percent increase. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, prices in the 20 cities fell 0.5 percent in July. “While the year-over-year figures are trending downward, home prices are still rising month-to-month although at a slower rate than what we are used to seeing over the past couple of years,’’ said index committee chairman David Blitzer. S&P/Case Shiller now releases a broader measure of national housing market activity and it showed a slower pace of increase year-over-year at 5.6 percent.
Toyota Announces New Recall
This time it is Tacoma pickup trucks being recalled by Toyota, which says it is calling back 690,000 Tacomas because the rear leaf springs could break, puncturing the gas tank and causing a fire. The recall is for Tacoma Four-by-Four and Pre-Runner model pickups from 2005 to 2011. Toyota announced Tuesday the leaf springs can fracture due to stress and corrosion, then come into contact with surrounding components, including the gas tank. Toyota says it is unaware of any fires or injuries that have occurred from the problem. Toyota is also investigating a consumer’s petition alleging that older Toyota Corollas can accelerate unexpectedly at low speeds and cause crashes.