Stock buyback OK’d for Vestin investment trust

Vestin Realty Mortgage II on Monday reported that its board authorized the repurchase of up to $10 million of the company’s stock.

Vestin has bought 110,000 shares of its common stock for $1.4 million so far this year.

The Las Vegas-based real estate investment trust makes short-term loans secured by real estate and has $316 million in assets.

Stock prices slide for Macau casino owners

Macau casino owners Las Vegas Sands Corp., Wynn Resorts Ltd., MGM Mirage and Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. fell in New York trading after a report that China may increase travel curbs to the gambling center.

Las Vegas Sands shares slid $5.40, or 10.6 percent, to $45.53 at on the New York Stock Exchange. MGM Mirage shares fell $2.94, or 9.39 percent, to $28.36, also on the NYSE. Wynn Resorts shares fell $4.34, or 4.32 percent, to close at $96.05 on the Nasdaq National Market. Melco lost 82 cents, or 11.23 percent, to close at $6.48, also on the Nasdaq.

China may limit some mainland visas to travel to Macau once every six months, the Portuguese-language news agency Lusa reported Monday. That’s an increase from once every two months.

Atlantic City casinos lose $39.4 million

Casinos in Atlantic City collectively lost $39.4 million in the second quarter as soaring fuel and food costs deterred gamblers, causing some to opt for slot machines nearer their homes in neighboring states.

The casinos posted net income of $34.8 million in the same quarter a year earlier, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission said Tuesday in an e-mailed statement.

Net revenue in the three months through June fell 3.3 percent to $1.15 billion, calculated after promotional allowances.

Only Harrah’s Entertainment’s Marina hotel casino reported a rise in gross operating profit, up 19 percent to $43.2 million, helped by its new 960-room, 47-story Waterfront Tower.


Home Depot profits slip 24 percent in quarter

The Home Depot Inc. said Tuesday that its second-quarter profit sank 24 percent and reiterated its downbeat outlook for the year amid a weak housing market that shows no signs of recovery.

For the three months ending Aug. 3, the nation’s largest home improvement chain said its net income fell to $1.2 billion, or 71 cents per share. That’s down from $1.59 billion, or 81 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell 5.4 percent to $21 billion from $22.2 billion last year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had projected earnings of 61 cents per share on revenue of $20.58 billion.


Oil prices rebound as buck fades against euro

Oil prices rebounded Tuesday, jumping back above $114 barrel after the dollar weakened against the euro and a rally in heating oil pulled new buyers into energy markets.

Light, sweet crude for September delivery rose $1.66 to settle at $114.53 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after alternating between positive and negative territory earlier in the day. The September contract expires today, adding to the volatility.

At the pump, retail gasoline prices continued their decline, suggesting that cash-strapped Americans are still cutting back on their driving. A gallon of regular slipped another penny overnight to a new national average of $3.73, almost 10 percent lower than record prices of $4.114 a gallon reached July 17, according to auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express.


Which is it? ‘Tastes great’ or ‘Less filling’?

The debate lives on.

For years, Miller Lite drinkers, including comic Rodney Dangerfield and football coach John Madden, bickered back and forth. Some said the drink tasted great. Others said it was less filling.

They’ll have a chance to debate again. MillerCoors LLC is reviving its “Great Taste, Less Filling” tag line, which was created more than 30 years ago.

The company, a newly formed joint venture between SABMiller’s U.S. unit and Denver-based Molson Coors Brewing Co., told distributors in a letter Tuesday the campaign is back.

The tagline will appear starting Sept. 1 in revised spots of last year’s “More Taste League” — an ad campaign that airs during football season.


Treasury prices higher after inflation report

Treasury prices traded mostly higher Tuesday after government data suggested inflation at the wholesale level is rising, even as the economy continues to weaken.

In late trading, the 10-year Treasury note fell 0.22 points to 101.34. Its yield rose to 3.84 percent from late Monday’s yield of 3.82 percent, according to BGCantor Market Data.

The 30-year long bond fell 0.41 points to 100.41. Its yield edged up to 4.47 percent from 4.45 percent late Monday.

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