British bank settles laundering case with N.Y.

The British bank Standard Chartered has agreed to pay New York's top banking regulator $340 million to settle claims that it laundered hundreds of billions of dollars in tainted money for Iran and lied to regulators. The agreement is a victory for Benjamin Lawsky and the New York Department of Financial Services, which took on the bank alone in charging that it schemed for nearly a decade with Iran to hide from regulators 60,000 transactions worth $250 billion. The deal, however, has the potential to undercut a sweeping settlement between the bank and federal regulators. The bank has maintained that only $14 million of the $250 billion in transactions violated federal regulations and it has not admitted wrongdoing.

Fisker appoints CEO with long GM history

Fisker Automotive, the struggling manufacturer of luxury plug-in hybrid cars, has chosen Tony Posawatz, who led the development of the Chevrolet Volt, as chief executive, the company announced in a teleconference Tuesday. Posawatz, who recently retired from General Motors after a 32-year career, will succeed Tom LaSorda, the former Chrysler and GM executive who had become Fisker's chief just five months ago. "He will take the company to the next level," LaSorda, who will remain with the company as an adviser, said during the teleconference. The move is viewed by some within the industry as a coup for the startup, based in Anaheim, Calif. The maker of pricey, sporty plug-ins -- such as the Karma favored by pop star Justin Bieber -- has been buffeted recently by stalled model development, recalls, missed deadlines and layoffs.

Home Depot sees signs of improving market

The Home Depot Inc. is feeling more optimistic about the recovery of the housing market after customers spent more on sprucing up their homes in the second quarter. The country's biggest home-improvement retailer said Tuesday that strong cost controls and healthy sales of paint, bathroom accessories and kitchen installations helped lift its net income by 12 percent during the period. Home Depot now expects fiscal 2012 earnings of $2.95 per share, up from the $2.90 per share it previously forecast. Revenue is still expected to rise 4.6 percent, implying $73.63 billion.

Apple claims more of tablet market

Apple's shipments of iPad tablets surged 44 percent to 17 million in the second quarter, giving the company its biggest share of the market in more than a year as devices from competitors lost ground. Apple's market share climbed to 69.6 percent in the quarter from 58.1 percent in the previous three-month period, according to a report today from IHS. Amazon's share of the tablet market slipped to 4.2 percent in the second quarter from 5.8 percent in the previous three months, IHS said. Samsung Electronics had a 9.2 percent share in the second quarter, down from 10.8 percent. Apple is preparing for more challengers to its iPad. Microsoft will begin selling its Surface tablet later this year. Google introduced its Nexus 7 device in June.

CAW expects deal with U.S. automakers

The Canadian Auto Workers union expects to reach agreements with Detroit's three automakers this fall without a work stoppage, CAW President Ken Lewenza said Tuesday at the opening of bargaining in Toronto. CAW contracts with General Motors, Ford and Chrysler expire at midnight Sept. 17. GM's opening proposal stressed the importance of operations in Canada, but called for lower hourly labor costs because Canada has become one of the most expensive places to build vehicles. The handshake opening with Chrysler occurred later Tuesday. Ford follows on Wednesday. Automakers say they must address higher labor costs whatever the cause.

Average price at the pump climbs 30 cents

The price of oil is holding on stubbornly to its recent gains, and that's causing pain at the pump for U.S. drivers. Benchmark crude rose 70 cents to finish at $93.43 a barrel Tuesday in New York, up $5 a barrel so far this month. Retail gasoline, meanwhile, topped an average of $3.70 per gallon. The national average has climbed by more than 30 cents in the last month and is up about 10 cents from a year ago, according to AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service.