Cars' quietness is concern
DETROIT — A government safety agency wants electric and hybrid vehicles to make more noise when traveling at low speeds so pedestrians can hear them coming. The cars and trucks, which are far quieter than conventional gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles, don't make enough noise at low speeds to warn walkers, bicyclists and the visually impaired, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday. The proposed rule would require the cars to make more noise at speeds under 18 mph. The agency says the cars make enough noise to be heard at higher speeds.
Citigroup CEO fills posts
NEW YORK — Citigroup's new CEO is continuing to put his imprint on the bank, naming co-presidents Monday. CEO Michael Corbat tapped Jamie Forese and Manuel Medina-Mora for the roles. Corbat took over as CEO of the New York company in October after Vikram Pandit stepped down. Forese will be responsible for Citi's institutional businesses, and Medina-Mora will continue to oversee global consumer banking and Citi's franchise in Mexico. Forese served as CEO of securities and banking for the institutional clients group. Corbat also named Jim Cowles as CEO of the company's Europe, Middle East and Africa division — a position previously held by Corbat. Citigroup Inc.'s stock shed 25 cents to $42.18 in morning trading.
McDonald's tests chicken wings
NEW YORK — First there were McNuggets. Then there were Chicken McBites. Now McDonald's could be adding “Mighty Wings” to its chicken menu. The world's biggest hamburger chain is set to expand its test of chicken wings to Chicago this week, after a successful run in Atlanta last year. The wings are being sold in servings of three, five or 10 pieces with prices starting at $3, said Lynne Collier, an analyst with Sterne Agee. A spokeswoman for McDonald's confirmed the test in Chicago would start this week at about 500 restaurants but said there weren't any plans yet to bring the wings to other cities. She said no new sauces were being offered and that creamy ranch sauce would be the default dipping sauce for the wings.
Short-term Treasurys fall
WASHINGTON — Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills fell in Monday's auction to the lowest levels in three weeks. The Treasury Department auctioned $32 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.065 percent, down from 0.075 percent last week. An additional $28 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.105 percent, down from 0.120 percent last week. The three-month rate was the lowest since three-month bills averaged 0.040 percent Dec. 17. The six-month rate was the lowest since 0.090 percent, also Dec. 17. The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,998.36, while a six-month bill sold for $9,994,69. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.066 percent for the three-month bills and 0.107 percent for the six-month bills. Also, the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills edged down to 0.15 percent last week from 0.16 percent in the previous week.
Sears CEO will step down
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings Corp. says CEO Louis J. D'Ambrosio is stepping down next month due to health issues involving his family. The company, which operates Sears and Kmart stores, announced Monday that D'Ambrosio will be replaced by Edward Lampert, company chairman and its largest shareholder. D'Ambrosio will remain on the board until the company's annual meeting in May. In a statement, Lampert said D'Ambrosio led Sears Holdings during a time of rapid industry change to become a more customer-focused company. D'Ambrosio became Sears Holdings CEO in February 2011. He was previously president and CEO of Avaya Inc., a communications company, and had spent 16 years at IBM.
Stores seek post-Sandy relief
NEW YORK — The owner of the Mandee, Annie Sez and Afaze clothing stores is citing effects from Superstorm Sandy as it seeks Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New Jersey. Totowa, N.J.-based Big M Inc. was recovering from the economic downturn when the late October storm closed most of its stores in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut for a week or more along with its offices and distribution center. Business never rebounded. Documents show the family-owned retailer hasn't collected from its insurance carrier. Big M says that left it without enough cash to operate. Westport Insurance Corp. says it's committed to promptly and fairly resolving Sandy-related claims. Big M reports debt of about $15 million. It was founded in 1948, operates 129 stores in eight states and employs about 1,200 people.
HBO, Universal extend agreement
NEW YORK — HBO on Sunday extended its deal with Universal Pictures to be the exclusive pay-TV provider of the studio's movies for another decade, the companies said. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. HBO, part of Time Warner Inc., and Universal Pictures, part of Comcast Corp., have had an agreement in place since 2003. The deal includes movies produced by Universal and its specialty films unit, Focus Features. The deal is key for HBO, which faces a threat from streaming movie providers like Netflix Inc. Since it is an exclusive agreement, Universal movies won't be able to be streamed on Netflix or other competitors until 2022 at the earliest.
Export hopes boost corn prices
Corn prices are ending higher as traders hope for a bounce in export demand. Wheat and soybean futures also rose. Corn for March delivery rose 5.25 cents to settle at $6.8550 a bushel Monday. Brandon Marshall, a commodity adviser with Northstar Commodity in Minneapolis, said traders were encouraged to pick up more corn contracts after the Department of Agriculture disclosed an unusually large order for the grain. Soybeans for March delivery rose 21.25 cents to settle at $13.8850 a bushel. Soybeans have been mostly falling since mid-December, when they went as high as $15 a bushel.
From Wire Reports