U.S. consumer spending rises as wage increases boost family income

U.S. household spending rose in August as incomes were buoyed by solid wage gains, signs that momentum could be growing in the U.S. economy despite months of government austerity, Reuters reports. American families spent 0.3 percent more last month than the month before, which was in line with the median forecast in a Reuters poll, Commerce Department data showed on Friday. Higher wages drove incomes up 0.4 percent, the biggest gain since February, and a positive sign for growth in the second half of the year.

 

J.C. Penney seeks to raise $810.6 million in stock offering

J.C. Penney Co. Inc., the struggling retailer trying to reassure the market about its financial stability, expects to raise about $810.6 million via a public stock offering,The New York Times reports. J.C. Penney said Friday that it plans to offer 84 million shares priced at $9.65 per share. That is a 7.3 percent discount to Thursday's closing price of $10.42 per share. According to the article, the Plano, Texas, company could raise more than that if the underwriters exercise in full a 30-day option to buy up to an additional 12.6 million shares. The company's stock dropped more than 6 percent in pre-market trading Friday. The offering is expected to close on Tuesday.

 

BP battles for billions in new Gulf trial phase

BP PLC will battle to hold down fines that could hit $18 billion in a new phase of atrial that will rule on how much oil it spilled in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and judge the company's efforts to plug its well, Reuters reports. Starting on Monday in New Orleans, this second of three phases of a trial determining responsibilities for the worst marine pollution ever seen in the United States, could - in the worst outcome for the British firm - land BP with a bill five times greater than the $3.5 billion it has set aside for fines. The company's annualized earnings, based on last quarter, are running at about $17 billion, the article said.