Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Solar Firm's Assets to be Auctioned

Assets of the solar energy product maker Energy Conversion Devices and its United Solar Ovonic subsidiary are expected to be sold at auction.

Liquidation business Hilco Industrial announced Monday that it would be among the companies handling the sale June 26, which is expected to take place online.

Machinery, equipment, intellectual property, furniture, real estate and inventory will be sold.

Auburn Hills-based Energy Conversion Devices announced Feb. 14 that it was seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. An earlier auction of part of the business had been canceled. United Solar Ovonic separately filed for bankruptcy relief and makes thin-film solar products for commercial rooftops.

Tesla shares rise as Model S delivery nears

Tesla Motors shares rose the most in almost a month as the maker of electric cars prepares to deliver its first Model S models this week.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company led by Elon Musk increased 6.5% to $31.84 a share.

The Model S, the company's first model designed and built in-house, has a range of as much as 300 miles per charge. The Model S has a base price of $57,400, half that of the company's Roadster, a battery-electric sports car made under contract with Group Lotus that debuted in 2008. Sales of the Roadster ended earlier this year.

Investors push Spain's borrowing rates up

Spain's ability to manage its debt without an international bailout was thrown into doubt Monday after investors pushed its borrowing rates up to the level at which Greece, Portugal and Ireland had sought help.

Investor sentiment improved briefly in the morning as electoral results in Greece suggested the country would not drop out of the euro currency union, a scenario that would have put severe stress on Spain's markets.

But that market relief quickly transformed into concern in Madrid as it became clear that Spain's fundamental economic and fiscal problems remain huge.

The interest rate on Spain's 10-year bonds -- an indicator of market confidence in how well a country can pay down its debt -- hit a fresh eurozone era high of 7.18% before easing in the afternoon and closing at 7.12%. It is the first time since Spain joined the eurozone that it ended above 7%. Stocks plunged 3% on Madrid's main index.

Penney's president is leaving company

J.C. Penney says Michael Francis, the former Target executive brought in to redefine the brand, is leaving the company. The department store operator gave no reason for his immediate departure. J.C. Penney hired Francis in October as president to redefine the Plano, Texas, company's brand and boost its sagging sales.

Builders' confidence reaches 5-year high

Confidence among U.S. builders ticked up this month to a five-year high, an indication that the housing market is slowly improving.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose in June to 29, the highest reading since May 2007. It increased from a reading of 28 last month, which was revised down one point from its initial figure.

The index, which was released Monday, has risen in seven of the past nine months, suggesting builders see the seeds of a recovery taking shape after years of stagnation.


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