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Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 1:26 pm

WALL STREET

US stocks slide for a second day as earnings loom

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are moving lower for a second day in a row as investors position themselves for corporate earnings reports.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.8 percent at midday. Boeing and Goldman Sachs dropped the most in the index.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 0.8 percent, while the Nasdaq fell 1.6 percent.

Last week, the Dow and the S&P 500 set record highs.

AbbVie fell 3 percent after the company raised its offer to buy rival drugmaker, Shire.

Major U.S. companies start reporting their earnings this week, beginning with aluminum maker Alcoa later today.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.57 percent.

JOB OPENINGS

US companies post most jobs in 7 years in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers have advertised more jobs in May than in any month in the past seven years, a sign that this year's strong hiring trend is likely to continue.

More Americans also have quit their jobs, a good sign because it usually occurs when workers find new and higher-paying jobs. It also opens up more positions for those out of work.

The Labor Department says that employers posted 4.64 million jobs, a 3.8 percent increase from April's total of 4.46 million. That's the fourth straight strong gain and is the highest number since June 2007.

Hiring slipped in May, to 4.72 million from 4.77 million in the previous month. Still, it has risen 4.5 percent since January after being flat in the previous six months.

UNITED STATES-CHINA

US-China strategic talks get test this week

BEIJING (AP) — The United States and China will spend time over the next couple of days testing whether their annual "Strategic and Economic Dialogue" can produce tough compromises or just serve as a venue to talk about greater cooperation.

The Obama administration comes with a clear set of priorities to this year's meeting in the Chinese capital.

They include closer coordination against climate change, an end to Chinese industrial cyberespionage and stricter rules governing maritime claims in Asia's contested, resource-rich seas.

But it's unclear whether Washington will be able to forge an effective agreement with Beijing in any of these areas. China distrusts U.S. intentions and sees Washington encroaching in its internal and regional affairs.

WTO-ENVIRONMENTAL TRADE

WTO talks begin on almost $1 trillion green goods

GENEVA (AP) — The United States, China, the European Union and 11 other members of the World Trade Organization have begun negotiations toward a new agreement on almost $1 trillion of environmental goods.

The negotiations launched today in Geneva cover 86 percent of the global trade in environmental goods such as solar panels and gas and wind turbines for producing energy, filters and ultraviolet disinfection equipment for wastewater treatment and soot removers and catalytic converters for air pollution control.

The negotiations also include Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, and Chinese Taipei.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said today a new agreement would eliminate tariffs of up to 35 percent on dozens of items and fulfill a key part of President Barack Obama's climate-change agenda.

IMMIGRATION-OBAMA

Obama seeks $3.7 billion to deal with border kids

WASHINGTON (AP) —President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion to confront the influx of minors from Central America and to fight wildfires in the West.

The White House says the money would help increase the detention, care and transportation of unaccompanied children. It says the money would increase the capacity of immigration courts, increase prosecution of smuggling networks and help Central American countries repatriate border crossers sent back from the United States.

The request for money did not include proposals for legislative changes that the White House wants. White House officials said today they still intend to work with Congress to increase the administration's authority to deport minor border crossers.

AMERICAN APPAREL-LOAN DEFAULT

American Apparel confirms default notice

NEW YORK (AP) — American Apparel Inc. says it has received a notice from investment firm Lion Capital demanding payment of a $9.9 million loan, according to a regulatory filing today.

Lion Capital is claiming that Los Angeles-based casual clothing chain defaulted under its credit agreement since it ousted its founder and CEO Dov Charney last month.

American Apparel says in the documents that it is disputing the claim, contesting the validity of the acceleration and has advised Lion that a default can't occur before July 19.

American Apparel's revolving credit line from other lenders doesn't currently allow the repayment of the Lion Capital loans. But American Apparel says it is seeking approval from those lenders and expects it will be able to repay the loan if that approval is granted.

FORD-RECALLS

Ford recalling 100,610 vehicles for safety issues

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling 100,610 vehicles in North America for various safety defects.

The company announced the six separate recalls today. No injuries related to the defects have been reported.

The largest recall, of 92,022 vehicles, affects the 2013 and 2014 Taurus, Lincoln MKS, and Police Interceptor sedans, the Flex and Lincoln MKT crossovers, the 2012-2014 Edge and 2014 Lincoln MKX. Ford says the right-hand halfshaft, which is part of the axle, may disengage over time, making the vehicles inoperable.

