Global Glance: September rate hike possible, Brexit shock sparing eurozone

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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:

Fed’s more upbeat tone suggests rate hike as early as September

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that near-term risks to the U.S. economy have diminished, reviving the prospect that it will resume raising interest rates as soon as September. The Fed noted that the U.S. job market has rebounded, with robust hiring in June after a deep slump in May. At the same time, the Fed said in a statement after its latest policy meeting that it plans to closely monitor global economic threats and financial developments to ensure that they don’t slow the economy. The central bank gave no specific timetable for when it might resume the rate hikes it began in December, when it raised its benchmark rate from a record low. Read more

Initial Brexit shock is hurting UK – but sparing eurozone

LONDON (AP) — A month on from the British vote to leave the European Union, the evidence is getting clearer by the day: the eurozone economy is proving resilient to the shockwaves generated by the June 23 vote while Britain is feeling the pain. On Thursday, a broad-based survey of economic sentiment across the EU by the executive European Commission reinforced that view. Read more

Obama passes baton to Clinton, imploring nation to elect her

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Hillary Clinton has the stage. Stepping out of the shadows of presidents past, the former first lady, senator and vanquished-candidate-turned-secretary-of-state appeared unannounced on the platform at her nominating convention, pointed a finger at President Barack Obama and gave him a hug. Clinton had just been anointed the inheritor of Obama’s legacy with his vigorous endorsement speech, the candidate who could realize the “promise of this great nation.” Read more

Regulators propose huge overhaul of debt collection industry

NEW YORK (AP) — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed a massive overhaul of the multibillion dollar debt-collection industry on Thursday, which would restrict collectors from calling numerous times a day, require them to have more documentation on what’s owed, and give people more ability to dispute their bills. It would be the biggest overhaul of the debt collection industry since Congress passed the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act nearly 40 years ago. Read more

VW sees second quarter profit halved after emissions scandal

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen says second-quarter profits fell by more than half compared with the same period last year, before the company was hit by the emissions cheating scandal. The German automaker says it earned 1.2 billion euros ($1.32 billion) after tax in the April-June period, compared with 2.7 billion euros in the second quarter of 2015. Volkswagen shares fell about 1.4 percent to 134.10 euros following the announcement Thursday. Read more


Lloyds cuts 3,000 jobs as Brexit fears take shape

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Lloyds Banking Group said Thursday it plans to eliminate 3,000 jobs and close 200 branches – the first big cuts announced since Britain voted to leave the European Union. Lloyds is expanding its cost-savings program because of changing consumer behavior and the expectation that interest rates will now remain lower for a longer period than previously expected as a result of the vote, the bank said. The cuts, which are equivalent to about 4 percent of Lloyds’ workforce and almost 10 percent of its branch network, come in addition to previously announced reductions and are expected to save an additional 400 million pounds ($528 million) annually. Read more


Whole Foods says key sales figure falls again

NEW YORK (AP) — Whole Foods said quarterly sales at established locations fell for the fourth straight quarter, as it fights to distinguish itself from competitors that are also offering organic and natural foods. The Austin, Texas-based company said Wednesday the figure was down 2.6 percent for the three months ended July 3 as customer visits declined. To broaden its appeal, Whole Foods is working on keeping prices low, in part by pushing more of its 365 house brand products. It has also been opening a new chain named after 365 that would compete more squarely with Trader Joe’s. Read more


Ford’s 2Q profit falls on trouble in U.S., China

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co.’s net income fell 9 percent to $2.0 billion in the second quarter as the company struggled with flattening U.S. sales and a tougher market in China. Ford said that its full-year guidance – which calls for a pretax profit of $10 billion to $11 billion – remains intact but is at risk. The bad news came from North America and Asia. Ford’s Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said after an unprecedented growth streak, the U.S. market is starting to plateau. Read more


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