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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Better Economy, Storm Delays Lift U.S. Auto Sales

December 3, 2012 12:57 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

A better economy and extra demand after Superstorm Sandy lifted U.S. auto sales last month. Americans are willing to buy a new car or truck because they are more confident in the economy than they've been in a while: Home values are rising, hiring is up, and auto financing is readily available.

Chinese Industrial Upswing Cheers Markets

December 3, 2012 10:08 am | by Carlo Piovano, Associated Press | News | Comments

News that manufacturing activity in China, the world's second largest economy, grew for the first time in 13 months helped push global stocks higher on Monday. HSBC's Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 50.5 in November from October's 49.5 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate activity is expanding.

Moderate Growth Likely Pending ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Compromise

November 30, 2012 2:41 pm | by The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation | Articles | Comments

Major issues still need to be addressed, but presuming the United States gets its fiscal house in some semblance of order, the U.S. economy could be in a transition from sluggish growth to a longer period of moderate growth, according to a new report from The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation.

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U.S. Economy Growth Better Than Expected

November 30, 2012 2:09 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.7 percent annual rate from July through September, much faster than first thought. The strength is expected to fade in the final months of the year because of the impact of Superstorm Sandy and uncertainty about looming tax increases and government spending cuts.

Apple To Sell New iPads, iPhone 5 In China

November 30, 2012 2:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple Inc. on Friday said its latest iPad models will go on sale in China on Dec. 7, followed by the iPhone 5 a week later. China is one of Apple's largest and fastest-growing markets. Analyst Brian White at Topeka Capital Markets said iPhone 5 is launching roughly when he expected it, but he hadn't expected the iPad mini and the fourth-generation, full-size iPad to go on sale in China this year.

U.S. Orders For Core Capital Goods Up 1.7 Percent

November 27, 2012 10:24 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. companies in October increased their orders of machinery and equipment that signal investment plans by the largest amount in five months, a hopeful sign for future economic growth. Orders for core capital goods, considered a proxy for business investment, rose 1.7 percent in October, the best showing since a 2.3 percent rise in May, the Commerce Department said.

Japan Logs 4th Straight Trade Deficit In October

November 21, 2012 10:09 am | by Malcolm Foster, Associated Press | News | Comments

Japan logged its fourth straight monthly trade deficit in October as the European debt crisis and strained business ties with China over a territorial dispute reduced exports. The Ministry of Finance said Wednesday that imports exceeded exports by 549 billion yen ($6.7 billion), the biggest deficit for October since at least 1979, when the ministry began keeping comparable records.

Deere 4Q Net Income Misses Expectations

November 21, 2012 10:02 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Deere & Co., the world's largest maker of agricultural equipment, reported a bigger fourth-quarter profit as it sold more equipment at higher prices, but results still missed analyst expectations. Deere's revenue got a boost from a 4 percent increase in prices, although some of that gain was offset by unfavorable foreign currency exchange that hurt sales by 3 percent.

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HP Says Acquired Company Lied About Finances

November 20, 2012 10:11 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Hewlett-Packard Co. said that a British company it bought for $9.7 billion last year lied about its finances, resulting in a massive write-down of the value of the business. CEO Meg Whitman avoided calling it a fraud, but said Tuesday that there were "serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations at Autonomy Corporation PLC."

2 Years After IPO, GM Is Piling Up Cash

November 19, 2012 10:17 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Two years after a wounded General Motors returned to the stock market, the symbol of American industrial might is thriving again. Sunday marks the anniversary of GM's initial public stock offering in November 2010. The company has made money for 11 straight quarters, piling up more than $16 billion in profits. Its cars and trucks are selling for good prices. And sales are strong in China.

Get Intelligent About Emerging Markets

November 19, 2012 8:06 am | by Pete Read, Senior VP of Global Strategic Analysis & Advisory and Rahul Dhingra, Senior Consultant at GIA North America | Articles | Comments

Any entry into emerging markets is fraught with uncertainties. There are no guaranteed winners. Take Carrefour for example. After an unsuccessful attempt to enter Brazil and its focus on the hypermarket model even as consumers buy more goods locally and online, its share prices have fallen since 2009. On the other hand, Yum! Brands, the operator of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, seems to have beaten McDonald’s in conquering China.

IMTS Boosts Manufacturing Technology Orders

November 16, 2012 8:30 am | Articles | Comments

“In the 17 years that this data has been collected, there is only one other month that broke $600 million. Both of those were in months that reflected sales from IMTS, showing its strength as the largest manufacturing event in the Americas,” said Douglas K. Woods, AMT President.

