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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

U.S. Factory Output Rises For 2nd Straight Month

January 16, 2013 2:17 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factory production rose in December for the second straight month, buoyed by more output of autos, electronics and business equipment. The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that factory output increased 0.8 percent last month compared with November. That followed a 1.3 percent rise in November, which partly reflected a rebound from Superstorm Sandy.

GM Predicts Modest Profit Growth In 2013

January 16, 2013 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors expects only a modest increase in pretax profits this year as it rolls out multiple new cars and trucks worldwide. The company also thinks global auto sales will grow modestly this year, driven by the U.S. and China, while European car sales fall.

American Changing Jet Orders With Boeing, Airbus

January 15, 2013 10:43 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

American Airlines says it has renegotiated jet orders with Boeing Co. to save money and in some cases get a slightly smaller, less expensive version of Boeing's new 787 jet. The 787, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner, was delayed during production and has been beset by problems recently, including a fire aboard a Japan Airlines 787 last week in Boston.


Automakers Unveiling Cars For Recovering U.S. Market

January 15, 2013 10:34 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are among major players in an increasingly confident global car industry unveiling new models for the recovering U.S. market at the annual North American International Auto Show that opened Monday.

Lear Expects Revenue To Top Wall St. Forecasts

January 14, 2013 2:17 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Lear Corp. expects its 2012 and 2013 revenue will beat Wall Street's forecasts. The automotive seating and electrical power management systems supplier is also boosting its existing stock buyback program by $800 million to $1.5 billion and replacing a $500 million credit line with a new $1 billion revolving facility.

Samsung Sells 100M Galaxy S Smartphones

January 14, 2013 2:14 pm | by Youkyung Lee, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday that global sales of its Galaxy S smartphones surpassed 100 million units since the first model in the series was released less than three years ago. Samsung said it has sold more than 25 million Galaxy S smartphones, 40 million Galaxy S II smartphones and 41 million Galaxy S III smartphones.

Toyota Retakes Global Auto Sales Crown From GM

January 14, 2013 10:24 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Toyota has once again dethroned General Motors as the world's top-selling automaker. The Japanese company sold 9.7 million cars and trucks worldwide in 2012, although it's still counting. GM sold 9.29 million. Both companies saw higher sales, but Toyota's growth was far larger as it rolled out new versions of popular models like the Camry.

Eurozone Industrial Output Down For 3rd Month

January 14, 2013 10:20 am | by Pan Pylas, Associated Press | News | Comments

Industrial output across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro fell in November for the third straight month, official figures showed Monday, raising fears that the recession in the region has continued into the last three months of 2012.


Report: Apple Cutting Orders For iPhone 5 Parts

January 14, 2013 10:18 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple shares fell in premarket trading Monday after The Wall Street Journal reported that the company has cut its orders for iPhone 5 components due to weaker than expected demand. The newspaper said two people it did not identify by name told it that Apple's first-quarter orders for iPhone 5 screens have dropped to about half of what the company had planned.

Apple CEO: China Will Be Biggest Market

January 11, 2013 2:14 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Apple expects China to overtake the United States as its biggest market, CEO Tim Cook told a Chinese government news agency. "China is currently our second largest market. I believe it will become our first. I believe strongly that it will," the Xinhua News Agency quoted Cook as saying in an interview.

Union-Run Trust Seeks Chrysler Stock Sale

January 11, 2013 2:12 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A trust fund that pays medical bills for Chrysler blue-collar retirees has asked the company to set up a public sale of Chrysler stock. The United Auto Workers trust, which owns 41.5 percent of Chrysler's shares, on Wednesday asked Chrysler to start the process for an initial public stock offering. The trust wants the company to sell 16.6 percent of the stock owned by the trust, Chrysler said.

UK Recession Fears Grow As Manufacturing Drops

January 11, 2013 2:07 pm | by Danica Kirka, Associated Press | News | Comments

Concern is growing that the British economy may be headed back into recession after statistics released Friday showed a surprise drop in manufacturing activity. The Office for National Statistics said manufacturing output fell by 0.3 percent between October and November, far off analysts' expectations for an increase of 0.5 percent.

Ford's Souped-Up Dividend Could Lure New Investors

January 11, 2013 10:17 am | by Paul Harloff, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Ford may get a longer look from curious investors after rolling out a more muscular, souped-up dividend on Thursday. The nation's No. 2 automaker is doubling its quarterly payout to 10 cents, just nine months after paying its first dividend in more than five years.


