Investors regain appetite for stocks

NEW YORK -- Investors regained some of their enthusiasm for stocks Tuesday, sending prices sharply higher after reports showed a slight improvement in the housing market and a big jump in industrial production.

Investors also were encouraged by earnings from Home Depot and Wal-Mart that were better than expected.

All the major stock indexes were up more than 1 percent. Interest rates rose as investors moved out of the bond market and back into stocks.

Mazda, GM issue recalls

WASHINGTON -- Mazda is recalling more than 300,000 Mazda3 and Mazda5 vehicles in North America to fix problems with the power-steering system.

The carmaker said the recall involved model year 2007-09 Mazda3 and Mazda5 vehicles built from April 2007 through November 2008. It involves 215,000 vehicles in the United States.

Also, General Motors is recalling nearly 250,000 crossover vehicles worldwide to inspect second-row seat belts that could be damaged and not latch.

GM said the recall affects 2009-10 models of the Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook. Most of the vehicles are in the United States, the company said.

Clothing retailer warns of troubles

NEW YORK -- Troubled clothing chain American Apparel Inc. said Tuesday it might not have enough liquidity to sustain itself over the next year.

The company also reported Tuesday a preliminary second-quarter loss. It expressed doubt about its ability to continue as a "going concern," standard language foreshadowing a possible bankruptcy.

American Apparel has expanded rapidly since going public in 2007 and operates about 260 stores in 19 countries. It has a store on King Street in downtown Charleston.

Lilly halts work on Alzheimer's drug

INDIANAPOLIS -- Eli Lilly and Co. has stopped developing a potential Alzheimer's disease treatment.

The Indianapolis company said Tuesday preliminary results from late-stage studies of semagacestat showed it did not slow the progression of Alzheimer's, and patients taking the drug actually fared worse than those on a placebo.

Separately, federal scientists are questioning whether Lilly's antidepressant Cymbalta is safe and effective enough to be approved for use against chronic pain. The Food and Drug Administration has posted its review of the company's application to market the drug for a range of ailments, including lower back pain.

The blockbuster drug already is approved to treat depression, diabetic nerve pain and fibromyalgia.

Potash spurns bid from BHP Billiton

ST. LOUIS -- Fertilizer producer Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. said Tuesday it has rejected an unsolicited takeover bid from BHP Billiton Ltd. worth about $38.49 billion as "grossly inadequate."

The Potash board also adopted a shareholder rights plan, known as a poison pill, to prevent anyone from snapping up more than a 20 percent stake.