Morning Business Memo:
Google will remake Motorola Mobility, the cell phone maker it bought this year, beginning with job cuts. Google plans to lay off 20 percent of Motorola Mobility’s workforce and close a third of its worldwide offices. The cell phone maker has suffered from a slide in market share. losing out to Samsung and Apple, the dominant players in the global market. The New York Times reports “the turnaround effort will also be a referendum on the management of Larry Page, Google’s chief executive, whose boldest move has been the $12.5 billion acquisition.” One third of the 4,000 job cuts will be in the US. Under its new management the company is said to be cutting back on the number of different phones it makes and ending production of low end devices.
Many small investors and savers have fled the stock market in the past few years. But that may not have been a wise move. Since the spring of 2009 when the market was at its lowest point in over a decade, the Dow Jones index has doubled. This year stock market has been climbing a wall of worry about the US economy and budget, Europe’s financial crisis, and slower growth in China. But the opens for business this morning above 13,200. The S&P 500 share index is up 12 percent this year. The market had its strongest gain for the first seven months of any year since 2003.
Gas prices are rising and they’re a real drag on household budgets. The Energy Department is expected to report another jump today in average prices. One reason for the rise is the soaring cost of ethanol, an ingredient in gasoline. Global oil prices are close to $93 for West Texas Crude, a rise from a month ago, but still well below the peak reached in early April. A survey of business traffic commissioned by British trade body UKinbound during the three weeks of the London games has found that 82 percent of tourism-oriented businesses suffered lost business versus the same period of 2011. Two-thirds said the numbers of tourists fell more than 10 percent. The group says a survey of more than 250 tour operators, hoteliers and visitor attractions found that tourist traffic fell all over Britain, not just London. The group says many travelers chose to skip the UK entirely because it would have required travel into London.
Barnes & Noble is reducing the price of its 8-gigabyte model of the Nook tablet computer by $20, bringing it to $179. That undercuts by 20 bucks the rival Kindle Fire sold by Amazon.com, which has 6 gigabytes of memory.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio twitter.com/daviesabc