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Business Highlights for May 7, 2014

Business Highlights for May 7, 2014
By The Associated Press Published: May 7, 2014

Business briefs

Alibaba prepares IPO

— China’s Alibaba Group is aiming to raise $1 billion in a long-awaited IPO. Tuesday’s filing sets the stage for the technology industry’s biggest initial public offering since short messaging service Twitter. For now, Alibaba isn’t specifying how much stock will be sold in the IPO or setting a price range. Those details will emerge as the IPO progresses; it may take four months before shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

China’s bad news ails U.S.

— After watching China narrow the U.S. lead as the world’s largest economy, Americans might be tempted to cheer signs that the Chinese economy may be stumbling. But in an interconnected global economy, bad news for one economic superpower is typically bad news for another. A Moody’s Analytics economist estimates each 1 percentage point drop in China’s growth causes as much damage to the U.S. economy as a $20-a-barrel increase in oil prices.

Bayer plans $14.2B deal

— Germany’s Bayer plans to buy U.S.-based Merck & Co.’s consumer health business, creating a combined medicine cabinet of household names from Bayer’s aspirin to Merck’s Claritin allergy pills. The $14.2 billion deal announced Tuesday would vault Bayer AG atop the nonprescription medicine business across North and Latin America.

Home price pace slows

— U.S. home prices rose at a slightly slower pace in the 12 months that ended in March, a sign weak sales have begun to restrain the housing market’s sharp price gains. Data provider CoreLogic says prices rose 11.1 percent in March compared with March 2013. Though a sizable rise, that was down from February’s 12.2 percent year-over-year rise. Home sales and construction have faltered since last fall, slowing down the economy.

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