Harley shop lands airport spot
Miracle Mile Harley-Davidson, a Great Neck motorcycle dealership, will expand this summer by opening a gift-shop outpost in Kennedy Airport's Terminal 1 duty-free zone, according to the retail operator Hudson Group. Hudson said the Harley shop will be part of a major expansion of the duty-free area, alongside new Michael Kors, Juicy Couture, Tumi and Victoria's Secret shops that have already opened for business. Hudson, which will operate the airport shop for the Miracle Mile dealership, did not give an opening date. Hudson did not say what Harley-Davidson items it will sell at the shop, but the brand has an extensive list of clothing, accessories and gift items. -- Joseph Mallia
Feds ease derivatives oversight
Federal regulators are softening a plan to oversee companies that trade financial derivatives, the complex investments that played a central role in the 2008 financial crisis. The new rule defines which companies trading derivatives will be subject to a stricter regime created in the 2010 overhaul of financial laws. Most companies that deal in derivatives will be exempt. The Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved the rule unanimously in separate votes yesterday. The rule says derivatives used by companies to offset their own risk will not attract scrutiny. The higher oversight standard would apply only to companies that sell $8 billion or more of the investment products annually. Under an earlier proposal companies that sold $100 million of certain derivatives would have faced tougher oversight.
AmEx quarterly profit up 7%
American Express says its first quarter profit rose 7 percent and beat Wall Street expectations as its customers spent more and fewer defaulted on their accounts. The credit card issuer earned $1.25 billion, or $1.07 per share, in the first three months of the year. Revenue jumped 8 percent to $7.61 billion. Wall Street was expecting a profit of $1.01 per share and revenue of $7.47 billion. CEO Kenneth Chenault says customer spending rose 12 percent over the same quarter a year ago. Past-due accounts and write-offs are at historic lows.
Yum Brands net income soars
The owner of the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC chains says its first-quarter net income rose 73 percent as rebounding U.S. sales were coupled with a continued strong performance overseas. Yum Brands Inc.'s revenue increased 13 percent to $2.74 billion in the period. Operating profit in Yum's China operation rose 14 percent, adjusted for currency fluctuations. In the United States, operating profit surged 27 percent as all three chains reported sales gains at established stores. Yum reported net income of $458 million, or 96 cents per share, in the quarter, up from $264 million, or 54 cents per share.
Carmakers' parts shortage looms
The U.S. auto industry, already facing a shortage of a crucial plastic resin caused by a plant explosion in Germany, may also be confronted with an even bigger crisis: running short of parts simply because there aren't enough factories and people to make them. That could limit the number of new vehicles in showrooms later this year and crimp a historic turnaround. The broader parts shortage dates to the auto industry's near-collapse in 2008 and 2009, when sales plummeted and General Motors and Chrysler were forced into bankruptcy protection. From 2008 to 2011, parts makers cut back on people, closed factories and sold off equipment. During the downturn at least 57 parts makers closed, were bought out or went into bankruptcy, according to the Original Equipment Suppliers Association. Nearly 20 percent of auto parts workers -- more than 100,000 people -- lost their jobs from 2008 through 2011. -- AP