ABC 20 Streaming LiveWeb WatchSpotlight 20Pump PatrolRaw NewsYour Voice News SurveyIn the Kitchen

Forecast

TUESDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear. Low: 40. Winds: Northeast 5-10 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny. High: 64. Winds: Southeast 5-10 mph.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Increasing clouds. Low: 48. Winds: Southeast 10-15 mph.

more »

Advertise with us!

WICS Newschannel 20 :: News - Business News

Business News

Last Update on April 22, 2014 17:07 GMT

HOME SALES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sales of existing U.S. homes slipped in March to their lowest level since July 2012 as rising prices and a tight supply of available homes discouraged many would-be buyers.

The National Association of Realtors says sales edged down 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million. It was the seventh drop in the past eight months.

Sales rose in the Northeast and Midwest, suggesting that cold winter weather did not slow sales. And the Realtors' group says the scant decline shows that sales are stabilizing and may strengthen in the coming months as the spring buying season picks up. Many Realtors report seeing more potential buyers at open houses.

Fewer homes for sale, higher mortgage rates and rising prices have contributed to lower sales since last summer.

ECONOMY-COLLEGE GRADUATES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The job market for new college graduates is brightening but remains weaker than before the Great Recession began.

The Labor Department reports that the unemployment rate for 2013 college graduates -- defined as those ages 20 to 29 who earned a four-year or advanced degree -- was 10.9 percent. That was down from 13.3 percent in 2012 and was the lowest rate since 7.7 percent in 2007.

Female graduates fared better than men: 9 percent were unemployed as of October last year, compared with 13.7 percent of men. The economy has been generating jobs in many low-wage fields -- such as retail and hotels -- that disproportionately employ women.

Unemployment for recent grads was slightly above the overall 9.6 percent rate for Americans ages 20 to 29 in October.

ALLERGAN-VALEANT

NEW YORK (AP) -- Valeant Pharmaceuticals and activist investor Bill Ackman have unveiled details of their offer to buy Botox maker Allergan, proposing a cash-and-stock deal that could be worth about $45 billion.

Each Allergan share would be exchanged for $48.30 in cash and 0.83 shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. common stock. Shareholders can choose a mix of cash and stock.

Allergan Inc. stockholders will own 43 percent of the combined company.

Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management LP -- Allergan's biggest stockholder at 9.7 percent -- has agreed to take only stock in the transaction.

Valeant is one of Canada's largest pharmaceutical companies. Allergan is based in Irvine, Calif.

EARNINGS

McDonald's profit slips; Comcast, Harley-Davidson earnings surge

NEW YORK (AP) -- This morning's earnings reports are mixed.

McDonald's says its profit slipped as global sales remained weak. While global sales edged up 0.5 percent, in the U.S., sales fell 1.7 percent as customer traffic declined. The company cites "challenging industry dynamics and severe winter weather" and predicts a rebound starting this month.

Harley Davidson and Comcast, on the other hand, both saw profits surge in the first quarter.

Harley-Davidson's earnings were 18.7 percent higher than a year ago as motorcycle sales grew worldwide and efficiency efforts took hold.

Comcast saw its net income increase 30 percent as ad revenue surged at NBC, helped by the Winter Olympics in Sochi and Jimmy Fallon's elevation as host of "The Tonight Show."

SUPREME COURT-TV ON THE INTERNET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Supreme Court justices are weighing whether they can side with broadcasters in a copyright challenge to an Internet startup company without threatening the burgeoning world of cloud computing.

The high court heard arguments Tuesday in the dispute between television broadcasters and Aereo Inc., which takes free television signals from the airwaves and allows subscribers to watch the programs on laptop computers, smart phones and other portable devices.

Several justices expressed concern that a ruling for the broadcasters could hamper the continuing development of cloud computing, which gives users access to a vast online computer network that stores and processes information.

Justice Stephen Breyer said the prospect makes him nervous.

GM-LAWSUITS

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors Co. has filed suit in a U.S. bankruptcy court asking a judge to protect the company from legal claims for actions that took place before it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009.

The suit was filed yesterday in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. A hearing has not yet been set.

The filing asserts that the "numerous lawsuits" recently filed throughout the United States dealing with GM's recall of cars with possible ignition switch problems are "retained liabilities" of the old GM, not the new company.

It says the recall involves vehicles "manufactured and sold by Old GM" and asks Judge Robert Gerber to protect the "new GM" from claims.

GM has said at least 13 deaths have been linked to the ignition problem.

GM-RECALL-ENGINEERING

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors is adding 35 product safety investigators as part of a larger restructuring in response to a series of safety recalls.

GM says the new investigators will more than double the size of its current team, to 55.

The company is also dividing its global vehicle engineering organization into two sections. A product integrity section will oversee vehicle and engine engineering as well as safety, while a separate department will oversee parts engineering and advanced vehicle development.

GM's product development chief Mark Reuss says the changes were made to ensure that potential problems are spotted and handled more quickly.

The government is investigating why it took GM more than a decade to recall small cars with a defective ignition switch.

MEDICAL DEVICES-FDA

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration is proposing to speed up development and approval of medical devices that treat life-threatening diseases and debilitating conditions.

Under the Expedited Access Program, companies developing devices for critical and unmet medical needs would get earlier access to FDA staff to discuss their products. The agency says the earlier contact with regulators should result in "earlier access to safe and effective medical devices."

