Mid-day Update

PODCAST: German growth slows, Fitch says U.S. credit is still AAA

Daryl Paranada Aug 16, 2011

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

Another major economy is reporting slow growth for the last quarter. Germany says its economy only grew 1 tenth of 1 percent. That’s far less than economists were expecting.

The news comes on the day German leader Angela Merkel meets with French President Nicolas Sarkozy to talk about the debt crisis. But will they talk “eurobonds?”

A busy month for U.S. automakers lifted overall factory output in July by the most since the Japan crisis, an encouraging sign amid growing recession fears.

The ratings agency Fitch said just moments ago that, unlike rival S&P, it is keeping the U.S. credit rating AAA and that the outlook for the rating is stable.

Credit reporting agency TransUnion said today the number of credit card payments late by 90 days or more dropped to its lowest level since 1994.

Fewer builders started construction on homes last month. The Commerce Department reported housing starts were down 1.5 percent in July.

Walmart said this morning that it’s profit jumped more than 5 percent last quarter. But U.S. sales fell almost a percent.

A man and a woman see actor Tom Hanks filling up his car at a gas station along the California coast, just west of LA. They’re excited, star-struck even. They talk to him about his latest movie: “Larry Crowne.” And he asks them, what did you think of the film? They told him they didn’t think it was that good. That they expected better from their favorite actor. Hanks reportedly reached into his pocket and gave the couple $25 to refund how much they paid for their movie tickets.

To Stoughton, Mass., which is apparently home to pizza so good, it’s worth a 1,400 mile drive. A Mississippi man who grew up in Stoughton and really missed the pizza decided last weekend to drive from Mississippi to Massachusetts to buy 150 pies for $1,200. It was a 24-hour drive, but at least he didn’t have to stop for food on the way back.

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