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Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

August 2, 2012, 1:40 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks are falling and so are oil prices because investors aren't happy that the European Central Bank failed to announce immediate new measures to ease the continent's debt crisis. The euro has also fallen against the dollar.

  • There's a mixed batch of economic news today. More people applied for jobless benefits last week, but the big picture suggests hiring may be improving. Retail sales in July exceeded expectations. Factory orders slipped further in June. And mortgage rates ticked up slightly from their record lows.
  • A $361 million loss in Europe and $19 million in red ink in South America are being blamed for dragging down General Motors' second-quarter profit. But the company's overall profit is better than Wall Street expected. GM earned 90 cents per share, compared with 75 cents forecast by analysts.
  • Sears and Kmart are recalling about 795,000 Kenmore dehumidifiers because of potential fire and burn hazards. There have been 107 incidents reported, including more than $7 million in property damage and three smoke inhalation injuries. The dehumidifiers were made between 2003 and 2005.
  • American Airlines has come up with a new way to make money. It will deliver your bags to your home or hotel -- for a fee. That's on top of the fee for checking the bags. Meanwhile, United Airlines says it's upping prices on many U.S. flights by $10 per round trip.

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