Americans' credit card use soars in May
WASHINGTON - Americans put more on their credit cards in May than in any single month since November 2007, one month before the Great Recession began.
But overall credit card use is still well below where it was just before the downturn. Economists say May's increase was likely a temporary response to weaker hiring and poor wage growth and not a sign of sustained confidence in the economy.
Consumer borrowing rose by $17.1 billion in May from April, the Federal Reserve said Monday. The gain drove total borrowing to a seasonally adjusted $2.57 trillion, nearly matching the all-time high reached in July 2008.
WellPoint buying Medicaid provider
INDIANAPOLIS - WellPoint Inc., the nation's second-largest health insurer, will get a bigger chunk of the expanding market of people covered by Medicaid with its $4.46 billion acquisition of a provider of the program for needy and disabled Americans.
WellPoint said that it will spend $92 per share in cash for Amerigroup Corp., which runs Medicaid coverage in 13 states, including Texas, Florida and New York.
Medicaid, which is state- and federally funded, represents a growth opportunity for WellPoint and other big U.S. insurers.
Malware deadline passes, affecting few
WASHINGTON - If you're reading this online, you're fine. The day that was supposed to see thousands of people knocked off the Internet has arrived, but only a few people were affected.
Thousands of Internet users across the U.S. and beyond waited too long or simply didn't believe warnings that they would lose access to the Internet just after midnight because of malware that took over computers around the world more than a year ago.
At 12:01 a.m. on Monday, the FBI turned off Internet servers that were functioning as a temporary safety net to keep infected computers online for the past eight months. A court order the agency had gotten to keep the servers running expired and was not renewed.
Intel takes 15%
stake in ASML
AMSTERDAM - ASML Holding NV, the world's largest supplier of equipment to computer chip manufacturers, said Intel Corp. will take a 15 percent stake in the company to help fund research into new technologies, and other large ASML customers may also do the same.
In an emailed statement Monday, ASML said it might issue up to 4.19 billion ($5.15 billion) worth of new shares - a 25 percent expansion.
Patriot Coal files
NEW YORK - Patriot Coal Corp. is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to restructure its business as it deals with reduced demand for coal and rising costs.
Patriot said it will continue shipping and mining operations, and has received a commitment for $802 million debt financing from Citigroup Global Markets, Barclays Bank and Merrill Lynch. The company is filing for reorganization in the Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York.
Alcoa posts loss
Aluminum manufacturer Alcoa Inc. opened the second-quarter earnings season Monday by posting a $2 million loss. Revenue dropped 9 percent mainly because of weak prices for aluminum in the slowing global economy.
Alcoa posted break-even earnings per share. That compared with 28 cents per share and net income of $322 million a year ago.
The results included one-time items of $63 million. Excluding those Alcoa earned $61 million, or 6 cents a share.
Revenue totaled $5.96 billion, compared with $6.59 billion a year ago.