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China's manufacturing slows to eight-month low PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Saturday, 01 March 2014 06:20

BEIJING (AP) — China's manufacturing activities expanded at the slowest pace since June, amid government efforts to rein in credit and investment growth, according to the industry group China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing.

The federation on Saturday released the purchasing managers index for February, which slid to 50.2, down from 50.5 in the previous month.

The measure is a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate increasing activity.

China's economic activity has slowed steadily as the government tries to reduce reliance on investment in industry and infrastructure and encourage more sustainable growth based on domestic consumption.

Analyst Zhang Liqun said the February data could have been distorted by the Lunar New Year holiday, when factories shut down for two weeks when workers went home in late January and early February.


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S&P 500 pushes further into record territory PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by KEN SWEET, AP Markets Writer   
Friday, 28 February 2014 15:21

NEW YORK (AP) — The Standard & Poor's 500 index marched further into record territory Friday, as investors focused on surprisingly strong growth in Midwestern manufacturing.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 rose 11 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,866 as of 1:45 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 106 points, or 0.7 percent, to 16,378 and the Nasdaq composite rose 10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,329.

EARNINGS JOLT: Monster Beverage jumped 5 percent, the most in the S&P 500 index, after the company reported higher sales of its energy drinks in the fourth quarter. The gains came despite legal attacks alleging the company's products pose health risks.

WARM SPOT: Manufacturing in the Chicago area rose in February, more than economists had forecast. The Institute for Supply Management's regional index for the Midwest rose to 59.8 from 59.6 in January. Economists had expected a decline because winter storms have hit much of the U.S. the past several weeks.

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No sign of expansion at plant where UAW dealt loss PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ERIK SCHELZIG, Associated Press   
Friday, 28 February 2014 15:24
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Friday marks the end of the two-week period within which U.S. Sen. Bob Corker promised Volkswagen would announce another line at its factory in Tennessee if workers there rejected representation by the United Auto Workers union.

So far, there's little sign of any pending announcement.

Workers at the Chattanooga plant ended up voting 712-626 against the UAW, in an election the union claims was tainted by threats and intimidation from Republicans like Corker, Gov. Bill Haslam and state lawmakers.

The UAW last week filed a challenge with the National Labor Relations Board, seeking to have results voided and a new election to be held.

The appeal cited warnings from GOP lawmakers that a pro-union vote would endanger key state incentives to secure the new line at the plant, and Corker's statements that a vote against the union would be followed in short order an expansion announcement.

"If the UAW is voted down they're going to come here immediately, within a two week period, and affirm they're going to build a line here," Corker told The Associated Press the day before the conclusion of the three-day vote.

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Bitcoins worth estimated $425 million missing PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 28 February 2014 09:48

TOKYO (AP) — The Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange in Tokyo filed for bankruptcy protection Friday and its chief executive said 850,000 bitcoins, worth several hundred million dollars, are unaccounted for.

The exchange's CEO Mark Karpeles appeared before Japanese TV news cameras, bowing deeply. He said a weakness in the exchange's systems was behind a massive loss of the virtual currency involving 750,000 bitcoins from users and 100,000 of the company's own bitcoins. That would amount to about $425 million at recent prices.

The online exchange's unplugging earlier this week and accusations it had suffered a catastrophic theft have drawn renewed regulatory attention to a currency created in 2009 as a way to make transactions across borders without third parties such as banks.

It remains unclear if the missing bitcoins were stolen, voided by technological flaws or both.

Last Updated on Friday, 28 February 2014 09:52
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