China Trade Rebounds In Sign Of Economic Recovery

January 10, 2013 1:51 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's trade growth rebounded strongly in December in a positive sign for the gradual and still uncertain recovery of the world's second-largest economy. Export growth more than quadrupled from the previous month to 14.1 percent while imports — which failed to grow at all in November — rose 6 percent in a sign of increasing domestic demand, data showed Thursday.

World Stocks Rise As Alcoa Sees Stronger Demand

January 9, 2013 10:18 am | by Pamela Sampson, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

World stock markets rose Wednesday after the fourth-quarter earnings season got off to a positive start in the U.S. with aluminum giant Alcoa forecasting higher demand for 2013. Because Alcoa makes aluminum for so many key industries, investors study its results for clues about the health and direction of the overall economy.

Unemployment Risks Creating A New Divide In Europe

January 8, 2013 2:39 pm | by Don Melvin, Raf Casert, Associated Press | News | Comments

Record unemployment and fraying social welfare systems in southern Europe risk creating a new divide in the continent, the EU warned Tuesday, when figures showed joblessness across the 17 EU countries that use the euro hit a new high. Eurozone unemployment rose to 11.8 percent in November, the highest since the euro currency was founded in 1999, according to the statistical agency Eurostat.

Hawaiian Airlines To Buy 16 New Airbus Planes

January 8, 2013 2:37 pm | by Audrey McAvoy, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Hawaiian Airlines said Monday it plans to buy more than a dozen new Airbus planes to help it meet demand for travel between the West Coast and the islands. The planes — to be delivered four to seven years from now — will allow Hawaiian to open new markets and boost service to cities it already flies to, the airline said. The Honolulu-based airline plans to add 1,000 jobs as part of the expansion.

Schnitzer Steel Posts $2M Fiscal 1Q Loss

January 8, 2013 2:31 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Schnitzer Steel posted a $2 million loss for the first quarter Tuesday, dragged down by restructuring charges and weak demand. For the quarter ended Nov. 30, the company's loss amounted to 6 cents per share, compared with a profit of $7 million, or 25 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Survey: Small Biz Optimism Rises Despite 'Cliff'

January 8, 2013 10:19 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Small business owners were slightly more optimistic at the end of 2012 even as they awaited the outcome of negotiations in Congress over the "fiscal cliff." That's the finding of a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, a lobbying group. The NFIB's small-business-optimism index rose half a point from its level in November to 88. The index remains near its lowest readings on record.

Analyst: Boeing Selloff May Be Overdone

January 8, 2013 10:08 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing's share price decline after a fire on one of its new 787s may be overdone, Jefferies analyst Howard A. Rubel wrote on Tuesday. Rubel wrote that the decline of over $1 billion in market value "would seem to overstate the worry." He noted that there has been no other similar incident to this one, and the other 787s continue to operate normally.

Margin Meltdown: When Costs Drop, Should Prices Follow?

January 8, 2013 8:01 am | by Eric Hills, Chief Evangelist & Senior Vice President, Zilliant | Blogs | Comments

You finally pushed those price increases through — to reflect the fact that your input costs have been going up — and the market takes another turn. Input costs are now speeding in the opposite direction and your customers are expecting — or rather, demanding — price decreases.

Japanese Car Sales Fall In 2012 Amid Island Spat

January 7, 2013 10:14 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Japan's three biggest automakers — Toyota, Nissan and Honda — say their vehicle sales in China fell last year amid a territorial dispute that prompted Chinese consumers to boycott Japanese products. Toyota Motor Corp. said its sales in China fell 4.9 percent in 2012 to 840,500 vehicles, the first annual decline since at least 2001.

The Year Ends On A Better Note In U.S. Manufacturing

January 7, 2013 8:00 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, MBT | Articles | Comments

The overall economy continued to grow for the 43rd consecutive month while economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded, moving the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) back over the 50 percent mark in December, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. 

U.S. Factory Orders Unchanged In November

January 4, 2013 2:04 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. companies boosted their orders in November for manufactured goods that reflect investment plans even though total orders were unchanged for the month. Factory orders were flat in November, compared with October when orders had risen 0.8 percent, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Steel Stocks Rise For A Second Day

January 4, 2013 1:58 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of some steel producers gained for a second day on Thursday as analysts saw better times ahead for the battered industry and investors responded to encouraging economic news. Steelmaker Worthington Industries posted fiscal second quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates, although revenue was below expectations. Its shares rose 15 cents to $27 in afternoon trading. Earlier they hit $27.24, a new high.

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