Dow Jones drops 67 points
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 0.3 percent to 1,697.42 in Tuesday trading. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 66.79 points, or 0.4 percent, to 15,334.59.
The market is “riding waves of news, both good and bad,” said Malcolm Polley, the chief investment officer at Stewart Capital Advisors LLC in Indiana, Pa. “The market is very dependent on macro news.”
Ohio State to study marketing
Ohio State University announced it received an $18.7 million federal government grant to perform tobacco use research. The university said the study will include marketing practices and public perceptions of the industry.
It is one of 14 centers for a program called the Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science.
Hopkins adds Austin flight
Starting today, travelers can fly directly from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Cleveland airport director Ricky Smith is touting the new United Airlines route as “connecting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Live Music Capital of the World.”
Austin is renowned for its live music scene that boasts quality and quantity.
The new flight departs Cleveland at 8 a.m. and arrives in Texas at 10:50 a.m. The returning flight departs Austin at 2 p.m. and arrives in Cleveland at 5:55 p.m. Passengers will travel aboard United’s CRJ-700 aircraft.
Tickets are available at www.united.com.
Smithfield Foods sale backed
Shareholders of Smithfield Foods Inc. approved a plan to sell the world’s largest pork producer and processor to a Chinese company. The Smithfield, Va., company said more than 96 percent of the votes cast during a special meeting in Richmond were in favor of Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd.’s $34 per share offer, or $4.72 billion in cash.
The deal will be the largest takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm, valued at about $7.1 billion, including debt. Its sale to Hong Kong-based Shuanghui comes at a time of serious food safety problems in China, some of which have involved Shuanghui, which owns food and logistics enterprises and is the largest shareholder of China’s biggest meat processor.
Bobs Evans spinoff proposed
Bob Evans Farms’ biggest stockholder is proposing that the restaurant owner consider selling or spinning off its food products business in order to help create more value for shareholders. Evans Farms owns the Evans restaurant chain, which has been revamped to draw more customers. It agreed in January to sell its Mimi’s Cafe chain for $50 million to LeDuff America Inc.
It also sells some food products under the Bob Evans and Owens brand names. The Columbus company recently bolstered that business with the acquisition of Kettle Creations, which makes mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and other side dishes.
Last month, Bob Evans Farms reported its fiscal first-quarter profit fell almost 40 percent due to large one-time costs. Sandell Asset Management Corp., which owns about 5 percent of Bob Evans stock, said it believes the company should either sell or spin off its food products business and arrange some sale/leasebacks of its restaurant properties. Sandell says the stock is undervalued and doesn’t account for the real estate value of its 482 company-owned restaurants.
Import delay by Fiat
Fiat SpA, the Italian automaker that controls Chrysler Group LLC, is delaying the return of its Alfa Romeo brand to the United States until the second quarter of 2014, a Chrysler spokesman said.
Chrysler said in January it would start selling the compact 4C sports car this year. Fiat wants to revive the premium brand, long a symbol of Italian style and performance, and bring it to global markets.
U.S. home prices increase
Nationwide home sale prices rose 12.4 percent in July compared with a year ago, the most since February 2006. An increase in sales on a limited supply of available homes drove the gains. The Standard &Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index improved from June, when it rose 12.1 percent from a year ago.
All 20 cities posted gains in July from the previous month and compared with a year ago. The Cleveland metropolitan area showed the weakest gain, the report said. Cleveland area home prices grew 0.5 percent from the previous month, and 3.9 percent from July 2012, according to the monthly report.
Compiled from staff and wire reports