Business news briefs: List of models scoring well in new safety test

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List of models scoring well in new safety test

Seven new midsize cars and SUVs from the 2013 and 2014 model years earned "superior" ratings in a new test of high-tech safety features designed to prevent front-end crashes. Another six got "advanced" ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, while 25 received "basic" ratings. Another 36 got no ratings. These vehicles got superior ratings: Cadillac ATS and SRX, Subaru Legacy and Outback, Mercedes C-Class, and Volvo S60 and XC60.

FHA to draw $1.7B from Treasury to cover losses

The Federal Housing Administration said Friday it needs a $1.7 billion bailout from the Treasury to cover projected losses in a mortgage program for seniors. At issue are reverse mortgage programs, which allow seniors to borrow against their homes for everyday living expenses. The agency is struggling with $5 billion in losses on its reverse mortgage program. Reverse mortgage borrowers, who must be 62 or older, can take lump-sum or monthly payments. Sale proceeds from a home go to the lender when the borrower dies or moves out. Many borrowers took large payments upfront and later ran into financial problems, often due to falling home values during the financial crisis.

Lumber Liquidators plunges after raid in Virginia offices

Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc., the hardwood flooring retailer, dropped the most in three months in New York trading after announcing that federal officials had executed search warrants at its offices in Virginia. The searches Thursday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Fish and Wildlife Service were related to importation of wood-flooring products, the Toano, Va.-based company said in a statement Friday. The company said it "takes its sourcing and compliance very seriously" and is cooperating with the investigators.

J.C. Penney looking to raise $810.6M from offering

J.C. Penney, the struggling retailer that is trying to reassure the market about its financial stability, expects to raise about $810.6 million via a public stock offering. J.C. Penney said Friday it plans to offer 84 million shares priced at $9.65 per share, a 7.3 percent discount to Thursday's closing price of $10.42 per share. J.C. Penney is trying to recover from a failed turnaround attempt spearheaded by its former CEO Ron Johnson that led to disastrous results. Its board ousted Mr. Johnson in April after 17 months on the job and rehired Mike Ullman, who had been CEO of the retailer from 2004 to late 2011.

Consumers boost spending 0.3 percent in August

U.S. consumers increased their spending slightly last month as their income grew at the fastest pace in six months. The figures point to only modest economic growth in the July-September quarter. Consumers' spending on goods and services rose 0.3 percent in August, the Commerce Department said Friday. That's up from a 0.2 percent gain in July. Consumer spending drives 70 percent of economic activity. Many analysts say the increases are not enough to accelerate economic growth in the third quarter.

Walgreens to close Pa. facility, lay off 400

The Walgreens drugstore chain is closing a distribution center in Eastern Pennsylvania, which is expected to result in 400 layoffs. Company spokeswoman Emily Hartwig said employees at the Lehigh Valley center in the Bethlehem area were told of the decision Friday and that the layoffs will occur gradually from January through March. Ms. Hartwig says the two-decade-old facility in Northampton County has been operating at only one shift per day, compared with the two daily shifts at the company's other distribution centers.

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