General Motors will idle its factories only for short periods, while Chrysler plans a two-week break at just four of its ten North American assembly plants. Both GM and Chrysler are rolling out critical new models.
The three Detroit carmakers traditionally shut factories for 14 days around July 4 to do maintenance and change the machinery for new models. But they don't have that luxury this year. U.S. demand for new cars and trucks has been strong, up 7 percent through April, led by soaring demand for full-size pickup trucks as home construction rebounds. And after closing more than two dozen factories during the recession, U.S. automakers need to use their remaining capacity to its fullest.
HP's slumps deepens in 2Q as earnings fall 32 pct
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard's slump is deepening as the world's largest personal computer maker scrambles to meet the growing demand for more versatile and less expensive mobile devices.
The latest evidence of Hewlett-Packard Co.'s continuing downfall came in a quarterly earnings report released Wednesday. The results included the seventh consecutive decline in HP's quarterly revenue compared with the same period the previous year. HP's 10 percent decrease in revenue during the three months ending in April was the largest drop so far during the slump.
Most of the erosion has occurred under the leadership of Meg Whitman, a former CEO at eBay Inc. and defeated California gubernatorial candidate, who was hired to run HP in September 2011. Whitman has repeatedly warned that HP's revenue might not start growing at an acceptable rate for another year or two as she cuts costs, overhauls the company's product line and pushes into more profitable niches in business software, data analysis and storage and technology consulting.
Lowe's 1Q profit rises, but results miss Street
NEW YORK (AP) — Lowe's said Wednesday that its first-quarter net income rose nearly 3 percent, but results fell short of expectations as rainy weather hurt spring gardening sales.
The No. 2 home improvement retailer's results stood in contrast to those reported a day earlier by Home Depot. Lowe's larger rival reported an 18 percent rise in net income, bolstered by the improving housing market. Lowe's was hurt more by the rainy and cool spring.
Target's 1Q profit drops 29 percent on weak sales
NEW YORK (AP) — Target Corp. reported a 29 percent drop in first-quarter profit as unusually cool spring weather and financial pressures chilled customers' appetite for spending.
The company, based in Minneapolis, also on Wednesday cut its annual profit outlook, sending its stock down.
Target is the latest in a string of companies including rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that say bad weather and financial pressures like the higher payroll tax have squeezed business in the first couple months of the year.
Evian giving its water bottle a makeover
NEW YORK (AP) — Evian is giving itself a facelift to keep up with its sleek, young competitors on store shelves.
The water, which is owned by French food and beverage company Danone, is unveiling a new bottle for the first time in 14 years as it looks to reinvigorate its image and win back market share in the premium water category. Instead of the contoured bottle that has long defined the brand, the new look has cleaner lines, reminiscent of the cylinder-like shape of the Smartwater bottle.
Evian's makeover comes at a critical time, given the brand's languishing sales performance in an industry where looks play such a big role.
By The Associated Press(equals)
The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day down 80.41 points, or 0.5 percent, to 15,307.17. The Nasdaq composite was down 38.82 points at 3,463.30, or 1 percent. The Standard and Poor's 500 fell 13.81 points to 1,655.35, a decline of 0.8 percent.
Benchmark crude for July delivery declined $1.90 to close at $94.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for many international oil varieties, dropped $1.31 to $102.60 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Wholesale gasoline fell 3 cents to $2.82 a gallon. Heating oil lost 6 cents to $2.87 a gallon. Natural gas was flat at $4.19 per 1,000 cubic feet.