July gains for the stock indexes
July was the best month for stocks in a year, with the three major stock indexes—the Dow Jones industrials, the Nasdaq, and the Standard & Poor’s 500—gaining about 7 percent, following 14 percent declines in May and June.
State debt swells by 10.3 percent
Cash-strapped states have stepped up their borrowing to cope with their fiscal woes. The amount of debt carried by states swelled 10.3 percent last year, to $460 billion. Connecticut citizens carry the heaviest debt burden, $4,859 per capita, while Nebraska’s debt is equal to only $15 per citizen.
Will Murdoch bid for the Rangers?
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is considering a bid for Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers. Fox Sports Southwest, a News Corp. unit, broadcasts Rangers games. By acquiring the Rangers, News Corp. could save so much in broadcast fees that the deal would pay for itself within a few years.
New York Post
BP’s U.S. filling stations may rebrand
Operators of BP’s U.S. filling stations are actively considering a name change. The BP Amoco Marketers Association is leaning toward rebranding with the Amoco logo, which BP obtained when it acquired Amoco in 1998.
AT&T and Verizon target Visa and MasterCard
AT&T and Verizon are taking a shot at Visa and MasterCard by developing a system that would allow consumers to pay for their purchases with a wave of their smart phones. Payments would be processed through Discover Financial Service’s payment system.