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Mark Carney pledged that Bank of England officials won
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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are edging higher in late morning trading Friday as investors weighed productivity gains against escalating geopolitical troubles in Ukraine, Gaza and Iraq. U.S. fighters dropped bombs on Islamic militants in Iraq a day after President Barack Obama authorized airstrikes to protect U.S. civilians there and Iraqi refugees. Investors bought up the U.S. 10-year Treasury notes, a refuge in troubled times.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose eight points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,919 as of 11:20 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial was up 72 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,440. The Nasdaq composite rose 14 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,349.
GEOPOLITICAL JITTERS: U.S. fighter planes dropped laser-guided 500-pound bombs on an Islamic State artillery device and the truck towing it, according to a military spokesman. The move follows President Obama’s authorization on Thursday of airdrops of humanitarian aid and airstrikes to counter advancing Sunni radical militants.
Investors are also keeping an eye on Ukraine and on Gaza, where a three-day cease-fire came to an end. In addition, the World Health Organization on Friday declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to be an international public health emergency that requires an extraordinary response to stop its spread.
BOND BUYING: Investors sought safety in U.S. Treasurys, driving the yield on the benchmark 10-year note to its lowest level since June 2013. The yield fell to 2.37 percent from 2.41 percent late Thursday.
PRODUCTIVITY GAIN: U.S. workers were more productive in the April-June quarter and labor costs rose slightly, a sharp turnaround from grim first-quarter figures bad credit payday advance. The Labor Department said Friday that that productivity increased 2.5 percent at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, after plummeting 4.5 percent in the first quarter.
EUROPEAN STOCKS: Germany’s DAX fell 0.3 percent while the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares dropped 0.5 percent. France’s CAC-40 was flat.
All those indexes look set to close down for the week. The three major U.S. indexes are also set to post weekly losses.
THE QUOTE: “A red end to another red week looks firmly entrenched for equities,” said Will Hedden, premium client manager at IG. “The weekend will feel like a long time for potential bad news to fester after many geopolitical events have come to a head all at the same time.”
LULU SURGES: Shares of Lululemon Athletica rose $1.11, or 2.8 percent, to $40.14. The company founder, Dennis “Chip” Wilson, has agreed to sell half his stake in the company as part of a truce to avert a potentially messy battle for control of the retailer of yoga apparel and other exercise gear.
JAPAN TUMBLE: In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 slid 3 percent to 14,778 as the yen strengthened. Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.1 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.2 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.3 percent to 2,194.42.
COMMODITIES: Crude oil rose 29 cents to $97.63 a barrel. Gold rose 0.1 percent at $1,313 an ounce.
Banks in the U.S. eased lending requirements amid a widespread increase in demand during the second quarter, according to a Federal Reserve survey.
The shine is starting to come off the U.K. pound, which has given up its reign as the most popular bullish bet for 2014 among the Group of 10 currencies.
Hedge funds and other large speculators cut their net wagers on a sterling advance by 28,915 contracts in the three weeks ending July 25, the biggest reduction in a year, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in Washington show. The currency slipped to $1.6944 yesterday in New York from an almost six-year high of $1.7192 July 15 amid speculation much of the good news on Britain
It was to be a journey of self-discovery, a four-month cycling trip through rural America with pit stops in the country’s musical heartlands.
So on May 15, Toronto’s Iain Gerrard packed a patch kit, campfire grill and other bits and bobs and left his home on the South Kingsway on his 18-speed Brodie racing bike.
For Gerrard, it was to be a trip to help him decide what he’d do with his life. Would the 23-year-old with the shock of brown hair and grey eyes pursue a career in music? He had a reputation for pulsing DJ mixes that would enliven home parties and raves.
Or would he pursue a career in journalism after years of walking the streets of his west-end Swansea neighbourhood, peppering neighbours with questions and sharing oddball quotes from Mark Twain, his favourite writer.
For Gerrard, like so many youth today, there was a frustrating uncertainty when it came to thinking about his future. He had a diploma in audio engineering from a local Toronto school, but he still lacked a decisive direction.
So after several years spent washing dishes in a Toronto restaurant and working in a local juice factory, with cash squirrelled away for the odd motel and shower and bike repair, Gerrard — 6-foot-3 and rail-thin — charted his route. He planned stops in Detroit, the home of Motown; St. Louis, a blues hotbed and the former gateway to the U.S. Midwest; and Memphis, where the likes of Elvis Presley got his start.