The FDA already has a fast-track program for medical devices that are well-established, such as wheelchairs and hip implants. The agency's new proposal is intended to accelerate approval for high-risk devices, generally those that support or sustain life.

Devices moving through the new review path would have to be medical breakthroughs or treatments for conditions that have no other treatments.

NETHERLANDS-UNILEVER

AMSTERDAM (AP) -- Unilever PLC, the producer of countless disposable containers that clutter the landfills of the world, says it is adopting technology that will cut the amount of plastic it needs to use in each bottle by 15 percent.

The technology, developed with Zotefoams PLC of Britain, injects tiny gas pockets into bottle walls, reducing the weight and amount of plastic used, without sacrificing robustness.

Unilever is introducing the technique first in its Dove body wash bottles, which -- over the 33 million sold in Europe in 2013 -- would mean a savings of 275 tons of plastic.

A company spokesman says the company will expand the technique to other product lines, then relinquish patent rights by 2015 so other companies that wish to employ the method can do so.

Business Stories

Videos Coming Soon!

Business News

Sales of US existing homes slip to a 20-month low

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sales of existing U.S. homes slipped in March to their lowest level since July 2012 as rising prices and a tight supply of available homes discouraged many would-be buyers.

Advertise with us!
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

 
  • WICS :: News - Traffic

    Traffic

    Get up to the minute traffic reports from WICS NewsChannel 20!
  • WICS :: News - Road Trippin News

    Road Trippin News

    Missed a Road Trippin segment that ...
  • WICS :: News - Health Beat

    Health Beat

    Featuring news segment videos about health.
  • WICS :: News - In The Kitchen

    In The Kitchen

    Watch the area's best chefs whip up their tastiest creations. See them in action and get their recipes to try at home. 
  • WICS :: News - Behind The Headlines

    Behind The Headlines

    Get Behind the Headlines commentary with Mark Hyman.
  • WICS :: News - Ready, Set, Shred

    Ready, Set, Shred

    In an exclusive eight-week investigation, ABC Newschannel 20 digs deep into the Springfield police document shredding scandal.
  • WICS :: News - Pay it Forward

    Pay it Forward

    Pay It Forward... because sometimes people need a little extra help.
  • WICS :: News - Ask the Expert

    Ask the Expert

    Do you need expert advice? Here's your chance to ask our experts!
  • WICS :: News - Work Out With 20

    Work Out With 20

    Kickstart your week with a new fitness tip every Monday from ABC Newschannel 20's Natalie Sparacio and the expert instructors at FitClub in Springfield.

  • WICS :: News - Your Voice. Your Future.

    Your Voice. Your Future.

    As the country faces challenges from federal budget issues to jobs and national debt, your voice is critical to the future.
  • WICS :: News - Road Trippin

    Road Trippin

    Come Road Trippin' with us! Check out all the great attractions in your area!
  • WICS :: News - Pump Patrol

    Pump Patrol

    Check out the ABC Newschannel 20's Pump Patrol to find the lowest prices, report low prices and get gas saving tips.

  • WICS :: News - Web Watch

    Web Watch

    Here's where to find the links you hear about on the news.
  • WICS :: News - Spotlight 20

    Spotlight 20

    Local organizations and community leaders tell us about events in central Illinois.
  • WICS :: News - Raw News

    Raw News

    Watch extra news footage, full interviews, and extended stories that didn't make it on air.  "Raw News" may include content that is not suitable for children and is intended for mature audiences only.
  • WICS :: News - On the Farm

    On the Farm

    Whether it's topical segments on what's happening on local farms to commodity prices, we have the world of central Illinois agriculture covered.
  • WICS :: News - Fugitive Files

    Fugitive Files



  • WICS :: News - Crime Stoppers

    Crime Stoppers

    CrimeStoppers needs your help. If you have any information regarding a featured crime or any other criminal act, call (217) 788-8427.
  • WICS :: News - Home Room

    Home Room

    When's the next school board meeting? Where's the basketball game? What's for lunch today? Do we have a snow day tomorrow? We have all the information you need for a successful school year--no pencil or ...
  • WICS :: News - No Text Zone

    No Text Zone

    Texting while driving kills thousands of people each year. Many more are seriously injured.  Keep central Illinois roads safe by taking the "No Text Zone" pledge.
  • WICS :: News - Business News

    Business News

    Stay up-to-date on the biggest business stories from around the nation.
  • WICS :: News - Pet of the Week

    Pet of the Week

    The cutest video you'll see anywhere! You won't be able to resist these adorable friends who need someone to love them.
  • WICS :: News - Cruisin' Illinois

    Cruisin' Illinois

    Get your motor running! Find out about the latest events and activities for central Illinois motorcycle enthusiasts.
  • WICS :: News - Illinois Central

    Illinois Central

    Every week Illinois Central brings you the stories about the people in central Illinois. From our weekly Cruisin' Illinois segment, which features motorcycle culture, to the arts and everything in between, ...
  • WICS :: News - Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments are using your money wisely...or wasting it.
  • WICS :: News - Washington Times

    Washington Times

    Politics, Breaking News, US and World News.
  • WICS :: News - Health Care Reform

    Health Care Reform

    The Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act sparked a new battle. Check here daily for the latest developments, locally and across the country.

more »

Tonight on WICS

10:00 - ABC Newschannel 20 Nightside

Complete Schedule »


WICS Pay It Forward
WICS News Team
Illinois Central
Sunrise Team
WICS Storm Team