Ford is recalling 5,264 2011-2014 F59 commercial stripped chassis because corrosion could lead to a fire risk. It's also recalling 2,124 Escape SUVs from the 2014 model year because their panoramic glass roofs might leak or fall out.

Ford will notify owners and dealers will repair the vehicles for free.

CORINTHIAN COLLEGES

Corinthian to close campuses in 11 states

WASHINGTON (AP) — For-profit education company Corinthian Colleges Inc. says the dozen campuses it is closing are scattered in 11 different states and operate under the Everest name.

Corinthian and the Education Department reached an agreement late last week that has the company shutting down those campuses and putting 85 U.S.-based campuses up for sale.

The company says about 3,400 of the 72,000 students who attend schools owned by Corinthian will be affected by the closures.

The Education Department has said it has concerns about the company, including allegations of falsifying job placement data used in marketing claims to prospective students.

EUROPE-ECONOMY

Italy pledges reforms, brushes away debt discord

BRUSSELS (AP) — Italy's finance minister says his country and the European Union must focus on pushing through structural reforms to boost growth, not rely on easing rules limiting government debt.

Pier Carlo Padoan, whose country holds the rotating EU-presidency, said today in Brussels his goal is "to help all countries to find incentives and pressure to reform."

The comments came after weeks of discussions during which Italy urged an easing of the 28-nation bloc's rules limiting the member nations' budget deficits and overall debt level.

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who also chairs the meetings of the 18-nation eurozone, insisted the good conditions in bond markets allowing governments to take on debt more cheaply should not distract from the necessity of "getting some work done in terms of reforms."

GERMANY-ECONOMY

German exports, imports disappoint in May

BERLIN (AP) — German exports fell more than expected in May while imports dropped sharply, adding to data that point to a weak second quarter for Europe's biggest economy and a rise in the country's trade surplus.

The Federal Statistical Office said today that exports were down 1.1 percent compared with the previous month, a steeper drop than the 0.4 percent decline economists expected. Imports fell 3.4 percent.

Germany's May trade surplus was $25.6 billion, up from April.

Germany's economy grew a robust 0.8 percent in the first quarter compared with the previous three-month period, but disappointing recent data have fed expectations of slower second-quarter growth.

Factory orders and industrial production in May were below expectations amid slowing growth in China and tensions over Ukraine.

VATICAN-BANK

Vatican bank's profit takes big dip amid reform

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican Bank has reported a big dip in profits as Pope Francis presses reforms to make the scandal-tainted institution more transparent.

The Institute for Religious Works released its 2013 balance sheets on today. The figures show a plunge in net profit last year to $4 million from $118 million in 2012.

The bank listed a loss of $19.5 million attributed to a "donation" of securities to a Holy See foundation. It didn't elaborate, but this year news reports said a top Vatican cardinal had transferred some about that sum to an Italian film company considered close to the Vatican and that the transaction was under investigation.

The bank continues to close accounts that don't meet tighter standards.

BRITAIN-ROLLS-ROYCE

Luxury Rolls-Royce car sales soar worldwide

LONDON (AP) — Sales of luxury Rolls-Royce cars, which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, have soared worldwide.

The Britain-based manufacturer said today that global sales in the first half of the year were up 33 percent compared with the same period in 2013.

Growth was strongest in Europe, up more than 60 percent, with Asia Pacific sales up almost 40 percent, the company said in a statement. Middle East sales were also strong, up 30 percent, with the United States and China also seeing double-digit growth.

Germany's BMW, which owns Rolls-Royce, saw vehicles sales rise across the group almost 7 percent in the period. While BMW car sales were up 10 percent, sales of its Mini vehicles dropped just over 10 percent.

ABBVIE-SHIRE

AbbVie raises its bid for Shire by about 11 pct

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. drugmaker AbbVie is boosting its offer for Shire by 11 percent to about $51.3 billion, hoping it will be enough to pique the interest of its British counterpart.

Shire, known for its rare-disease drugs, has rejected three AbbVie offers to date.

North Chicago, Illinois-based AbbVie is now making an unsolicited offer of $87.57 per Shire PLC share in cash and stock. Its prior bid was worth about $78.93 per share for a total value of $46.2 billion.

AbbVie, which was spun off from Abbott Laboratories last year, has until July 18 to either announce a firm offer or confirm that it won't make one under United Kingdom takeover laws.

AbbVie's stock fell more than 2 percent in today's premarket trading.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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