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Americans Spending More with Income Almost Flat

Americans are making a little more money and spending a lot more.

Under normal circumstances, that would be a troubling sign for the economy. But a closer look at some new government figures suggests another possibility: People are saving less money because they're earning next to nothing in interest.

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Qantas Airways Grounds Global Fleet Due to Strikes

Qantas Airways grounded its global fleet indefinitely Saturday in a lockout of workers whose strikes have disrupted airline operations for weeks, and the government said it would seek arbitration.

Flights in the air were continuing to their destinations. Booked passengers were being rescheduled at Qantas' expense, chief executive Alan Joyce said.

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Italian Borrowing Costs Rise in Bond Auction

Italy saw its borrowing costs rise to a euro-era high on Friday in a sale of euro7.9 billion ($11.09 billion) in government debt, a sign that investors remain nervous about the country's prospects despite a grand European plan to fight the debt crisis.

The interest rate demanded by investors to lend the Italian government 10-year money topped 6 percent in Friday's auction, the highest level since the launch of the euro, and surpassing the 5.86 percent paid in a similar debt auction a month ago. Demand exceeded the amount on offer 1.27 times, a relatively weak outcome.

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U.S. Stocks Open Lower after Thursday's Big Rally

Stocks edged lower in early trading Friday after appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. said it will cut 5,000 jobs, citing weak demand and higher costs for materials. Whirlpool slumped 11 percent, the most in the Standard & Poor's 500 index.

The modest decline followed a surge Thursday that put the Dow Jones industrial average on track for its best month since 1987.

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U.S. Tech Firms Lead List of Best Multinational Workplaces

U.S. technology companies, led by Microsoft, topped a league table of the world's 25 best multinational workplaces released Thursday by a human resources consultancy.

"Microsoft is at the top of the list because it believes that spreading a trust-based culture is the right way to do business, independent of size, national culture or industry," said Jose Tolovi of Great Place to Work.

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European Stocks Slip Back

European stock markets slipped back Friday as investors took a more critical look at the Eurozone debt rescue plan which drove massive gains the previous day in a euphoric relief rally.

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AFED Report: Green Change to Lift Arab Economy

Under the auspices of President Michel Suleiman, the Arab Forum for Environment and Development held its annual conference Thursday at the Habtoor Grand Hotel where it stressed how green energy can lift the economy in the Arab world.

Environment Minister Nazem al-Khoury represented Suleiman at the conference which was attended by more than 20 parliament members, as well as around 500 delegates from Arab and international countries.

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Asian Shares Rise as Europe Announces Debt Plan

Asian stock markets and the euro rose on Thursday as European leaders announced a deal to tackle the region's crippling sovereign debt woes.

After 10 hours of painstaking talks in Brussels, banks holding some of Greece's mountain of debt agreed to take a 50 percent "haircut" on their holdings, breaking a deadlock many hope will help end the two-year-old crisis.

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Peugeot Aims to Double Production in Brazil

French auto giant PSA Peugeot Citroen plans to double production in Brazil by 2015, part of a global shift towards emerging economies hastened by the downturn in Europe and the United States.

Peugeot aims to produce 300,000 vehicles per year and increase its production of engines from 280,000 to 400,000 per year by then, its head of Latin American operations, Carlos Gomes, announced Wednesday.

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Bank of China to Issue American Express Credit Cards

Bank of China will begin issuing American Express credit cards, the state-owned banking giant's first credit card designed for its private banking customers, the financial firms said Wednesday.

Under the terms of their new partnership, BOC, one of China's "big four" banks, will issue a credit card for the affluent branded Bank of China Private Bank American Express(R) Card.

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