Business briefs [Telegraph-Herald (Dubuque, IA)]
(Telegraph-Herald (Dubuque, IA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Stocks rise on profit gains from tech firms
NEW YORK - Strong third-quarter results from technology companies drove investors into stocks on Friday, giving the market its third straight weekly gain.
After reporting results that topped expectations, Microsoft rose 6 percent and Amazon.com rose 9 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 index hit a record. The Nasdaq is the highest it's been in 13 years.
The gains were broad. All 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 rose, led by telecommunications with an increase of 1 percent.
Earnings for companies in the S&P 500 index are expected to grow 4.5 percent in the third quarter over the same period a year ago, according to S&P Capital IQ, a research firm.
Settlement reached in Toyota case
OKLAHOMA CITY - Toyota Motor Corp. reached a confidential settlement with the victims of a deadly crash in Oklahoma to avoid punitive damages in a case where a jury found a 2005 Camry's on- board electronics system was defective and caused it to accelerate suddenly.
A day earlier, the Oklahoma Country jury awarded a total of $3 million in monetary damages to the driver of the car, who was injured, and the family of the passenger, who was killed in the crash in 2007.
It's the first jury ruling against Toyota in a personal injury case involving unintended acceleration. Of equal significance was the jury's determination that a defect in a Toyota vehicle's software linked to the electronic throttle-control system was to blame. The Japanese automaker has recalled millions of car after claims of unintended acceleration. It has denied that electronics played any role in the problem.
U.S. factory goods orders rise 3.7%
WASHINGTON - A jump in demand for commercial airplanes boosted orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods last month. But orders for most other goods fell as businesses cut spending, a possible sign of concern about the partial government shutdown that began Oct. 1.
The Commerce Department said Friday orders for durable goods rose 3.7 percent in September, above the 0.2 percent gain in August. But a 57.5 percent jump in aircraft orders accounted for nearly all the gain. Durable goods are meant to last at least three years.
United Airlines fined $1.1 million for delays
CHICAGO - United Airlines will pay more than $1 million in fines for stranding passengers on 13 planes for more than three hours on the tarmac during a stormy day last year at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, federal officials announced Friday.
The $1.1 million fine is the largest levied against an airline since 2010, when new rules took effect that bar airlines from stranding passengers on the tarmac for longer than three hours without giving them the opportunity to leave the plane, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
McDonald's ending Heinz relationship
McDonald's has lost its taste for Heinz ketchup.
The fast-food giant said in a statement Friday that it is cutting ties with the condiment company after management changes there. A former Burger King CEO became head of Heinz in June.
Heinz is led by Bernardo Hees, who also is a partner at 3G Capital. 3G teamed up with Warren Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway to buy Heinz earlier this year. Hees still serves as serves as vice chairman of Burger King's board.
McDonald's uses Heinz products only in Pittsburgh and Minneapolis restaurants in the U.S., limiting the impact of the change to overseas markets.
Jack Daniel's in legal fight with distiller
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A white whiskey named for a famed Appalachian moonshiner started out being sold in Mason jars, to honor its roguish roots, but switched to square-shaped bottling. That new look has the upstart distiller embroiled in a trademark infringement fight with Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey.
The legal feuding pits an industry blue blood against a tiny distiller that proudly claims to carry on the tradition of moonshiner Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton. The irascible Sutton wrote a paperback called "Me and My Likker" and recorded videos on how to make moonshine.
The owner of the Jack Daniel's trademark sued the Nashville, Tenn.-based distiller of Popcorn Sutton's Tennessee White Whiskey. The lawsuit claims the bottling and labeling for the Popcorn Sutton product is "confusingly similar" to the ubiquitous packaging for Jack Daniel's.
Fed tightening security procedures
WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve said it is tightening the security procedures in place when it releases information to reporters.
In a statement, the Fed said the additional controls will start with next week's meeting and were put in place after consultations with news organizations. The measures include holding a lockup at the Federal Reserve, where transmission of the news will be over data lines controlled by the central bank.
The Fed said it believes the measures will protect against the premature release of the decisions made by its interest-rate setting panel.
It made the change after concerns were raised about suspiciously heavy trading of gold futures following its last meeting on Sept. 18- 19. There were worries that the trading was triggered by the premature release of market-sensitive Fed information.
Kirshbaum to leave Amazon publishing
NEW YORK - Larry Kirshbaum, a high-profile publishing executive who helped Amazon grow its book publishing business in New York, is leaving the company on Jan. 17.
Amazon spokeswoman Sarah Gelman confirmed the departure on Friday, saying the company is sorry to see him go. Kirshbaum joined Amazon in 2011 and is going back to being a literary agent.
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