Casey warns country could go over milk cliff
As lawmakers debate the potential fallout of going over the fiscal cliff, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., is warning that the country could tumble over a milk cliff if the U.S. Farm Bill isn't addressed before Tuesday. During a Friday afternoon news conference, Mr. Casey said milk prices could shoot up to as much as $8 per gallon if Congress doesn't address a provision of the Farm Bill that affects milk prices. Tim Moyer, executive secretary for the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board, said the Department of Agriculture has already set January's "class one" milk prices, which determine how states will price dairy products. He said any increases would most likely come if class one prices go up in February. A gallon of milk will retail at a minimum price between $3.86 and $4.01 throughout Pennsylvania in January, according to the Milk Marketing Board.
Midstream asset sale closed by Chesapeake
Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy closed on the sale of midstream assets located across several shale plays, including the Marcellus and Utica shales. The driller sold the assets to Access Midstream Partners LP of Oklahoma City for $2.16 billion.
TV production company sold to N.Y.-based Crestview
NEP Broadcasting LLC, a Harmar-based outsourced television production company, was sold to New York-based private equity firm Crestview Partners on Dec. 24 for approximately $800 million. NEP was formerly owned by New York-based equity firm American Securities.
Philips Respironics faces patent infringement suit
A Massachusetts firm has sued Philips Respironics, alleging the Murrysville firm's EncoreAnywhere respirator infringed on its patent. The Zoll unit of Asahi Kasei Corp. says the technology, which monitors patients with breathing problems attributed to sleep disorders, is protected by a 2004 patent. The complaint was filed Thursday in federal court in Wilmington, Del.
U.S. banks see fewer failures since dawn of financial crisis
U.S. banks are ending the year with fewer failures than at any time since the financial crisis struck in 2008. In 2009, 140 banks failed. In 2010, more banks failed -- 157 -- than in any year since the savings and loan crisis of the early 1990s. In 2011, regulators closed 92. This year, the number of failures has trickled to 51. In a strong economy, an average of only four or five banks close annually.
Home sales index rises to highest since April '10
The National Association of Realtors said Friday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 1.7 percent in November from October to 106.4. That's the highest since April 2010, when a homebuyer tax credit caused a spike in sales. And after excluding those months when the tax credit was available, it's the best reading since February 2007.
5% stake in Nook Media bought by publisher Pearson
British publisher Pearson PLC said Friday it would pay $89.5 million for a 5 percent stake in Nook Media LLC, which includes Barnes & Noble's e-reader and tablets, its digital bookstore and its 674 stores serving U.S. colleges. Barnes & Noble will hold 78.2 percent of the business, and Microsoft will have about 16.8 percent, Pearson said.