Stocks slip slightly amid uncertainties
NEW YORK — Stocks had their fourth straight day of incremental moves as commodity prices slid and orders for big-ticket manufactured goods fell, injecting more economic uncertainty into the market.
Investors are uneasy but aren't giving up on stocks, as major indexes are still up about 11 percent since only mid-July. Analysts say more good news is needed for stocks to resume their climb.
For now, though, investors are finding more reasons for concern. The price of oil and raw materials fell after stocks tumbled in China, where a slowing economy could hurt demand for some commodities. A jump in U.S. crude inventories further weighed on the price of oil.
Also, the Commerce Department said orders to U.S. factories for goods expected to last at least three years fell an unexpectedly steep 2.5 percent in June. That reflected troubles in the auto industry and a drop in demand for commercial aircraft. It was the largest decrease in five months, and was worse than the 0.6 percent decrease analysts were expecting.
Alcoa chairman to retire as executive
PITTSBURGH — Alcoa Inc. said Wednesday executive chairman and former CEO Alain Belda will retire as an executive of the company effective Aug. 1, but will continue as board chairman until his term expires next April.
The company said in a regulatory filing it expects CEO Klaus Kleinfeld to succeed Belda as chairman. Kleinfeld took over from Belda as CEO of Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, in May 2008.
Alcoa operates a large smelter near Goose Creek in Berkeley County.
Madoff's wife sued by trustee in case
NEW YORK — The trustee overseeing the liquidation of Bernard Madoff's assets sued the jailed money manager's wife Wednesday, asking for nearly $45 million that he says was spent on "a life of splendor."
Irving Picard spelled out his claims in a lawsuit against Ruth Madoff, who recently moved out of a $7 million Manhattan penthouse where she and her husband had lived during their 49-year marriage.
Her lawyer said in a statement that the lawsuit was "particularly perplexing and totally unjustified" because his client has already forfeited to the prosecutor nearly all of the assets described in the lawsuit.
Time Warner Cable growth is slowing
NEW YORK — Time Warner Cable, the second largest U.S. cable TV operator, reported a 14 percent increase in second-quarter profit Wednesday but warned that subscriber growth continued to slow.
CEO Glenn Britt also said there were signs that its phone service customers are ditching land-lines for wireless phones.
The cable company, which serves the Summerville area, said net income rose to $316 million in the three months ended June 30. Revenue rose 4 percent to $4.47 billion.
Volume drives net income at Visa Inc.
SAN FRANCISCO — Visa Inc.'s fiscal third-quarter profit jumped 72 percent, as global payment processing volume offset a slight volume decline in the United States.
The world's largest electronic payment network on Wednesday reported net income of $729 million. Visa's revenue rose 2 percent to $1.65 billion.