Monday Evening Business Brief
August 26, 2013, 5:59 PM
- The stock market was down again at closing today after the Obama administration ratcheted up pressure against Syria. Secretary of State John Kerry said there was "undeniable" evidence of a large-scale chemical weapons attack in Syria last week, and his remarks suggested that the administration was edging closer to a military response. Major indexes had been holding onto slight gains until the last hour of trading.
- Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has told Congress that the government will run out of money to pay its bills in mid-October unless lawmakers raise the country's borrowing limit, which is capped at $16.7 trillion. Lew said in a letter to Speaker John Boehner that the government is running out of accounting maneuvers it has used to avoid hitting the borrowing limit. He pressed Congress to act so Treasury can keep paying the government's bills.
- The head of security for the administrator of BP's multibillion-dollar settlement with Gulf Coast residents and businesses says an internal probe of alleged misconduct by an employee of a Mobile, Ala., claims center hasn't turned up any evidence of fraud. BP said that it received a tip in July that someone who worked at the Mobile office helped people submit fraudulent claims in exchange for some of the settlement money.
- J.C. Penney's largest investor and former board member, William Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management, is selling his nearly 18 percent stake in the company. The move to sell 39.1 million shares of the company, announced in a regulatory filing late this afternoon, comes two weeks after Ackman resigned from J.C. Penney's board as part of a deal to resolve an unusually public battle between the activist investor and the struggling department store operator.
- First Solar Inc. says it has sold a collection of solar projects in Canada totaling 50 megawatts to an investment partnership led by GE Energy Financial Services. Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal marks the first between First Solar and GE since their solar technology and commercial partnership was announced earlier this month.
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