ConocoPhillips to sell some properties in
N. Dakota, Montana
HOUSTON — ConocoPhillips is selling some properties in North Dakota and Montana to a subsidiary of Denbury Resources Inc. for $1.05 billion. The oil and natural gas company said Tuesday that the Cedar Creek Anticline properties span about 86,000 net acres in southwestern North Dakota and eastern Montana. Net production from the properties averaged 13,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day through November. The sale doesn't include any of ConocoPhillips' Bakken Formation assets. The company owns 626,000 net acres there.
Wholesale prices fall
For third straight month
WASHINGTON — U.S. wholesale prices fell for the third month in a row last month, pushed down by falling food and gas costs. The drop is the latest evidence inflation is tame. The producer price index dropped 0.2 percent in December, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That follows a decline of 0.8 percent in November. The index measures price changes before they reach the consumer. Wholesale prices rose 1.3 percent in 2012, much lower than the 4.7 percent increase in 2011.
Business inventories grew in November
WASHINGTON — U.S. companies increased their stockpiles at a steady pace in November from October, responding to a solid increase in sales. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that business inventories grew 0.3 percent in November, matching the October gain. Sales rose 1 percent in November, the best showing since a 1.2 percent rise in September. In October, sales fell 0.3 percent, reflecting in part disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy.
Bank watchdog group's efforts are criticized
WASHINGTON — Bankers and financial industry leaders are criticizing the early efforts of the government's new consumer finance watchdog, saying a slow and inefficient oversight process has slowed lending and made it more difficult for them to do business. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's team that examines banks is understaffed, inexperienced and takes months to tell banks how they scored on routine audits, Consumer Bankers Association CEO Richard Hunt said Tuesday. For some bank examiners, it is their first job out of college, he said. Hunt said that CFPB Director Richard Cordray is aware of the problems with the examination program and hopes to do better in the agency's second year.