Business briefs: Canadian Pacific to sell west end of DM&E railroad

  • Updated: January 2, 2014 - 9:20 PM

Canadian Pacific to sell west end of DM&E

Canadian Pacific said it’s selling the west end of its Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern railroad line to Genesee & Wyoming Inc. for about $210 million. The deal includes 660 miles of rail between Tracy, Minn., and Rapid City, and northwest of Rapid City to Colony, Wyo., and south of Rapid City to Dakota Junction, Neb. Also included are connecting branch lines and track from Dakota Junction to Crawford, Neb., currently leased to the Nebraska Northwestern Railroad. The sale is subject to U.S. Surface Transportation Board approval. It’s expected to close by midyear.

Initial jobless claims are lowest in a month

Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits declined last week to the lowest level in a month as the volatility typical during the year-end holidays waned. Jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 339,000 in the period ended Saturday, Labor Department data showed. The median forecast of 26 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 344,000 claims. Firings will probably be limited this year as gains in business and consumer spending help the world’s largest economy strengthen. Further healing in the labor market may depend on lawmakers’ progress in budget negotiations this month. The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, increased to 357,250 from 348,750 in the previous week.

Retailers file appeal of swipe-fee settlement

The National Retail Federation is appealing a multibillion-dollar settlement over credit card swipe fees, saying the deal won’t stop fees from soaring. Last month, a federal judge approved the settlement between retailers and card giants Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. Retailers had accused the card companies of conspiring to fix transaction fees charged to stores for handling credit card payments. The settlement was originally valued at $7.25 billion but shrank to about $5.7 billion because some retailers opted out, according to a lawyer for the plaintiffs. The retail federation filed an appeal with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking it to overturn a lower court’s approval of the settlement.

Macy’s settles dispute with Martha Stewart

Macy’s and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia have ended their legal battle over whether J.C. Penney had the right to sell certain Martha Stewart-branded housewares. Macy’s and Martha Stewart announced that they had settled the breach-of-contract case, saying the details were confidential and not material to either company. They said their partnership would continue, but declined to comment further. Macy’s larger suit against J.C. Penney remains. Macy’s said the settlement with Martha Stewart Living would not affect that case.

American will stick with new tail design

American Airlines employees have decided they like the new look for its airplanes. After a companywide vote with 60,418 votes cast, American announced that its aircraft livery will feature the new flag tail design that was unveiled last year. “It was very close, but the majority has spoken,” said American Chief Executive Doug Parker. The carrier said 31,355 votes were cast in favor of the flag tail, about 52 percent, while 29,063 were cast in favor of the double-A eagle logo that American had sported for several decades.

Wal-Mart dealing with doctored donkey meat

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it’s considering taking legal action against “responsible parties” after DNA testing showed traces of fox meat in the donkey meat it sold in China. Wal-Mart had recalled the donkey meat — which it said was considered a popular delicacy in parts of China — after DNA testing by a government agency. The company said that it withdrew all products from the supplier, Dezhou Fujude Food Co., and that affected customers were offered compensation. It also says it plans to add DNA testing to its meat products in China. Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., has 404 stores in China.

Hyundai, Kia see weaker sales growth ahead

Hyundai and Kia, South Korea’s two largest automakers, forecast their weakest sales growth in eight years as competition intensifies and the stronger won hampers exports. Hyundai and Kia’s combined deliveries will increase 4 percent to 7.86 million vehicles in 2014, Chung Mong Koo, chairman of both automakers, told employees during a new year address in Seoul. That’s the slowest growth since 2006 and falls short of the 8 million units projection based on the average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The forecast comes days after Hyundai announced a leadership change in the U.S., where sales have slumped.

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