Oil drops below $90 for first time since Nov. 1
NEW YORK — The price of oil tumbled below $90 Wednesday for the first time in nearly seven months as U.S. supplies continue to grow. Benchmark U.S. crude fell $2.14, or 2.3 percent, to $89.71 per barrel. The price hadn’t been below $90 since Nov. 1.
The government said U.S. oil supplies last week hit the highest level since 1990. Concern about the strength of the global economy, particularly Europe, also contributed to the decline and is a large reason oil has plunged nearly 15 percent in May.
Gasoline prices in the U.S. have followed oil lower.
Facebook stock climbs as investors file lawsuit
NEW YORK — Facebook’s stock climbed higher Wednesday, a reprieve for shareholders after the stock’s rocky inaugural trading day Friday was followed by a two-day decline.
Shares closed up $1, or 3.23 percent, to $32. That’s still nearly 16 percent below the initial public offering price of $38.
Meanwhile, a group of shareholders has sued Facebook, its executives and Morgan Stanley, the IPO’s top underwriter. The suit alleges that the IPO documents contained untrue statements and omitted key facts.
Facebook said the lawsuit is without merit. Morgan Stanley declined to comment.
Kraft shareholders give ‘Mondelez’ thumbs up
NEW YORK — Kraft Foods shareholders have approved the name “Mondelez” for its new global snack-food business, which may put to rest the snickering that initially greeted the name.
The name was approved by more than 90 percent of shareholders who voted, the company said Wednesday.
The name — pronounced “mon-dah-LEEZ” — will take effect when Kraft splits into two publicly traded companies this year.
Mondelez International will be home to global brands including Oreo, Cadbury and Nabisco.
The North American grocery business will continue to carry the name Kraft and include Velveeta and Oscar Mayer.
Martha Stewart named to non-executive advisory post
NEW YORK — Martha Stewart was named Wednesday as non-executive chairwoman of the lifestyle, media and merchandising company she created.
Stewart rejoined the board of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in September at the end of a five-year ban on serving as a board member or as an executive of a public company as part of a settlement with federal regulators related to insider trading.
As non-executive chairwoman, Stewart will help set the direction for the business but will have no direct operating role.
2012 Chevy Cruzes added to probe of engine fires
DETROIT — U.S. safety officials have added the 2012 model year to a probe of engine fires in the Chevrolet Cruze.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said last month it was investigating the 2011 Cruze because of two complaints of fires that engulfed the cars.
Regulators are now asking for information about fires in 2012 models as well. Investigators are focusing on wiring and a computer that controls the transmission.
GM said the probe now covers about 370,000 cars and that it is cooperating. The car has not been recalled, and no one was hurt in the two reported fires.
Sony, Samsung request pricing help on TV sets
TOKYO — Sony and Samsung Electronics are asking U.S. retailers to maintain minimum prices for TVs to boost profitability as global demand declines.
Sony’s policy covers about 120 models of TVs, camcorders, audio players and tablet computers, a spokesman for the company said Wednesday. Samsung’s program will cover some new TV models, a spokesman said.
Staff, wire reports