• Entergy 2Q profit climbs 16 percent

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Entergy Corp. (ETR) on Tuesday reported earnings that rose by 16 percent in its second quarter, and fell short of analysts' expectations. The New Orleans-based company said profit after paying preferred dividends increased to $189.4 million, or $1.05 per share, from $163.7 million, or 92 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were $1.11 per share. The average per-share estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for profit of $1.16. The power company said revenue climbed 9.4 percent to $3 billion from $2.74 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Entergy shares have risen $13.08, or 21 percent, to $76.

  • JPMorgan paying $650K to settle CFTC charges

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — JPMorgan Chase will pay $650,000 to settle charges by federal regulators that it filed inaccurate reports on the trading positions of some of its large customers. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced the settlement Tuesday. The CFTC said that JPMorgan continued to submit inaccurate reports to the agency from 2012 through February of this year even though CFTC staff found errors in them and notified JPMorgan. The New York bank neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing in the settlement. It agreed to certify in writing that it has improved and tested its procedures for filing reports. A company spokesman declined to comment.

  • Pfizer's 2Q profit sinks 79 pct but tops forecasts

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    Pfizer's second-quarter earnings plunged 79 percent from last year, when the world's second-largest drugmaker booked a $10 billion-plus gain from a business spinoff. The New York company said Tuesday it earned $2.91 billion, or 45 cents per share, down from $14.1 billion, or $1.98 per share, last year. Adjusted earnings totaled 58 cents per share, a penny more than analysts expected. Revenue slipped 2 percent to $12.77 billion, $300 million above forecasts. Among Pfizer's top medicines, sales climbed 16 percent to $1.32 billion for pain and fibromyalgia treatment Lyrica and 14 percent to $1.1 billion for its Prevnar vaccines against pneumonia and other infections.

  • Attorney: Oklahoma drilling tax unconstitutional

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An attorney claims a state law that sets Oklahoma's tax on oil and gas production is unconstitutional. Attorney Jerry Fent told a state Supreme Court referee Tuesday the measure does not comply with constitutional guidelines for the passage of revenue bills. Fent says the law was approved in the final days of this year's legislative session and was not approved by at least three-fourths of the House and Senate. Solicitor General Patrick Wyrick says the measure does not meet the definition of a revenue bill because it cuts tax rates. It taxes oil and gas wells at 2 percent for the first three years of production. The rate then jumps to 7 percent. Referee Daniel Karim will submit a report on the cas

  • Detroit water department placed in mayor's hands

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — State-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr issued an order Tuesday that gives Mayor Mike Duggan control over Detroit's water department. The move comes as the bankrupt city's massive water system was widely criticized for shutting off service to thousands of customers who were 60 days or more behind on their bills. Duggan has said Detroit Water and Sewerage Department officials could have been more sensitive in how they handled delinquent bills and the shutoffs. On Tuesday, he promised to have a "new plan shortly" on how to deal with the issue. "I've heard complaints from many Detroiters who are trying to make payment arrangements, but who have faced long waits on the telephone or long lines at the DWS

  • 4 workers injured in Kansas oil refinery fire

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    COFFEYVILLE, Kan. (AP) — Four workers at an oil refinery in southeast Kansas were burned Tuesday in an early morning fire, the Texas company said. CVR Refining said in a news release that the fire at its Coffeyville refinery was reported at 12:30 a.m. and extinguished by 1:18 a.m. The refinery was shut down and initial reports indicate there was no impact to the surrounding community. The company isn't naming the workers who were hurt and taken to an area hospital, but said all other employees were accounted for at this time. "CVR Refining personnel express their deepest concern for and are currently providing assistance to the injured employees and their families," the company said.

  • Escaping email: Inspired vision or hallucination?

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Dustin Moskovitz is plotting an escape from email. The 30-year-old entrepreneur has learned a lot about communication since he teamed up with his college roommate Mark Zuckerberg to create Facebook a decade ago, and that knowledge is fueling an audacious attempt to change the way people connect at work, where the incessant drumbeat of email has become an excruciating annoyance. Moskovitz is trying to turn that chronic headache into an afterthought with Asana, a San Francisco startup he runs with former Facebook and Google product manager, Justin Rosenstein.

