Oil, gas steady
From our wire services
Oil fell 68 cents, to $107.19 a barrel, while the average price of gasoline in the U.S. stayed at $3.67 a gallon over the weekend after rising steadily for two weeks. Oil is still up nearly $14 a barrel since June 21, underpinned by sharp declines in U.S. stockpiles and concerns of supply disruptions in the Middle East.
Firm fined $2.8M
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission fined Panther Energy Trading, of Red Bank, Monmouth County, $2.8 million for placing trades it didn't intend to execute and banned the firm from trading for one year. This is reportedly the first time the CFTC used new powers under the Dodd-Frank Act, passed in 2010.
The debt burden of the 17 European Union countries that use the euro hit all-time highs at the end of the first quarter even after austerity measures were introduced to rebalance the governments' books. Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said government debt as a proportion of the total annual gross domestic product of the eurozone rose to a record 92.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013, from 88.2 percent a year ago.
Miss. casino win
Mississippi casino revenue resumed its year-over-year slide, falling nearly 7 percent from June 2012 to $174.5 million, according to Mississippi Department of Revenue. Year-over-year casino revenue has fallen in 11 of the last 12 months. May was the exception, when revenue rose 3 percent.
McDonald's is mixing up its menu with healthier, fresher sounding items such as its chicken McWraps, but not enough customers are biting. The company reported a second-quarter profit that rose 4 percent but said July sales are expected to be relatively flat and warned of a tough year ahead.
Stocks at high
The stock market closed at a record high despite a disappointing quarterly performance from McDonald's. But the price of gold broke above the $1,300 mark for the first time in a month, and gave mining stocks a lift.
The U.S. government has reached "an agreement in principle" to settle its lawsuit against Swiss banking giant UBS AG that seeks to recoup more than $900 million in losses from mortgage-backed securities, the bank announced. In 2011, the U.S. government sued UBS and 17 other financial firms for selling mortgage-backed securities to housing financing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Buffett at opening
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett joined in a ceremony opening a new customer service center for the Geico insurance company in suburban Indianapolis. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway holding company owns Geico.
Drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, under investigation on suspicion its employees bribed Chinese doctors, said some of its executives may have broken the law. The British company said its president for Asia-Pacific and emerging markets met with Chinese police officials who are investigating whether GSK employees bribed doctors and hospital administrators to prescribe its drugs.
Flowers Foods Inc. has completed its $355 million acquisition of several breads, bakeries and other assets from the company previously known as Hostess Brands. Flowers said the deal strengthens its position as the second-biggest baker in the U.S. because the breads and bakeries will expand its reach geographically into new markets.
Germany's central bank says recent data indicate the country's economy - Europe's biggest - "expanded strongly" in the second quarter following a weak start to the year. The Bundesbank said in its monthly report that it believes industry and construction made significant contributions to growth in the April-June period.