Business Highlights

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 21, 2014 at 5:03 pm •  Published: July 21, 2014
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mattel designers have spent the past year working on 10 toys created especially for the crowd at Comic-Con, the annual celebration of pop culture lifting off Thursday in San Diego.

Their efforts at limited-edition playthings include a replica of the Batmobile from the upcoming game "Batman: Arkham Knight" and a 9-inch-tall action figure of Superman killer Doomsday.

Like other toy makers struggling in this digital, video-centric age, the company is trying to remain relevant in the retail world as demand drops for core brands like Barbie.

But things will at least seem rosier at Comic-Con, where eager buyers for the toys await (the only other place they will be sold is on the Mattel collector's site). Mattel's exclusives this year run between $20 and $85, but elite toys can fetch much more when they're put up for auction.

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Shark sightings off Cape Cod a boon for tourism

CHATHAM, Mass. (AP) — Great white sharks are having an unusual effect on Cape Cod this summer, and many a merchant is going to need a bigger wallet.

The sharks being spotted in growing numbers are stirring curiosity and a buying frenzy for shark-related merchandise.

Shark T-shirts are everywhere, "Jaws" has been playing in local movie theaters and boats are taking more tourists out to see the huge seal population that keeps the sharks coming. Harbormasters have issued warnings but — unlike the sharks in the movies — the great whites generally are not seen as a threat to human swimmers.

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Russia's Severstal selling US plants for $2.3B

NEW YORK (AP) — Russian steel company Severstal is exiting the U.S. market, selling a pair of steel plants to AK Steel and Steel Dynamics for about $2.33 billion.

Word of a possible sale began to circulate earlier this year as the West threatened sanctions against Russia for its activity in the Ukraine, but Severstal has not among those companies targeted by those actions.

Steel Dynamics Inc. said Monday that it will pay about $1.63 billion for Severstal Columbus, which is located in northeast Mississippi. AK Steel Holding Corp. said that it is buying Severstal's steel plant in Dearborn, Michigan for $700 million.

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German supermarket tycoon Albrecht dead at 94

BERLIN (AP) — Karl Albrecht, co-founder of the Aldi grocery store empire and one of the world's richest people, has died in the western German city of Essen. He was 94.

Essen's city hall told The Associated Press that Albrecht was buried Monday in a family plot in a small ceremony in the city's Bredeney district where he lived. Aldi's press office said Albrecht died July 16.

Albrecht and his brother Theo, who died in 2010, both worked in their parents' grocery store as they were growing up.

After both serving as German soldiers in World War II, the two took over the business and began a rapid expansion. Today the group has thousands of stores in 17 countries in Europe, North America and Australia, and a family trust established by Theo Albrecht in 1979 bought the U.S. specialty grocery chain Trader Joe's.

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Netflix tops 50M subscribers as 2Q earnings soar

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix's second-quarter earnings more than doubled as new episodes from one of its hit series helped the Internet video service surpass 50 million worldwide subscribers for the first time.

The gains announced Monday include an additional 570,000 U.S. subscribers, slightly more than Netflix's management predicted. The quarter is typically the company's slowest of the year, as people spend more time outdoors instead of watching video.

The second quarter featured one of Netflix's marquee attractions, "Orange Is The New Black," which returned for its second season in early June.

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By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones Industrial average fell 48.45 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,051.73. The Standard & Poor's 500 slipped 4.59 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 1,973.63. The Nasdaq composite lost 7.44 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,424.70.

Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery rose $1.46 to $104.59 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for September delivery, a benchmark for international oils, gained 44 cents to $107.68 on the ICE exchange in London. Natural gas fell 10 cents to $3.85 per 1,000 cubic feet. Wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to $2.89 a gallon. Heating oil gained 1 cent to $2.86 a gallon.



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