Business News

Earnings and Good Economic Data

Johnson & Johnson announced fourth quarter sales of $18.3 billion, a drop of 0.6% as compared to last year.  The negative impact of currency was 4.5%. Profits for the fourth quarter of 2014 were $2.5 billion.  

U.S. manufacturing output rose modestly in December by 0.3%. That marks the fourth straight month of growth. Mining output jumped by 2.2%, reflecting an increase in oil and gas extraction, although a drop in drilling and well-servicing activity tempered the gains. (Reuters)

Consumers started the year feeling very upbeat about the economy, with the sentiment index hitting its highest level since 2004. More consumers cited increases in their household incomes in early January than any time in the past decade, and more households reported unprompted references to favorable employment prospects. (CNBC)

Thai Union Frozen Products, the world's biggest producer of canned tuna, has agreed to buy US peer Bumble Bee Seafoods for $1.5 billion as part of a plan to double revenue through overseas acquisitions. The purchase will give Thai Union control of some of North America's most well-known seafood lines—including two of the three biggest canned tuna brands in the United States. Thai Union's Chicken of the Sea is the third-biggest tuna brand in the U.S. behind Bumble Bee. The top brand, Starkist, is owned by South Korea's Dongwon Industries. (Reuters)

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