Business Briefs: Cramer's speculation on MSA lifts shares

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Cramer's speculation lifts MSA share price

Shares of MSA spiked Wednesday after CNBC pundit Jim Cramer said the Cranberry safety products company is ripe for a takeover. More than twice the daily average of shares changed hands, sending MSA shares as high as $42.60. They closed at $41.85, up 83 cents. A company spokesman said MSA does not comment on speculation or rumors.

Pa., W.Va. fracking-test workers getting back pay

Exton-based water-testing company Groundwater and Environmental Services Inc. must pay more than $187,000 in denied back pay to 69 workers based in Cranberry and Fairmont, W.Va., the U.S. Department of Labor said on Wednesday. The infraction was discovered as part of a larger enforcement effort targeting contractors who work for the drilling industry.

Apollo Bancorp raises common stock dividend

Apollo Bancorp raised the quarterly common stock dividend 7.5 percent to 43 cents per share, up from 40 cents. The new dividend is payable Dec. 21 to shareholders of record Dec. 18.

Retirement account assets rose 3.5% in Q3

Assets in pension plans, IRAs and other retirement accounts rose 3.5 percent in the third quarter to $19.4 trillion, the Investment Company Institute reported. The industry group said retirement accounts represent 36 percent of the financial assets of U.S. households.

Some Americans cutting spending in face of 'cliff'

One in three Americans has cut personal spending over the last 30 days due to concerns about the looming fiscal cliff, according to a survey conducted for Bankrate.com. Households with annual income under $30,000 and people 65 and older were the most likely to have cut back.

UBS to pay $1.5 billion over interest rate rigging

The Justice Department says an international investment bank will pay more than $1.5 billion in penalties in three nations to resolve charges of trying to manipulate an interest rate used as a benchmark in global banking transactions. UBS Securities Japan Co. Ltd. will pay $100 million; its parent, UBS AG in Zurich, will pay another $400 million. Another billion dollars in fines will go to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the United Kingdom Financial Services Authority, and the Swiss Financial Market Authority.

Apple, Google in group buying Kodak patents

A group including Apple, Google and Research In Motion agreed to buy patents from bankrupt Eastman Kodak for about $525 million, gaining digital-imaging technology to capture and share pictures. The group is led by Intellectual Ventures Management LLC and RPX Corp., Kodak said. Google, Apple and RIM are among the 12 patent licensees participating, according to a court filing. The more than 1,100 auctioned patents were previously estimated to be worth as much as $2.6 billion. Kodak retains ownership of about 9,600 other patents for its ongoing businesses.

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