Decay at nuclear plant
Officials said a small patch of degradation has been found on the inside wall of the containment building surrounding a nuclear plant in Beaver, Pa. Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. said the discovery was made at Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station’s Unit 1, which was shut down at the end of last month for scheduled refueling.
A spokeswoman said the degradation was probably caused by decay of a piece of wood touching the steel liner of the 4.5-foot-thick concrete wall. The company plans a more extensive inspection to resolve the issue. The Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission is also investigating.
A similar area of corrosion found in 2009 was replaced with a new section of steel and has had no further problems. The spokeswoman said, “Public health and safety isn’t impacted.”
Rubber supply drops
Monsoon rains that drenched rubber plantations across India and Malaysia are diminishing a glut of supply for the first time in three years, just as record global car sales are boosting demand for tires.
The surplus will narrow by at least 12 percent to 284,000 metric tons this year, according to the International Rubber Study Group, a 36-nation body based in Singapore. Futures that fell as much as 62 percent since peaking in 2011 rallied into a bull market in August. Prices will rise another 14 percent to $3,100 a ton by Dec. 31, according to the median of 15 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg News.
Car sales in China, which uses about a third of the world’s rubber, jumped 13 percent in the first eight months of the year, contributing to what researcher LMC Automotive Ltd. said will be record global purchases in 2013. Smaller-than-expected output combined with rising demand prompted RCMA Commodities Asia Group, the Singapore-based company that’s been in the rubber business for a century, to cut its estimate for this year’s glut by 33 percent to 351,000 tons in August.”
Alcoa sees profit in quarter
Alcoa says it swung to a profit in the third quarter despite lower aluminum prices, as it was helped by demand from auto makers and by cost-cutting moves. Alcoa Inc. said it earned $24 million, or 2 cents per share, compared with a year-ago loss of $143 million, or 13 cents per share.
The company, which has Barberton operations, said excluding restructuring costs, it would have earned 11 cents per share. Analysts were forecasting a profit of 5 cents per share after special items. Revenue was down 1 percent to $5.77 billion, but that is better than the $5.64 billion analysts were forecasting.
Union seeks talks
In the aftermath of a decision by Ormet to close an aluminum smelting operation in southeast Ohio, the United Steelworkers asked that Ohio Gov. John Kasich get involved in the matter. The union said it along with creditors of the company attempted to reduce costs by $300 million to keep the facility running. Layoffs are expected to begin this week after the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio denied a majority of Ormet’s request for approval of a plan that would reduce electricity costs.
Chrysler to add jobs
Chrysler will add about 500 workers at a Mexican engine plant, Bloomberg News reported. Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne is expected to provide details later this week when he visits the Saltillo area, where Chrysler has four plants. The investment will total $164 million. Volkswagen’s Audi brand is investing $1.3 billion in a new plant in San Jose Chiapa with a capacity of 150,000 cars a year. General Motors has budgeted $691 million to expand three existing Mexican factories. Fiat also builds the North American version of the 500 subcompact at a plant in Toluca.
Dow sees fall of 159
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 159.71 points, or 1.1 percent, to 14,776.53. The Nasdaq composite dropped 75.54 points, or 2 percent, to 3,694.83. The S&P 500 index dropped 20.67 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,655.45. It was the biggest one-day drop for the index since Aug. 20. The declines were led by phone companies. The yield on Treasury bills maturing in one month soared to 0.28 percent, hitting its highest level since the 2008 financial crisis. The yield was 0.15 percent on Monday and close to zero at the beginning of October. Among stocks in the news, McKesson rose $4.09, or 3.2 percent, to $133.72 after the Wall Street Journal reported that the health services company was in talks to acquire its German rival Celesio for about $5.1 billion.
Compiled from staff and wire reports