Korean automaker Hyundai announced a pair of recalls Monday involving separate problems with the airbags in its Santa Fe SUVs and Sonata sedans. In the US, the company has issued a recall for just over 199,000 Santa Fes made between April 2006 and July 2008 because the airbag has failed to deploy in a number of test crashes. The company is also recalling 22,500 Sonatas made between January and June this year because the side air bag may inflate unexpectedly.
New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has begun the likely difficult task of returning the former search giant to a state of health. Mayer's first order of business, ironically, looks a little like turning Yahoo into Google, in an attempt to lure more talent to the Sunnyvale, California tech power. Mayer has instituted a new, weekly all-hands-on-deck meeting for Yahoo staff and has ordered the company's campus cafe, URLs, to stop charging for food, a move that many Silicon Valley companies, not just Google, have done. Even Facebook and Twiiter offer free meals for staffers.
Chrysler Group LLC issued its second-quarter results Monday, posting a healthy profit as it continues to put its 2009 bankruptcy behind it. The $436 million profit is an immeasurable improvement over the carmaker's 2Q 2011 net loss of $370 million, and coincided with a 23 percent year-over-year increase in revenue to $16.8 billion. Of course, last year's loss included a massive $550 million payout related to the company's bailout, but earnings would only have come to ab0out $180 million had the bailout never happened, meaning Chrysler profit would have more than doubled from a year ago.
The price of corn surged Monday to an all-time high as the worst US drought in some 50 years continues to ravage crops across the Midwest and South. According to estimates provided by the Department of Agriculture, nearly 90 percent of the nation's corn crops are in areas currently experiencing drought, with nearly half of those crops being grown in areas that have been hit the hardest. Over the past six weeks, the price of corn has risen more than 50 percent as supplies have been decimated by dry conditions. Corn prices rose another 3 percent on Monday alone to a new all-time high of $8.17 per bushel in trading on the Chicago mercantile exchange.
Toyota Motor Corp. regained the distinction of the world's top automaker during the first half of the year, surpassing General Motors as continued to shake off the effects of a devastating tsunami and earthquake that rocked Japan in March, 2011. Making matters worse, at least from GM's perspective, Germany's Volkwagen AG is nipping at its heels, and is on pace to move into second behind Toyota. Toyota has rebounded nicely from the catastrophic tsunami, and predicted in February, less than a year after being crippled by the disaster, that it would sell 9.58 million vehicles this year, surpassing its record-high total of 9.37 million set in 2007.
Don Perry, the vice president of public relations for Chick-fil-A, passed away suddenly on Friday morning, according to a statement released by the company. The statement did not say how old Perry was, nor who would replace him as the embattled fast-food chain's principle spokesman. "Don was a member of our Chick-fil-A family for nearly 29 years," the statement read. "For many of you in the media, he was the spokesperson for Chick-fil-A. He was a well-respected and well-liked media executive in the Atlanta and University of Georgia communities, and we will all miss him."
The world's largest coffee chain issued second-quarter numbers Friday morning, send shares down as much as 12 percent during the day with a rare Starbucks miss. In addition to missing Wall Street estimates for both earnings and revenue, the iconic Seattle chain also offered a lowered forecast for the current quarter and fiscal 2013. At one point early in the session, the stock slipped to $46.23, giving back a 14 percent gain made by the stock since the year began. though it had climbed back to $47.33 with just 15 minutes left in the trading day.
Optimism among American consumers continued to diminish in July with sentiment slipping to its lowest level of the year according to the final reading from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan. The group's index on consumer sentiment fell from a reading of 73.2 in June to 72.3, marking the second straight month of declining consumer sentiment and the lowest reading on the index since last December. Of course, the reading actually exceeded the expectations of analysts who took part in a recent Reuters poll, projecting a reading of 72.0, on average.
US economic growth slowed to an anemic 1.5 percent in the second quarter, according to a report issued Friday by the Commerce Department. That's down from an already too slow 2 percent growth rate from the first three months of the year. The agency also issued revisions to GDP growth going all the way back to 2009, with 2010's growth being slightly weaker than initially reported and 2009 and 2011 being slightly stronger.
Facebook shares slipped to an all-time low on Friday following the company's first quarterly earnings report after Thursday's closing bell. The world's largest social network saw a steady decline in share value on Friday that saw shares slip as much as 14 percent to a new all-time low of $22.28, almost 40 percent below the stock's IPO price. The company's first report as a public company showed a dramatic slowdown in revenue growth, startling investors despite meeting Wall Street expectations.