U.S. manufacturing growth slows further
U.S. manufacturers expanded at their slowest pace in two years last month, held back by faltering global growth and cutbacks in oil and gas drilling. The Institute for Supply Management said its index of factory activity fell sharply to 50.2 in September from 51.1 in August. That is the lowest level since May 2013. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. New orders and production both fell sharply and a measure of hiring also declined, according to the ISM, a trade group of purchasing managers. All three measures still barely remained in expansion territory. U.S. manufacturers are getting hit by slower growth in China and a stronger dollar.
Amazon won't sell Apple TV, Chromecast
Amazon will stop allowing the sale of Google and Apple video-streaming devices on its site as it focuses on its own Prime Instant Video streaming service. Prime Video has become an important part of Amazon's $99 annual Prime loyalty membership program. The video-streaming devices sold on the site should be able to work with Prime Video, the company said. "It's important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion," Amazon said. Along with Amazon's Fire TV, the site will still sell other companies' video-streaming devices that are compatible with Prime Video, including Roku, Xbox and PlayStation. But Apple TV and Google's Chromecast will be not be sold.
ConAgra moving headquarters to Chicago
ConAgra Foods Inc. will cut about 1,500 jobs, or about 30 percent of its global office-based workforce, and move its headquarters to Chicago from Omaha, Neb., the company said. About 700 workers will be in Chicago starting next summer, including the company's senior leadership as well as some operations for its consumer foods segment that are in Omaha and Naperville, Ill. The company will maintain a significant presence in Omaha with about 1,200 employees, ConAgra said. Those workers will be involved in research and development, supply-chain management and administration.
65% of Chrysler's UAW members voted no
Nearly two-thirds of United Auto Workers at Fiat Chrysler voted to reject a proposed contract agreement with the company. Sixty-five percent of the membership voted against the pact, the union said, sending UAW leaders scrambling for a Plan B. Union leaders from across the nation were meeting Thursday in a Detroit suburb to talk about their next move. The rejection is a slap at UAW President Dennis Williams, who pitched the deal as a fair way to compensate workers yet keep the company competitive in a global auto market.
Apple's board becomes a little more diverse
Apple has filled a void on its board of directors with James Bell, the former chief financial officer for aircraft maker Boeing Co. Bell becomes the only African-American on Apple's board, helping the iPhone and iPad maker diversify its corporate hierarchy at a time when major technology companies are under fire for not having enough women and minorities in leadership roles and in their overall workforce. Apple Inc. already has two women on what is now an eight-director board. Two of Apple's top executives, Lisa Jackson and Denise Young-Smith, are also African-Americans.
Sales expected to slow at Dunkin' Donuts
Shares of Dunkin' Brands fell more than 12 percent after the company said it expects sales to slow from the previous quarter at its doughnut shops. Sales at Dunkin' Donuts stores open at least a year are expected to grow 1.1 percent in the third quarter, well below the 2.9 percent growth reported in its last quarter. The company projects customer traffic will slip 0.7 percent in the third quarter. Dunkin', which also owns Baskin-Robbins, kept its earnings and revenue outlook for the year unchanged. It expects earnings between $1.87 per share and $1.91 per share for the year and revenue to grow 6 to 8 percent from the previous year.