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Air Traffic Controllers Furlough Ends

Air Traffic Controllers Furlough Ends Air Traffic Controllers Furlough Ends

The House of Representatives approved a bill on Friday, after it was passed by the Senate late Thursday, to end furloughs of air-traffic controllers, which have caused travel delays nationwide that angered U.S. fliers. White House spokesman Jay Carney said it would be “good news” for U.S. travelers if Congress acts to stop flight delays. The bill allows the Federal Aviation Administration to redirect up to $253 million from other areas of its budget to “prevent reduced operations and staffing” for the rest of the government’s budget year, which ends September 30. Carney said President Barack Obama would sign the bill and added that, “ultimately, this is not more than a temporary Band-Aid that fails the address the overarching threat to our economy posed by the sequesters mindless across-the-board cuts.”

Online retail giant Amazon.com (AMZN) reported 22% sales growth in Q1, worldwide paid unit growth of 30% and operating income of $181 million. Company reported net income of $82 million or 18 cents per share, an increase in revenue by 22% to $16.07 billion and global media sales rose 7.3% to nearly $5.1 billion, while sales of electronics and other general merchandise jumped 28% to $10.2 billion. CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement, “We hope Amazon Originals can become yet another way for us to create value for Prime members.” Projected revenue for Q2 came in a range of $14.5 billion to $16.2 billion and operating income expected to come in the range of a $340 million operating loss and $10 million in operating earnings. Amazon has a long history of being ultra-conservative in its outlook. Amazon’s growing Web services business AWS, saw a rise by nearly 45% from the same period in 2012 even after they lowered prices in the AWS service 7 times since the first of the 2013. Amazon chief financial officer Tom Szkutak said on a conference call that the AWS business was “certainly a very big part” of the service revenue gains, but didn’t spell out any further details on the business.

National Oilwell Varco (NOV) reported Q1 earnings fell 17%, due in part to acquisition charges. The company reported a profit of $502 million, or $1.17 a share, down from $606 million or $1.42 a share in year ago period. Revenue rose by 23% to $5.31 billion, earnings came in at $1.29 a share and gross margin fell to 24.3%. Revenue for rig-technology segment rose by 16% to $2.63 billion and backlog for capital equipment orders at its rig technology segment rose by 24% to $12.92 billion at March 31, for a new record. New orders during Q1 were $3.04 billion. Petroleum services and supplies unit's revenue remained flat at $1.7 billion. Primarily due to mergers completed in 2012, revenue from the distribution and transmission segment doubled to $1.23 billion. "The North American market was softer than anticipated; however, our strong backlog for drilling equipment, coupled with the recent investments that we have made in acquisitions, international expansion and incremental capacity, enabled our company to generate solid earnings in the first quarter," Chairman and Chief Executive Pete Miller said.

U.S. Commerce Department released Q1 Gross Domestic Product - he value of goods and services produced in the U.S. and the broadest measure of economic health - on Friday, expanding at a 2.5% annual rate as businesses restocked warehouses shelves at a faster clip and consumer spending posted the biggest increase in more than two years. Purchases rose 3.2% with higher prices at the gas pump during January and February contributing to the increase. Spending on home construction surged 12.6%. Inflation-adjusted disposable income - money left over after taxes - fell 5.3%. The drop reflects the increase in payroll taxes at the start of 2013 that’s expected to constrain consumer spending over the next few months. Real final sales rose by only 1.5%, matching the smallest increase in two years. Imports surged 5.4% in Q1, subtracting from U.S. GDP. Exports climbed 2.9%. Price index of personal consumption expenditures rose at 0.9% annual rate, down from 1.6% in the prior two quarters. Underlying strength of demand for U.S. made goods and services was weaker during Q1. Government spending reportedly was sharply lower, down 4.1% as the back-to-back drop in military outlays was the steepest drop since the 1950s. Businesses boosted inventory investment by $50.3 billion. Pentagon-related outlays dropped by11.5%. PCE index climbed 1.2% minus food and energy. The declines in the past two quarters are the deepest since the end of World War Two and the early stages of the Cold War.

Consumer-sentiment fell to a final April reading of 76.4, to the lowest result since January from a final March reading of 78, per University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters on Friday. During April, consumers were hit by higher payroll taxes, negative news on federal spending, negative jobs data and, a rise in stock prices as well as, a decline in gasoline at the pump.
 

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April 26, 2013


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