Mid-day Update

PODCAST: CBO says Senate plan comes up short, Nissan wants camaraderie among drivers

Daryl Paranada Jul 27, 2011

Here are today’s top headlines from the Marketplace Morning Report and from around the web.

Deficit-reduction legislation offered by Senate Democrats, which also increases U.S. borrowing authority, would cut $2.2 trillion from deficits, about $500 billion less than Democrats claimed, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

Congressional leaders have a plan for action on three free-trade agreements, but still need White House backing — a top Republican lawmaker said Wednesday.

Boeing reported a 20 percent rise in profit last quarter. And raised its outlook today, which is noteworthy because we also got a report from the government that orders for durable goods — big ticket items such as aircraft or computer servers — fell more than 2 percent in June. Economists had expected a small increase.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said today that people applied for fewer mortgages last week. That was after a sharp spike the week before.

The world’s biggest Internet retailer Amazon.com said revenue surged in its second quarter. That’s thanks to sales of its Kindle electronic reader
and other electronic devices.

Delta is taking steps to offset the high price of fuel, including reducing flying in the fourth quarter by more than originally planned and giving voluntary buyouts to 2,000 workers.

Moody’s, one of the three major debt-rating services, posted a 56 percent rise in second-quarter net income on an increase over a year ago in bond issues.

Specialty glass maker Corning says its profit fell 17 percent in the second quarter although revenue rose 17 percent

P.F. Chang’s reported a weaker-than-expected quarterly profit as customer traffic fell at both its Bistro and Pei Wei restaurant chains.

Dr. Pepper Snapple posted quarterly profit slightly ahead of Wall Street estimates Wednesday and stood by its full-year forecast as price increases offset higher ingredient costs.

Nissan said today profit fell 10 percent last quarter, but that’s less than expected. Japan’s second biggest carmaker says parts shortages after the massive earthquake are easing up. Nissan says it is banking part of its future on its electric car, the Leaf. Last week, the car company raised the price of the Leaf, and now the carmaker says it wants to build some camaraderie among owners by creating a unique wave, for Leaf drivers to use to say hi to one another on the road. Maybe it could be a variation of the simple five-finger salute? Or a piece sign perhaps? Considering the Leaf will cost $3,500 minimum, Maybe the new gesture should be to show off your empty wallet to your fellow Leaf drivers.

A new study says generosity could be the result of more than just social pressure, or charity. Scientists at the University of California Santa Barbara did computer tests on whether evolution would weed out generosity with no chance of payback. Like when people tip a waiter they’ll never see again. What did they come up with? Humans just want to be nice.

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