  • Arch Coal posts bigger 2Q loss

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Arch Coal Inc. said Tuesday that its second-quarter loss widened partly because of nagging rail disruptions and weaker prices for coal used in making steel, though cost controls helped the coal producer's latest earnings surpass analysts' expectations. The St. Louis-based company posted a loss of $96.9 million, or 46 cents per share, compared with a loss of $72.2 million, or 34 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Losses, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 46 cents per share. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 48 cents per share. The coal producer said revenue dropped 6.9 percent to $713.8 million from $766.

  • China investigating Microsoft in monopoly case

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    BEIJING (AP) — China's anti-monopoly agency announced an investigation Tuesday of Microsoft Corp., stepping up regulatory pressure on foreign technology companies. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce said it opened a case in June after complaints Microsoft improperly failed to publish all documentation for its Windows operating system and Office software. It said investigators visited Microsoft's China headquarters in Beijing and branches in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu in southwestern China this week. "The administration believes the previous investigation cannot eliminate that Microsoft engaged in monopolistic behavior," the agency said on its website. "The administration has launched an investigation of

  • AK Steel posts smaller 2Q loss

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    WEST CHESTER, Ohio (AP) — AK Steel Holding Corp. (AKS) on Tuesday reported a smaller loss in its second quarter, and topped analysts' expectations. The West Chester, Ohio-based company posted a loss of $17.1 million, or 13 cents per share, compared with a loss of $40.4 million, or 30 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 2 cents per share. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 4 cents per share. The steel producer said revenue climbed 9 percent to $1.53 billion from $1.4 billion in the same quarter a year ago, and beat Wall Street forecasts. Analysts expected $1.5 billion, according to Zacks.

  • Corning donates $1.8M in parts for space telescope

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Corning Inc. has donated $1.8 million in high-tech components for a telescope a private group wants to launch into space. The not-for-profit BoldlyGo Institute wants to put its ASTRO-1 telescope in orbit by the mid-2020s. The group says obtaining the components for a roughly 6-foot telescope primary mirror marks a major step toward the ambitious goal. The institute says the space telescope would be used to study planets orbiting nearby stars, as well as the Milky Way and other galaxies. The components donated by the Corning, New York-based specialty glass maker had been intended for a NASA program that was canceled. The institute was formed this year to privately raise funds to increase the v

  • Stocks turn mixed at midday ahead of economic data

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Major stock indexes turned mixed in midday trading as investors waited for a series of key economic reports from the U.S. and China later in the week. The Dow Jones industrial average eased less than one point to 16,983 as of 12:12 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped one point to 1,977. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, rose eight points to 4,453. Telecom companies rose the most among the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500. Traders plowed into a range of telephone and cable stocks. The moves come after Windstream Holdings announced plans to move some of its network into a trust that won't pay income tax. Both Windstream and Frontier Communications jumped 12 percent to lead the S&P 500.

  • Fed is weighing key issues but may reveal little

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — This much is clear: The Federal Reserve will make another cut this week in its monthly bond purchases, which have been aimed at keeping long-term loan rates low. This much is not: When will the Fed start tightening its interest-rate policy to thwart any runaway inflation? How will it do so? And when will the Fed start paring its enormous $4 trillion-plus investment portfolio — a step that will put upward pressure on interest rates? On those questions, expect no definitive signals Wednesday, when the Fed issues a statement after a two-day policy meeting. In many ways, the improving U.S. economy no longer needs so much help from the central bank: Hiring is solid, and unemployment is on the cusp of a nearly

  • Aetna 2Q profit rises 2.4 percent

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    Aetna's second-quarter profit climbed more than 2 percent, as gains from an acquisition helped the health insurer top expectations and raise its 2014 earnings forecast again. But the Hartford, Connecticut, company's shares slipped Tuesday after it also reported a higher medical cost measurement than analysts expected and a slight performance dip for its health care segment, the biggest part of its business. The insurer said a better performance from its group life and disability business helped grow earnings in the quarter, as did an additional month of results from Medicare and Medicaid coverage provider Coventry Health Care, which Aetna bought last year for $6.9 billion.