Other layovers were scheduled for New Orleans and Nashville, cities steeped in the roots of rock ’n’ roll, gospel and soul, before returning to Canada, hopefully with a clear-eyed vision of his future and a better understanding of a polarized country where, in cities such as Memphis, the battle flag of the Tennessee Confederate army is still hoisted in a public park.
“It’s not all about the music, the south also has an incredible history,” Gerrard wrote on a journal entry on his blog, Round Trip. “Since its (sic) been colonized by the Spanish, French, and the British all those each left a little bit behind resulting in a diverse culture that is rich in all measurable ways.”
What better way to travel through America, Gerrard figured, than through small towns and hamlets on a bike, digesting the sights and smells of a road less travelled.
Iain first found his way into my own home as a six-year-old scamp, picking up small five-pound weights and trying to impress his friends with feats of strength. More than a decade later, I was on assignment in Afghanistan, feeling alone, wondering whether the stories I was reporting were worth the risks of the job, when word came from Toronto.
An avid news reader, Iain had been smitten by a story I filed about an upstart school in Kabul that was teaching kids how to skateboard. He sent a message through family that he’d loved the story and was desperate for more information about the school.
The spirits of a supposedly seasoned foreign correspondent were lifted by an 18-year-old teenager.
Gerrard’s father William said it’s no surprise that his son would take off on such a cycling trip by himself.
“Iain was always challenging himself to face his fears,” he said.
Last year, during a family vacation to a cabin in rural Quebec, Iain told his parents he wanted to spend the night by himself on an island across the lake from his family, despite the presence of bear, moose and wolves.
“He had his guitar and sang as loud as he could to keep the animals away,” William said. “He did it, and went to sleep for a bit. He only came back across the lake to the cabin when he woke up with a bullfrog sitting on his face.”
Perhaps the first lesson Gerrard learned this spring after crossing the U.S. border in Detroit was that while the U.S. might be the battleground for venomous political debate, it’s still a place where a visitor can find kindness from strangers.
He knocked on the door of a home on the shore of Lake Erie, asking if he could pitch his tent on the property.
“The family said, ‘Absolutely not, come inside and stay with us,’ ” Jean Gerrard, Iain’s mother, said Thursday morning in her backyard. “Iain stayed there for three days, the second day the family gave him their Jet Ski to go out and have fun on the lake. He was the kind of guy who really clicked with people he made a connection with.”
After Detroit and St. Louis, Gerrard navigated his way to Memphis, visiting Elvis’s grave and the motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down. He stopped in a music store to buy a cheap ukulele.
“He was writing a song a day on the trip,” William said. “He was saying he wanted an instrument to start putting his lyrics to music so he got that guitar.”
On a quiet stretch of highway outside Memphis, headed south to the Louisiana border with the ukulele strapped to his rucksack, Gerrard’s journey was cut short. He died instantly on July 14 when he was hit by a transport truck.
A night before his death, Gerrard wrote his final song, “Kentucky Rain.”
Rain keeps on blowing, Mississippi River keeps on flowing, and I just keep on travelling by and by
Storm clouds filled with thunder, but they won’t get me under, Ill just sit here and pray for clearer skies
I can’t stand the pain, when I’m dreaming of Tennessee sunshine but I’m stuck with Kentucky rain.
Pain it tests me, my woman left me, cried so hard now my eyes are empty, so I hit the road and headed for the coast.
I didn’t leave too much behind, just a couple of friends, an empty bottle of wine, maybe we’ll meet again someday.
For his grieving family and others in Swansea, the past week has been spent remembering Gerrard, whose love for composing original electronic dance music, writing, and mornings spent fly fishing may only have been eclipsed by his attachment to Glasgow’s famous Celtic soccer team.
At visitations on Tuesday and his funeral the following day, Gerrard was remembered by friends and family as a youth who never stopped asking the fundamental question of journalism: Why?
BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union ambassadors have reached a preliminary deal on stepped-up sanctions against Russia, targeting its access to European capital markets and trade in the defense sector, dual-use goods and sensitive technologies.
EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic says the proposals were transmitted Friday to EU officials to codify into regulations, with the ambassadors scheduled to meet again Tuesday to review the results. She said EU member states must decide whether the measures need to be approved by a summit meeting of the trade bloc’s 28 member countries to go into effect fast cash loans.
The ambassadors also ordered EU-wide asset freezes and travel bans for an undisclosed number of Russians and pro-Russian Ukrainians who are accused of undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty. The names of those affected should be made public later Friday.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Friday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market:
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), down 74 cents to $3.83
The semiconductor maker reported second-quarter financial results below expectations along with lower-than-expected guidance.
B&G Foods Inc. (BGS), down $1.20 to $29.62
The food and household goods maker reported second-quarter profit below Wall Street expectations and lowered its full-year outlook.
Knoll Inc. (KNL), up $1.18 to $18.15
The furniture and accessories company reported a boost in second-quarter profit and revenue, exceeding Wall Street expectations.
Key Energy Services Inc. (KEG), down $1.34 to $7.03
The oil well and energy services company revised its second-quarter financial outlook and now expects to report a loss.
Google Inc payday loans. (GOOG), up $21.35 to $595.08
The Internet giant reported a boost in second-quarter revenue and profit, despite an extended slump in advertising prices.
Skyworks Solutions Inc. (SWKS), up $6.53 to $52.87
The semiconductor company reported third-quarter profit above Wall Street expectations and set better-than-expected guidance.
Gentiva Health Services Inc. (GTIV), up $2.49 to $17.96
The home health company rejected a partial stake offer from Kindred Healthcare and said it received a buyout offer elsewhere.
RealPage Inc. (RP), down $4.74 to $16.68
The rental property management software company cut its revenue outlook citing weak leasing activity and low vacancy rates.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The same federal scientist who uncovered forgotten vials of smallpox earlier this month also found over 300 undocumented vials at the same lab, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
FDA officials say the vials list the names of other contagious viruses and bacteria, including dengue, influenza and rickettsia. Previously the government only announced it had recovered six glass vials of smallpox dating from the 1950s.
The freeze-dried smallpox samples were found in a building at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, that has been used by the Food and Drug Administration since 1972.
The find was disturbing because for decades after smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, world health authorities said the only known samples left were safely stored in super-secure laboratories in Atlanta and in Russia.
Stock in Isle of Capri took a beating Friday, a day after the Creve Coeur-based gaming company announced job shuffles in the executive suite.
Analysts interpreted the moves as a signal that a company sale, rumored for weeks, might be off.
Kim Noland, director of high yield research at Gimme Credit, an independent research service on corporate bonds, noted recent media reports that Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. was considering a bid for Isle.
But in a research note Friday, she said the departure of Dale Black, Isle’s chief financial officer, “to pursue other interests,” and the appointment of Eric Hausler, the chief strategic officer, as CFO, “suggests a sale may not be as close as reported.”
Isle stock fell Friday to $8.69, down nearly 14 percent from Thursday’s close of $10.05.
Among other job changes Isle announced Thursday was the appointment of Robert Goldstein, the board’s vice chairman, as the board’s non-executive chairman.
Noland said the Goldstein family, which owns 40 percent of Isle, has been reported to have solicited purchase bids through a banker.
GLPI is a real-estate investment trust spun off last year by Penn National Gaming. Noland pointed out that as a REIT, GLPI would need to find an operator for Isle’s portfolio of properties in different states in an outright sale agreement cash advance loan no fax.
Isle is a regional gaming company with 15 casino properties in seven states. Its Missouri casinos are in Boonville, Cape Girardeau, Caruthersville and Kansas City.
Isle’s spokeswoman declined to discuss the job shuffles but pointed out the statement from Virginia McDowell, Isle’s chief executive, that the changes will streamline company operations and save $2.5 million annually.
At least one analyst, Robert Shore of Union Gaming Group, indicated that too much could be made of Isle’s job shuffles.
“We do not view changes, namely the change at CFO, as a negative development,” Shore said in a report Friday.
Black is “amply succeeded” by Hausler, who has 15 years of relevant experience, Shore wrote.
“He is also a highly skilled communicator with the investment community and acutely focused on maximizing shareholder value,” Shore added. “Further, we would not speculate one way or another on the impact of these changes to the likelihood of whether or not the company will be sold.”
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