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Business news briefs — Nov. 4

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OHIO BUSINESS

State ranks fourth

Ohio finished fourth in Site Selection magazine’s list of top state business climates, down from second place last year and up from ninth place in 2011.

Georgia took the No. 1 spot, moving up from No. 4. North Carolina came in second, followed by Texas, Ohio and Tennessee.

Half of the ranking is based on a survey of corporate site selectors and half on a set of criteria that include the number of new business facilities.

The survey of those who work on site opportunities for companies asked, “Based upon your experience, what are the top 10 state business climates, taking into consideration such factors as lack of red tape, financial assistance and government officials’ cooperation?”

In this survey alone, Ohio ranked 10th. Texas was first in this survey followed by South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

— Katie Byard

Cruze sales decline

Sales of the Lordstown-built Chevrolet Cruze slid in October for the second consecutive month, dropping 15.9 percent from a year ago.

General Motors said the Cruze had its best-ever October retail sales by consumers, but declining fleet sales — to rental-car companies, cities and businesses — lagged and GM sold just 16,087 Cruzes, compared with 19,121 during October 2012.

In September, Cruze deliveries dropped by 50 percent in one of the worst sales months in the car’s history. The Cruze still remains the company’s second best-selling vehicle, and the U.S. auto market is shifting from robust to stable growth, said Jesse Toprak, an analyst at the automotive information website TrueCar.com.

RETAIL

Clothing store dispute

Men’s Wearhouse said it will not give rival Jos. A Bank access to nonpublic information that it could use to assess whether to potentially raise its $2.3 billion buyout offer. Last week Bank said it would consider boosting its bid if allowed access. The Hampstead, Md., company also said it would drop its offer if “good faith discussions” are not held by Nov. 14. Bank made an unsolicited offer of $48 per share for Men’s Wearhouse in September. In October Men’s Wearhouse rejected the bid, calling it “opportunistic” and “inadequate.”

ECONOMY

Factory orders up

Orders to factories rose in September on a big jump in commercial aircraft demand. But businesses cut back sharply on machinery and other goods that signal their confidence to expand, signs of slower economic growth. The Commerce Department said factory orders increased 1.7 percent in September from August. That followed a 0.1 percent decline in August and a 2.8 percent plunge in July.

The September gain was driven by a 57.7 percent jump in demand for aircraft. But so-called core capital goods, which include machinery and electronics, fell 1.3 percent in September. And demand for machinery plummeted 23.6 percent, with big declines in construction machinery, electric turbines and generators.

Dow rises 23 points

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index increased 6.29 points in Monday trading to close at 1,767.93. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 23.57 points to 15,639.12 and the Nasdaq composite gained 14.55 points to 3,936.59.

Apple plant in Arizona

Apple Inc. said it’s opening a new plant in Mesa, Ariz., and will hire 2,000 workers to make components for its products.

ENERGY

Microsoft in wind deal

It takes a lot of energy to store all the data 1 billion people and 20 million businesses plug into their computers, phones, tablets and gadgets. So as part of an effort to become what is called “carbon neutral,” Microsoft has entered a 20-year deal to buy power from a new wind farm in Texas, the first time the tech giant is directly purchasing electricity from a specific source.

EARNINGS

Kellogg to make cuts

Kellogg said it plans to trim its global workforce by 7 percent, with the breakfast foods maker citing weaker-than-expected sales for the year. Earnings per share for the year will be toward the lower end of its previous forecast. According to research firm FactSet, Kellogg has 31,000 employees, suggesting the company plans to cut about 2,170 jobs.

The workforce reductions will take place by the end of 2017, the company said.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.


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