Price of gold rises to another record

Gold futures surged as high as a record $1,829.70 an ounce on demand for an investment haven as mounting concern that the global economy is faltering triggered a plunge in equities. Gold futures for December delivery jumped $28.20, or 1.6 percent, to settle at $1,822 on the Comex in New York, closing at an all-time high for the third straight day. The price has advanced 28 percent in 2011, after posting gains in the previous 10 years.

Liberty drops bid to buy Barnes & Noble

Liberty Media Corp., controlled by billionaire John Malone, dropped its bid to acquire Barnes & Noble Inc. and instead invested $204 million in the largest U.S. bookstore chain. Liberty Media agreed to purchase preferred shares, convertible into 12 million common shares or 17 percent of the company's stock, at $17 a share, Barnes & Noble said. The preferred shares will pay a 7.8 percent annual dividend, according to the statement. Barnes & Noble hired Lazard Ltd. to pursue a possible sale after three years of profit declines.

Coca-Cola to invest $4B in China business

Coca-Cola Co. and its Chinese bottling partners will invest $4 billion in the world's fastest-growing economy over three years from 2012 amid plans to build more factories and win market share from rival PepsiCo Inc. The money will help build bottling plants, fund distribution and develop new cold drinks, Coca-Cola spokeswoman Zhao Yanghong said in a phone interview. China sales for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola topped 1 billion unit cases in the six months through June, double the rate of 2005.

Mortgage rates drop to a 50-year low

U.S. mortgage rates fell to the lowest in more than half a century as concern that the global economic recovery is faltering spurred demand for bonds that guide home loans, according to Freddie Mac. The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan dropped to 4.15 percent in the week ended Thursday from 4.32 percent, the McLean, Va.-based mortgage financier said.

Cash dividend at Intuit

Intuit Inc. announced its first quarterly cash dividend ever after first-quarter revenue increased 10 percent. The board approved a quarterly cash payout of 15 cents a share payable Oct. 18 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 10.

FROM NEWS SERVICES