U.S. demand for cars, trucks increases
U.S. buyers snapped up new cars and trucks in June at a pace not seen since before the recession. Continuing demand for big pickups helped boost sales for Detroit's automakers. Ford said Tuesday that its sales rose 14 percent, while Chrysler's gained 8 percent and General Motors' rose 6.5 percent. Japanese automakers reported solid gains as well. Nissan's sales jumped 13 percent, while Toyota's and Honda's each rose 10 percent. South Korea's Hyundai reported a record June, with sales up 2 percent. Only Volkswagen's sales dropped 3 percent, the third straight monthly decline for the German car company as some products like the Jetta start to age.
U.S. Steel files complaint against 9 competitors
A group of oil-pipe makers led by U.S. Steel filed a U.S. trade complaint against competitors in nine nations, alleging goods from those countries were sold in the U.S. market below cost and, in some cases, benefited from government subsidies. The U.S. coalition made the complaint with the International Trade Commission Tuesday in Washington. Countries named in the complaint are India, Korea, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.
Nurses agree to contract with Heritage Valley
Nurses at Heritage Valley Beaver have agreed to a new two-year contract that SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania officials say will maintain staffing levels and improve nurse-to-patient ratios in the emergency room and some other departments. The two-year agreement, which covers about 500 nurses, calls for a one-year wage freeze and a 1 percent adjustment the second year. Heritage Valley officials noted the agreement also includes a "pay-for-value" compensation plan that offers incentives for nurses "if certain customer service measures are met."
Fed raises big banks' capital requirements
The Federal Reserve agreed Tuesday to raise the amount of capital that big banks must hold to prevent their collapse and reduce the threat they pose to the broader financial system. The higher capital requirements were mandated by Congress in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. They are also in accordance with international standards agreed to after the downturn. Banks had lobbied to modify the requirements on higher capital, saying they could hamper their ability to lend. But experts said most big banks have already increased their capital reserves.
Also in business ...
GNC Holdings elected former Midas chairman, president and CEO Alan Feldman and former PetSmart chairman and CEO Robert Moran to its board of directors. ... Universal Stainless & Alloy Products said members of United Steelworkers union Local 9531 at its Bridgeville plant have ratified a five-year labor agreement that takes effect Sept. 1. Terms were not disclosed.