US consumer confidence falls to 7-month low
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers' confidence in the economy fell in November to the lowest level in seven months, dragged down by greater concerns about hiring and pay in the coming months.
The Conference Board said Tuesday that its index of consumer confidence dropped to 70.4 from 72.4 in October. The October reading was higher than initially reported, but still well below the 80.2 reading in September.
November's drop comes after the 16-day partial government shutdown caused confidence to plunge in October. The declines in both months were driven by falling expectations for hiring and the economy over the next six months.
Some economists also attributed the weakening confidence to Americans' frustrations and worries about the implementation of the Obama administration's health care reform.
Men's Wearhouse now in pursuit of Jos. A. Bank
NEW YORK (AP) — Never say never - just when it looked like a potential combination of Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank was dead in the water, the script has been flipped.
Men's Wearhouse is now the one offering approximately $1.54 billion for its rival. Less than two weeks ago, Jos. A. Bank dropped a $2.3 billion bid for its competitor. A combination could create a menswear powerhouse of more than 1,700 outlets.
The announcement that Men's Wearhouse was interested in a possible deal came as a bit of a surprise on Tuesday. The retailer had received an unsolicited offer of $48 per share from Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. in September. But it rejected that bid in October, calling it "opportunistic" and inadequate."
Jos. A. Bank said Tuesday that its board will evaluate the offer and respond "in due course."
French drugmaker warns on morning-after pill
PARIS (AP) — A French contraceptive maker said Tuesday that its morning-after pill doesn't work when taken by women who weigh more than 80 kilograms (176 pounds) and plans to change its labels to warn patients.
The decision to change its labels by HRA Pharma is based on a previous study of levonorgestrel, one of the active ingredients in its Norlevo emergency contraceptive. Norlevo is not sold in the U.S. but another drug with the same active ingredient is widely available. A dose of HRA's drug contains 1.5 mg of levonorgestrel, which is identical to levels found in Plan B One-Step, manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals in the U.S.
Teva declined to comment. The Food and Drug Administration said that it is currently reviewing the issue and will determine what, if any, labeling changes are needed for approved emergency contraceptives.
By The Associated Press=
The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 0.26 of a point to close at 16,072.80. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.27 of a point to 1,802.75. The Nasdaq composite added 23.18 points to close at 4,017.75.
Benchmark U.S. crude for January delivery fell 41 cents to close at $93.68 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Wholesale gasoline added 1 cent to $2.69 gallon. Heating oil added 1 cent to $3.04 a gallon. Natural gas gained 3 cents to $3.82 per 1,000 cubic feet. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, slipped 12 cents at $110.88 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London.