European nations approve $170B more for Greece
BRUSSELS -- After more than 12 hours of talks, the countries that use to euro reached an agreement early Tuesday to hand Greece $170 billion in extra bailout loans to save it from a potentially disastrous default next month, a European Union diplomat said.
The euro surged as the news broke, climbing 0.7 percent to $1.328 within minutes. While much depended on the details of the deal, a final agreement on the bailout for Greece will take some pressure off the 17-country currency union, which has been battling a serious debt crisis for two years.
The deal -- details of which were still being worked out by European finance ministers in an all-night session in Brussels -- was expected to bring Greece's debt down to 120.5 percent of gross domestic product by 2020, said the official. That's around the maximum that the International Monetary Fund and the eurozone considered sustainable.
The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because a formal announcement was pending.
Iran stops some crude exports, oil prices jump
NEW YORK -- Oil prices jumped to a nine-month high above $105 a barrel Monday after Iran said it halted crude exports to Britain and France in an escalation of a dispute over the Middle Eastern country's nuclear program.
By Monday afternoon, benchmark March crude was up $2.02 to $105.26 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest since May. The contract rose 93 cents to settle at $103.24 per barrel in New York on Friday.
Iran's announcement will likely have minimal impact on supplies, analysts said, because only about 3 percent of France's oil consumption is from Iranian sources. Britain had not imported oil from the Islamic republic in six months.
Wal-Mart wants to buy stake in Chinese e-tailer
BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to buy a controlling interest in the fast-growing Chinese online retailer Yihaodian.
The big-box chain operator has agreed to increase its stake in Yihaodian's holding company to approximately 51 percent, Wal-Mart said late Sunday.
The financial terms were not disclosed. It still must be approved by Chinese government regulators.
Yihaodian has been in business for less than four years. Yet it already sells more than 180,000 products, ranging from groceries to electronics to clothing. It has 5,400 employees and a next-day delivery network across Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu.
Dr. Scholl's image to get massaged with new ads
NEW YORK -- Dr. Scholl's wants to massage its arthritic image. The 106-year-old company began airing TV ads Monday to recast its orthopedic shoe inserts as "energizing cushions" that help people live life to the fullest.
The campaign will replace the brand's popular "Are You Gellin'?" spots, which featured actors in stressful situations being transformed by the gel inserts into a relaxed mood.
Company executives hope the new "Get Up and Go" tag line turns attention to how the inserts might enhance a wide range of lifestyles. They want to dispel the notion that Dr. Scholl's products are only for older people suffering aches and pains.
Casino owner, investor in battle over stock deal
NEW YORK -- The biggest stakeholder in Wynn Resorts Ltd. is fighting the casino company's move to forcibly buy back all of his shares.
Universal Entertainment Corp. said late Sunday that Chairman Kazuo Okada will "take all legal actions necessary to protect its investment and prevent" the forced buyback of his shares.
Wynn said it had bought out Okada's stake after finding that the Japanese tycoon made improper payments to overseas gambling regulators. It asked him to resign from the board.
Okada's company called the move "outrageous" and said more oversight of the Wynn board is necessary.