Manufacturing In Philly, New York Regions Shrinks

November 15, 2012 2:26 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Manufacturing shrank in the Philadelphia and New York regions this month, reflecting damage from Superstorm Sandy that disrupted area factories. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its index of regional manufacturing activity declined to -10.7, a five-month low.

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New Ford COO Sees Profit Margin Pressure

November 15, 2012 2:20 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Ford said that a switch to smaller cars and an increase in incentives will narrow the profit margins in its core North American business. Mark Fields, who becomes chief operating officer on Dec. 1, said higher inventories will force some automakers to raise incentives, and that is likely to cut into what has been stable pricing for Ford.

Governors Call For Wind Energy Tax Credit Renewal

November 14, 2012 10:28 am | by Jeff Barnard, Nicholas Riccardi, Associated Press | News | Comments

The fate of a tax credit that advocates say is needed to maintain tens of thousands of wind energy jobs will be decided during high-stakes, last-minute negotiations between President Obama and House Republicans over fiscal issues, officials said Tuesday.

Most In U.S. Won't Be Able To Escape 'Fiscal Cliff'

November 13, 2012 1:51 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Everyone who pays income tax — and some who don't —will feel it. The package of tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" takes effect in January unless Congress passes a budget deal by then. The economy would be hit so hard that it would likely sink into recession in the first half of 2013, economists say.

AK Steel Falls On 4Q Outlook And Stock Sale

November 13, 2012 1:48 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of AK Steel Holding Corp. fell Tuesday after the company forecast a larger-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter on lower steel prices and a large income tax charge. AK Steel expects to lose between 67 and 72 cents per share in the quarter. The company said it will ship more steel than it did in the third quarter, but prices will fall by about 5 percent.

PwC: Industrial Manufacturing M&A Activity Rebounds

November 13, 2012 8:23 am | by PwC | Articles | Comments

The resilience of the U.S. manufacturing sector and the slow, but stable overall economic growth, may have been attractive for strategic, long-term investors.  Moreover, the value of North American targets far exceeded the value of targets from any other region, an indication of both the size and maturity of targets from this region and the fairly attractive nature of the North American manufacturing market.

Trina Solar Lowers 3Q Guidance

November 12, 2012 2:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Trina Solar Ltd. lowered its third-quarter guidance on Monday, citing industry-wide oversupply and lower prices. The Chinese solar panel maker estimates shipments in the third quarter between 375 and 385 megawatts, down from previous guidance of 450 to 480 megawatts. The company said margins were squeezed by anti-dumping duties in the U.S. and an inventory write-down.

India Industrial Output Down In September

November 12, 2012 2:00 pm | by Erika Kinetz, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

India's industrial production contracted 0.4 percent in September, government data showed Monday, far worse than expected as manufacturing output continued to slump amid signs of weakness in investment and consumer demand. The results indicate that Asia's third largest economy still has a way to go to pull itself out of its current slowdown.

Solar Companies Volatile After Trade Rulings

November 9, 2012 2:13 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The possibility of tariffs on China-made solar panels was causing some big swings in the stock prices of both U.S. and Chinese solar companies on Thursday. The U.S. International Trade Commission found that Chinese companies have materially injured U.S. manufacturers, upholding tariffs that can run as high as nearly 250 percent.

China's Factory Output Rises In Sign Of Recovery

November 9, 2012 10:19 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's auto sales, consumer spending and factory output improved in October in a new sign of economic recovery as the Communist Party prepared to install a new generation of leaders. Growth in factory output accelerated to 9.6 percent over a year earlier from the previous month's 9.2 percent, the government reported Friday. Retail sales rose 14.5 percent, up from September's 14.2 percent.

U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows To $41.5B

November 8, 2012 1:25 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit declined to the lowest level in nearly two years because exports rose to a record high. The gain may not last given the global economic slowdown. Still, the narrower trade deficit could lead the government to revise its July-September economic growth estimate slightly higher than the 2 percent annual rate reported last month.

Tata Motors Profit Up On Jaguar Land Rover

November 7, 2012 2:07 pm | by Erika Kinetz, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

India's Tata Motors reported a 10 percent rise in quarterly net profit Wednesday, as the strong global performance of Jaguar Land Rover masked lackluster results from Tata's core brand. Net profit was $387M in the July to September quarter. Sales rose 19 percent from a year earlier to $8.1B, thanks to strong demand for Jaguar Land Rover vehicles, especially in China, which accounts for over 20 percent of global sales.

Obama Faces A Slow But Improving Economy

November 7, 2012 10:25 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writers | News | Comments

Here's the assignment President Barack Obama has won with his re-election: Improve an economy burdened by high unemployment, stagnant pay, a European financial crisis, slowing global growth and U.S. companies still too anxious to expand much.

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