Stocks fall as economic malaise drags on Japan
NEW YORK — U.S. stocks fell Monday as evidence piled up that the global economic slowdown is dragging on Asia.
Japan’s economy grew in the second quarter at a 1.4 percent annual rate, slower than many analysts had expected. Last week, China released dismal figures on retail sales and exports in July. Traders had hoped Beijing would roll out stimulus measures over the weekend. That did not happen.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 38.52 to 13,169.43. The S&P 500 declined 1.76 to 1,404.11. The Nasdaq index rose 1.66 to 3,022.52.
Local publisher moving into Innovation Center
The History Press is moving its headquarters from 635 Rutledge Ave. to the SCRA MUSC Innovation Center, a spokeswoman for the S.C. Research Authority said Monday.
The publisher of local and regional history books will occupy a large space that has remained mostly vacant since the Innovation Center opened at 645 Meeting St. in late 2009.
“I know it’s different because they’re not tech-oriented, but thinking of our Launch (venture capital) program, it kind of goes with what we’re trying to do in promoting the knowledge economy in the state,” said SCRA spokeswoman Micki Howard.
A spokeswoman for the History Press declined to comment on Monday.
Groupon beats profit estimates, but sales lag
CHICAGO — Online deals website Groupon said Monday that its second-quarter earnings beat Wall Street’s estimates, but it underwhelmed analysts with sales growth hurt by unfavorable currency movements.
Net income came to $28.4 million, reversing a net loss of $107.4 million a year ago. Excluding the cost of paying executives with stock and a gain on reorganizing a Chinese joint venture, adjusted earnings came to 4 cents per share, beating the 3 cents expected by analysts polled by FactSet.
FedEx to offer U.S. staff buyouts to lower costs
NEW YORK — FedEx will soon begin offering buyouts to U.S. employees in an effort to cut costs in the face of a weakening global economy.
The world’s second largest package delivery company hinted at cutbacks earlier. It has already removed some aircraft from its fleet of more than 600 to account for a loss of demand.
FedEx hasn’t yet decided how many positions will be eliminated, but it will likely focus on slow-growth areas like its Express and Services units.
Sears proceeding with plans to spin-off 2 units
NEW YORK — Sears is moving forward with plans to spin off its Hometown and Outlet stores as well as some hardware stores into a separate publicly traded company.
Sears had signaled that it would split the companies back in February. There are a total of 1,238 Hometown, Outlet and hardware stores as of April 28, according to Sears, which is trying to turn around its business and spruce up its image.
Barnes & Noble cutting prices for Nook tablet
NEW YORK — Barnes & Noble Inc. says it’s reducing by $20 the price for its less-expensive model Nook tablet computer, undercutting by that amount the rival Kindle Fire sold by Amazon.com.
The biggest U.S. traditional book retailer said it’s cutting the price for the 8-gigabyte model Nook tablet to $179 from the current $199. The Kindle Fire, with 6 gigabytes of memory, sells for $199. Barnes & Noble also announced a $50 reduction, to $199 from $249, for its 16-gigabyte Nook tablet.
Staff and wire reports