HP $5B overpayment
Hewlett-Packard Co. said it’s the victim of a $5 billion dollar fraud at the hands of a British company it bought last year that lied about its finances. HP CEO Meg Whitman said executives at Autonomy Corporation PLC “willfully” boosted the company’s figures through various accounting tricks, which convinced HP to pay $9.7 billion for the company in October 2011.
Inside trading charged
A former hedge fund portfolio manager was charged with obtaining confidential results of drug tests that helped investment firms make $276 million. Mathew Martoma, 38, worked for CR Intrinsic Investors LLC of Stamford, Conn.
Home starts jump
The Commerce Department said builders broke ground on homes in October at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000. That’s a 3.6 percent gain from September. Single-family home construction dipped 0.2 percent to an annual rate of 594,000, down from a four-year high in the previous month.
An increase in hiring helped lower unemployment rates in 37 U.S. states last month, the latest indication that the job market is slowly healing. Unemployment rates are now below 7 percent in 23 of the 50 states. The Labor Department says rates rose in seven states in October and were unchanged in six.
Best Buy loss
Struggling Best Buy Co. reported another dismal quarter on Tuesday, recording a third quarter loss and continued sales slump just as the crucial holiday season revs up. The electronics chain is trying to reverse a years long decline in its business as competition from online stores and discounters increases.
No Hostess-union pact
The maker of Twinkies and Ding Dongs said late Tuesday that it failed to reach an agreement with its second biggest union. As a result, Hostess plans to continue with a hearing on Wednesday in which a bankruptcy court judge will decide whether the company can shutter its operations.
Greek deal sought
European Union officials made a fresh try to reach political accord on desperately needed bailout loans for Greece — an agreement that eluded them last week. The finance ministers need to agree on the extension before they can pay Greece the $40 billion rescue loan that has been kept on hold for months.
Ill. gambling revenue
A new Illinois Gaming Board report this week shows video gambling statewide brought in more than $346,000 last month, which is when the bulk of the machines went live. That’s more than three years after lawmakers approved them to help fund a $31 billion push to fix schools, roads and bridges, despite strong opposition from gambling critics.
New flu drug
The Food and Drug Administration says it has approved the first seasonal flu vaccine made using animal cell technology, rather than the half-century-old egg method. The FDA approved Novartis’ Flucelvax to prevent influenza in people 18 years and older.
Penney rating cut
Moody’s Investors Service is cutting its long-term ratings for J.C. Penney Co. one step lower into noninvestment of junk grade status. Moody’s lowered the department store chain’s corporate family and probability of default ratings to “B3” from “Ba3.” The outlook is “negative.”