New evidence of a slowing economic rebound emerged today in reports that manufacturing activity is slowing after helping drive the early stages of the recovery. Factory output fell in June, according to a government report on industrial production. It was the sharpest monthly drop in a year. And two regional manufacturing indexes sank this month.
Stocks fall after weak manufacturing reports: Stocks fell today after another series of disappointing reports made investors more pessimistic about the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 80 points, likely ending its seven-day winning streak, while all the major indexes were down moderately.
Senate clears sweeping bank bill for final passage: A sweeping crackdown on banking and high-finance broke through a Senate Republican blockade today, setting the stage for Congress to send the massive regulation overhaul to President Barack Obama. The vote to end debate was 60-38, the minimum needed to overcome a filibuster. But that ensured that the bill has the votes for final passage, which could come later today.
Live Nation says ticket sales down 12 percent: Concert promotion giant Live Nation Entertainment says ticket sales for the Top 100 bands are down 12 percent in the first half of the year. It expects sales to fall further in the second half. Chief Executive Michael Rapino told investors in New York that the weak economy has taken its toll on the concert industry.
JPMorgan earns $4.8 billion in 2nd quarter: JPMorgan Chase & Co. said today its second-quarter net income soared 77 percent to $4.8 billion as a slowdown in losses from failed loans helped offset a difficult spring in trading and investment banking. The strong results offered hope that loan losses at the nation’s big banks may have peaked in the first half of 2010, a critical step before banks can become stronger and boost lending to consumers and small businesses.
Penthouse owner makes competing bid for Playboy: The owner of Penthouse magazine made a formal bid for the Playboy empire today despite founder Hugh Hefner’s insistence that he does not intend to sell the company. Penthouse corporate parent FriendFinder Networks Inc. said it will offer $210 million for Playboy Enterprises Inc. The bid comes just a few days after Hefner proposed to buy out the stake he doesn’t already own in a deal that would value the company at $185 million.
Billionaire Paul Allen pledges to share his wealth: Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said today that the majority of his wealth will go to philanthropy after his death. The Seattle billionaire says that has been his plan for years. A spokesman for the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Aaron Blank, said the announcement was a response to last month’s challenge from Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, who asked other billionaires to pledge at least half their wealth to charity.