Dollar falls against euro for fourth day
The dollar resumed its fall against the euro Tuesday, the fourth consecutive day of record lows, after two economic reports pointed to the possibility of further interest-rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.
The euro rose to its fourth consecutive record high, $1.4153, after worrying consumer confidence and home sales data were released Tuesday morning. By late afternoon in New York, the 13-nation euro was at $1.4146 compared with $1.4087 late Monday.
The New York-based Conference Board said worries about jobs and the economy drove the U.S. Consumer Confidence Index for September to 99.8, below analysts’ expectations. The index is at its lowest level since November 2005.
Investors OK buyout of Clear Channel
It took just about three weeks for the nation’s biggest radio station operator, Clear Channel Communications, to accept a buyout offer after announcing last fall that it was considering “strategic alternatives.”
It took another 10 months for shareholders to finally approve the deal.
On Tuesday they gave the OK to a $19.5 billion buyout offer from a private equity group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Bain Capital Partners.
The offer was first announced in November but was sweetened after some large shareholders signaled they would oppose earlier offers.
The latest offer was $39.20 per share in cash or stock in what would be a privately owned company. Current shareholders could end up with as much as 30 percent of the new company.
Union to wait before backing candidate
The Service Employees International Union has postponed its presidential endorsement until next month, underscoring divisions within the powerful labor group over front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, sentimental favorite John Edwards and latest star Barack Obama.
Each of the top-tier candidates has support within the 1.8-million member union, which includes janitors, hotel workers and truck drivers. SEIU backing is one of the most important labor endorsements available, with the organization donating more than $25 million, mostly to Democratic candidates, since 1989.
Edwards has won over many of the union’s leaders, yet that hasn’t translated into an endorsement. The SEIU’s executive board has decided to wait until October before deciding which candidate to endorse, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Fans scratch ‘Halo 3’ itch, find scratched disk
Just hours after fans got their hands on a copy of “Halo 3,” blogs brimmed with reports that special limited-edition packaging is scratching the video game disks.
The scratches don’t appear to be keeping game fans from playing the last installment of the popular trilogy.
Microsoft, which owns the studio that makes the Xbox-only “Halo 3,” responded quickly on its Xbox Web site with details for a replacement program. Customers can fill out a form and send in their scratched limited-edition disks for a free exchange through the end of December.
Microsoft is selling the limited-edition version, which comes in a tin with bonus behind-the-scenes features and a making-of-the-game documentary, for $70. A regular copy of the game costs $60, and a “legendary” version, which comes with a replica of the helmet worn by game protagonist Master Chief, costs $130.
The game officially went on sale early Tuesday.
Treasury prices higher after homes report
Treasury prices closed with light gains Tuesday, after homebuilder Lennar Corp. reported a sharply higher than projected loss and a national report showed existing home sales at a five-year low in August.
Signs of economic weakness stir demand for government-backed Treasurys.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 0.13 points to close at 101.06 with a yield of 4.61 percent, down from 4.62 percent late Monday. Prices and yields move in opposite directions.
The 30-year bond finished unchanged at 101.78 with a 4.88 percent yield, up a bit from 4.87 percent late Monday.