  • 9 solar projects getting more than $442K in grants

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    WAITSFIELD, Vt. (AP) — Nine solar projects in Vermont are going to get more than $442,000 in grants to help provide power for schools and communities. The money is coming from the Clean Energy Development Fund, which was created to increase cost-effective and environmentally sustainable electric power resources. Gov. Peter Shumlin announced the grants Tuesday during a visit to Northern Reliability, a solar business in Waitsfield. A grant of $80,000 is going to that town to install a 102-kilowatt solar project on the town garage to power Waitsfield's municipal buildings. Other grants are going to Richford, South Strafford, Thetford, Warren, Sharon, North Thetford, Berlin and Shrewsbury.

  • Gas prices continue downward slide in Oklahoma

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — AAA Oklahoma says gas prices continue to drop in the state as demand nationwide drops below 9 million barrels per day. On Tuesday, the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline was $3.30 in Oklahoma. That's down 22 cents over the past month. The agency says only four states have a lower statewide average than Oklahoma, led by South Carolina's average of $3.26 per gallon. AAA Oklahoma says Tuesday's gas prices are the lowest average the state has seen since February. Bartlesville had the lowest average price among the state's cities, coming in at $3.20 per gallon. In Oklahoma City, the average price is $3.27 per gallon, while Tulsa reported an average of $3.22 per gallon.

  • Merck 2Q profit more than doubles

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    A big one-time gain and a tax benefit helped drugmaker Merck & Co. more than double second-quarter profit, improve its profit forecast and top analysts' expectations. The maker of popular Type 2 diabetes pill Januvia said Tuesday that net income increased to $2 billion, or 68 cents per share, from $906 million, or 30 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, said its earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 85 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected 81 cents. Merck recorded a $741 million gain from AstraZeneca PLC, which exercised its option to buy out Merck's interest in the British drugmaker's heartburn drugs Nexiu

  • Report: More acidic seawater poses risks in Alaska

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The release of carbon dioxide into the air from power plant smokestacks to the tailpipe on your car could pose a risk to red king crab and other lucrative fisheries in Alaska, a new report says. Ocean water becomes more acidic when it absorbs carbon dioxide released by human sources, such as the burning of fossil fuels. Increased ocean acidification could harm important Alaska commercial and subsistence fisheries and communities that rely heavily on them, according to the new research aimed at spurring discussion on how to address the changes. The research, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, was to be published Tuesday in the online journal Progress in Oceanography.

  • Ocean Spray worker dies in fall through skylight

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Authorities say a Nevada man is dead after falling through a skylight at the Ocean Spray fruit juice distribution center where he worked. Clark County coroner's officials say 53-year-old Harry Lentz died at a hospital after the Saturday morning accident at the Black Mountain Distribution Center in Henderson. Nevada's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating. Lentz's ex-wife, Lane Lentz, told the Las Vegas Sun that her former husband worked for Ocean Spray for 20 years as a mechanical and electrical technician. She says the Las Vegas man often worked on the roof to maintain the air conditioning.

  • Jimmy Dean moves beyond breakfast for first time

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Jimmy Dean is coming to dinner — and lunch, too. The sausage brand started by the late country singer of the same name has become a breakfast staple, with product offerings even including a pancake-and-sausage on a stick. Now the brand is hoping its new bowls and sandwiches can lure eaters at other meals. Jimmy Dean, owned by Hillshire Brands, is rolling out 16 microwavable products designed to be eaten later, including a pulled pork sandwich and grilled steak bowl. Hillshire's expansion into products that aren't made entirely out of meat has been critical in helping fatten the company's profit margins. With foods like sandwiches and bowls, meat is just one of several ingredients — meaning pr