Golden Nugget to host bull-riding finalists

The Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas announced Thursday it would be the host hotel for the Professional Bull Riders World Finals in October.

The deal means riders and others associated with the event Oct. 31 through Nov. 9 at the Thomas & Mack Center will stay at the downtown hotel.

The Nugget will also host a blackjack tournament and bull rider autograph session as part of the agreement.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


Thirty-year mortgage rates remain steady

Rates on 30-year mortgages remained at the same level for a third week while rates on other types of home loans posted small declines.

Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported Thursday that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.52 percent this week. That was the same rate as the two previous weeks.

Rates on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing, fell to 6.07 percent from 6.1 percent last week.

A year ago, rates on 30-year mortgages stood at 6.62 percent and 15-year mortgage rates averaged 6.30 percent.


Wal-Mart Stores profits rise from year earlier

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. raised its full-year earnings forecast Thursday after second-quarter profit rose more than expected, helped by tight inventory controls and a renewed focus on low prices.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer said it earned $3.45 billion in the quarter ended July 31, up 16.9 percent from $2.95 billion a year earlier.

Earnings per share from continuing operations increased to 86 cents from 75 cents. Analysts on average had been expecting 84 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

Net sales rose 10 percent to $101.6 billion.

For the quarter, the discounter had same-store sales growth of 4.5 percent, excluding fuel sales, compared to a 1.9 percent increase a year earlier.

The company now expects to earn $3.43 to $3.50 per share for the year, up from a full-year forecast issued in February of $3.30 to $3.43 per share.


Technical trouble stifles business for Netflix

Netflix said Thursday that major technical problems over the past three days have severely limited the number of digital video discs it could send out.

The unspecified problems affected all of the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company’s 55 shipping centers and marked the biggest disruption in service since Netflix launched its DVD-by-mail subscription business nine years ago.

It was unclear when normal shipments from the online DVD rental leader would resume.

Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey said the company was able to send out some discs on Wednesday, but shipped none on Tuesday and hadn’t shipped any Thursday morning either.

About a third of the company’s 8.4 million subscribers are waiting for DVDs held up by the problems.


Construction to restart on Pittsburgh casino

Construction is expected to restart within days on a troubled Pittsburgh casino project after state officials approved a rescue by new investors.

The rescue plan on the partially built $780 million casino on Pittsburgh’s North Shore received the approval Thursday from the seven-member Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

The unanimous vote came after the gaming board’s staff approved the deal during a four-hour hearing.

Chicago real estate billionaire Neil Bluhm leads the new investor group.

Construction stopped July 1 after the licensee, Detroit-based businessman Don Barden, who owns Fitzgeralds in downtown Las Vegas, defaulted on loans and ran out of money.


Airline regulators seek fine from American

The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday it is seeking $7.1 million from American Airlines for continuing to fly airliners after safety problems were reported and for drug-testing violations.

The Texas-based airline delayed repairs on two MD-80s — a midsized airliner — after problems were reported with their autopilot systems and flew them 58 times in violations of federal regulations, the FAA said.


Jobless claims news pushes Treasurys higher

Treasury prices rose Thursday, boosted by the recent slide in oil prices and a smaller-than-expected decline in jobless claims.

In late trading, the 10-year Treasury note rose 0.34 points to 100.81. Its yield fell to 3.90 percent from 3.94 late Wednesday, according to BGCantor Market Data. Yields move in the opposite direction from prices.

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