U.S. manufacturing expands
at fastest pace in five months
Manufacturing in the U.S. expanded at the fastest pace in five months in October, pointing to renewed strength in the industry that led the nation out of recession.
The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index increased to 56.9 from 54.4, the Tempe, Ariz.-based group said Monday. Readings greater than 50 signal growth. Consumer spending rose less than forecast in September and incomes dropped for the first time in more than a year, data from the Commerce Department also showed.
The factory index was forecast to fall to 54 in October, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 75 economists. Manufacturing accounts for about 11 percent of the economy, and the factory measure has shown expansion for 15 straight months.
The Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. new orders climbed to 58.9 from 51.1, while the production index jumped to 62.7 from 56.5. Both were the highest in five months. Measures of employment and export orders also increased.
IPO price for General Motors shares pegged at $26 to $29
General Motors Co. stock should sell between $26 and $29 per share in an initial public offering that could happen in mid-November, two people briefed on the matter said Monday.
The people said the U.S. government is expected to reduce its stake in the automaker from 61 percent to around 43 percent in the sale.
Terms of the sale are not final because GM’s board has yet to approve them, although it has accepted the general outline, another person said.
Bankers leading the sale are recommending that the final share price be revealed Nov. 17 and the sale take place on Nov. 18, according to the people.
A price range could be formally announced in a regulatory filing within the next 48 hours, two of the people said.
Ex-Enron chief executive asks appeals court to grant new trial
The ex-CEO of disgraced energy giant Enron asked a federal appeals court on Monday to grant him a new trial based on a Supreme Court ruling his attorney said puts his conviction for conspiracy and securities fraud in question.
Jeff Skilling’s attorney Daniel Petrocelli presented his argument to a three-judge panel scheduled by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June that an anti-fraud law was improperly used to help convict Skilling in 2006 for his role in Enron’s calamitous downfall demanded a new trial, Petrocelli said. The jury received bad instructions, he said, that could have tainted their decision.
The prosecution countered that instructions given to the jury were “harmless” because evidence against Skilling was overwhelming. The 19 convictions fr conspiracy, securities fraud, insider trading and lying to auditors should stand, prosecutor Doug Wilson said.
Buyer sought for former Mississippi River gaming boat
A century-old riverboat that’s been a shimmering fixture along St. Louis’ Mississippi River banks couldn’t survive as an aging casino in the region’s fast-growing, glitzier gambling market. But the vessel’s sellers are wagering they can find someone willing to give the behemoth a go as something else.
The S.S. Admiral — home until last summer to The President Casino — is on the market on eBay and several other online auction sites as a nostalgic relic in search of a buyer willing to convert the 365-foot-long, 95-foot-wide vessel into anything from a monster houseboat to convention digs, upscale dining or more.
Virgil Straeter, the owner of an Illinois auction company overseeing the potential sale, won’t discuss what the boat being pitched as the world’s biggest inland entertainment vessel could fetch, saying the $1.5 million price listed on eBay for the boat owned until recently by Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment was only a “suggestion.” He identified the current owner only as a private marine company in the region.
“The standard answer is that we’ll get all we can,” said Straeter, of Auction Associates in Highland, Ill. “It’s unique to itself, that’s for sure.”
Girl Scout uniforms will continue to be made in U.S.
The Girl Scouts of the USA says its uniforms will continue to be made in America following a public uproar over reports the organization was considering bids from overseas manufacturers.
The owners of a family-run New Jersey factory that has been the main supplier of the uniforms for a decade were told recently the Girl Scouts would be seeking bids for the job — including from a company in China.
Workers at Jackie Evans Inc. in Passaic said they couldn’t compete with foreign market prices and the move would force their factory to close.
Michelle Tompkins, a spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts, said Monday the organization is still taking bids for the job, but only from U.S.-based companies at the urging of parents, members and volunteers.