Business news briefs
Home prices rise
at a faster pace
Home prices rose in August in nearly all the country's biggest cities, and many of the markets hit hardest during the crisis are starting to show sustained gains. The increases are the latest evidence of a steady housing recovery. The Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller index reported home prices increased 2 percent year-over-year, the third straight increase and a faster pace than in July.
Ford: best-ever 3rd quarter showing
Europe may have lost its appetite for new cars, but buyers in America and China propelled Ford to a better-than-expected profit in the third quarter. It earned $1.63 billion, down only slightly from a year earlier, despite lower worldwide sales and bigger European losses. It was the company's best performance ever in the third quarter. Ford said its per-share net income was unchanged at 41 cents.
IBM increases share
buyback fund by $5B
International Business Machines Corp. increased its stock repurchase fund by 75 percent, to $11.7 billion, and said it plans to ask the board to authorize more in April as it seeks to improve shareholder returns. The company may buy shares in the open market or in private transactions, according to a statement.
Jobless rates fall
in 95% of U.S. cities
Unemployment rates fell in nearly all large U.S. cities in September from August, a sign that recent jobs gains have been widespread. The Labor Department said Tuesday that rates declined in 355 of the 372 metro areas, the most since April. The report also shows that nearly half of cities now have unemployment rates below 7 percent. And the number of areas with unemployment rates above 10 percent dropped to 35. That's down from 84 a year ago.
UBS to make cuts
in turnaround bid
Swiss banking giant UBS AG is to cut as many as 10,000 employees, or 15 percent of its staff, to drastically shrink its ailing investment bank. Three-fourths of the cuts are in London and the United States. The news of the layoffs came as Switzerland's biggest bank posted another big loss for the third quarter.
BP raises dividend
as Q3 profit swells
Oil company BP is rewarding long-suffering shareholders with a substantial dividend increase just days after it sold a stake in a Russian joint venture for billions of dollars. BP also revealed it made a net profit of $5.5 billion in the third quarter, more than offsetting the $1.34 billion los s reported in the previous three months when the company wrote down the value of some assets. It was also 5 percent higher than last year's equivalent of $5.2 billion.