FTC looks into GM's 'certified' used cars
The Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether General Motors dealers promoted used vehicles as "certified pre-owned" despite failing to make repairs required under publicly announced recalls, the company disclosed. "On June 3, 2015, we received notice of an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission concerning certified pre-owned vehicle advertising where dealers had certified vehicles allegedly needing recall repairs," GM stated in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission detailing its second-quarter financial performance. It's unclear if dealers are also targeted by the FTC probe.
Initial jobless claims drop to historic low
Six years after a brutal recession that wiped out more than 8.5 million jobs, Americans are now enjoying a nearly unprecedented level of job security. The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid plunged last week to the lowest in nearly 42 years. Applications for jobless benefits are a proxy for layoffs, so the low level indicates that employers are keeping their staffs and likely hiring at a steady pace. Weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 26,000 to 255,000, the fewest since November 1973, the Labor Department said. The four-week average, a less volatile number, fell 4,000 to 278,500. The average has fluctuated around that figure since May.
Wal-Mart buys Chinese retailer outright
Wal-Mart wants to make a bigger play for Chinese consumers online. The world's largest retailer has purchased the remaining stake it didn't own in China's Yihaodian, an online retailer. Wal-Mart is attempting to follow consumers as they migrate to the Internet in China, a country where the retailer has struggled to adjust to buying habits and local competition. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Yihaodian, founded in 2008, sells more than 8 million products. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. previously held about 51 percent of Yihaodian.
Pearson to sell Financial Times to Nikkei
Japanese media company Nikkei Inc. is buying the Financial Times as part of a $1.3 billion deal with Britain's Pearson PLC. The deal is part of Nikkei's strategy to boost its global reach and also allows Pearson to concentrate on its core global education business. John Fallon, chief executive of Pearson, said the company has been a proud proprietor of the Financial Times for nearly 60 years, but the rapidly changing media landscape meant it's time for the salmon-colored business daily to change hands. As part of the deal, Pearson has agreed to sell the vast majority of the assets in FT Group, including the Financial Times newspaper and the popular FT.com.
Leading indicators rose 0.6% last month
An index designed to predict the future health of the U.S. economy posted another solid increase in June, providing further hope that the economy will gain momentum in the second half of this year. The Conference Board said that its index of leading indicators rose 0.6 percent in June following healthy gains of 0.8 percent in May and 0.6 percent in April. Conference Board economists said the string of solid increases point to continued economic strength for the rest of this year.
Saddlebags lead to Harley-Davidson recall
Harley-Davidson is recalling more than 185,000 motorcycles in the U.S. because the saddlebags can come loose and fall off, increasing the risk of a crash. The recall covers certain 2014 and 2015 Road King, Street Glide, Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Ultra Limited, Police Road King, Police Electra Glide and CVO Ultra Limited bikes. Also affected are 2014 CVO Road King and the 2015 Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low, Ultra Limited Low, Road Glide, CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide Ultra motorcycles. Harley says it found the problem through warranty claims and traced it to mounting hardware. Dealers will replace the hardware free of charge starting Monday.