Wall Street wants end to shutdown
NEW YORK — Wall Street to Washington: end the shutdown and move on. The U.S. stock market ended lower Wednesday as traders, Europe's central banker and Wall Street CEOs urged Congress to stop the two-day government shutdown that has closed national parks, put hundreds of thousands of federal employees on furlough and forced President Barack Obama to cancel an overseas trip. Wall Street made it clear that the longer the budget fight drags on, the more its bankers worry about significant damage to the economy and the possibility that Congress won't allow the government to borrow more.
Beanie Baby creator breaks down
CHICAGO — The billionaire who created Beanie Babies broke down crying in court Wednesday as he pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion for hiding $25 million in income in secret Swiss bank accounts. H. Ty Warner, 69, also apologized as he stood before a federal judge in Chicago, removing his glasses and wiping away tears as he struggled to regain his composure. The toy-maker's 18-page plea deal says guidelines call for a prison term of around four years. It also requires he pay a $53 million civil penalty.
Empire State Building goes public
Throngs of tourists ascend the Empire State Building daily to gape out over New York. Now investors can also be part of the story of the skyscraper made famous in films such as “Sleepless in Seattle” and “King Kong.” The owner of the building, Empire State Realty Trust Inc., made its market debut Wednesday more than a year and a half after announcing its intent to go public. The company first had to grapple with lawsuits brought by investors taking issue with the structure of the offering.
After a day of heavy trading, the stock ended up 10 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $13.10.
Tesla stock drops after fire video
DETROIT — An Internet video of a fiery Tesla electric car near Seattle helped to push down the company's stock price Wednesday. Shares of Tesla Motors fell more than 6 percent to $180.95. It was the stock's biggest one-day decline since July 16. The automobile site Jalopnik.com posted the video that it says was taken by a reader. The video shows the front of a Tesla Model S in flames. Tesla says the car hit a large metal object in the road on Tuesday, causing significant damage. The driver escaped unharmed and the blaze was put out by firefighters. Tesla says the fire was limited to the front of the $70,000 car.
Hiring shows little growth
WASHINGTON — U.S. businesses added just 166,000 jobs in September, only slightly more than the previous two months. The lack of improvement in hiring, along with the threat of a prolonged government shutdown, could help persuade the Federal Reserve to delay scaling back its stimulus. Payroll company ADP said Wednesday that private employers added just 159,000 jobs in August and 161,000 in July. The Labor Department will have to delay its September jobs report, scheduled for Friday, now that it appears the government shutdown will go past Wednesday.
Enterprise to hire 11,000 new workers
ST. LOUIS — Enterprise Holdings, the nation's largest rental car company, plans to hire 11,000 new full-time workers by the middle of next year. Company executive Marie Artim announced the expansion in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. The hiring is expected to be complete by July 31, and could boost the company's workforce to more than 80,000, depending on attrition. The company plans to hire nearly 8,500 for management trainee positions, including many recent college graduates. Others will be hired for positions in information technology, administration and support roles at the company headquarters in suburban St. Louis, and in branch stores. In addition to the full-time jobs, Enterprise plans to hire 1,500 interns. Enterprise Holdings operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental.
Monsanto reports losses
WASHINGTON — Agricultural business giant Monsanto Co. reported worse-than-expected losses for its fiscal fourth quarter on Wednesday, due to lower sales of its genetically engineered seeds. The company forecast for fiscal 2014 also came in below Wall Street expectations, and it revealed plans to buy farming software and data firm The Climate Corporation. The combination sent shares lower. Monsanto said separately it would pay $930 million in cash for the Climate Corporation, which was founded in 1996 by engineers from Google and other Silicon Valley companies. The company's technology uses weather forecasting and data analysis to help farmers plan their growing seasons.
Equity firm looks at BlackBerry
TORONTO — Private equity firm Cerberus is interested in taking a look at BlackBerry's books as a prelude to a possible bid for the troubled smartphone company. Cerberus is looking to sign a confidentiality agreement with BlackBerry that would allow it to access the company's private information, an official familiar with the situation said Wednesday on condition of anonymity. BlackBerry announced last month that Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. signed a letter of intent that “contemplates” buying BlackBerry for $9 a share, or $4.7 billion. Fairfax, BlackBerry's largest shareholder, is trying to attract other investors. BlackBerry is allowed to look for other buyers while Fairfax conducts six weeks of due diligence.
Israel studies move by Google
JERUSALEM — Israel's antitrust authority has opened a review of Google Inc.'s nearly $1 billion acquisition of Israeli navigation app Waze. An authority official said Wednesday that the companies did not inform it of their merger plans, and it is now investigating whether the deal needs antitrust approval. Under Israeli law, the authority must approve deals that create companies with full or near-monopoly status in their industries, or have revenue of more than roughly $40 million a year.
From wire reports