Nation & World
Sears contemplates sell-off
In its continued efforts to raise cash, Sears Holdings announced Friday it is considering selling 200 to 300 stores to a real estate investment trust and leasing back the space. The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based retailer said it would fund a portion of the sale/lease-back transaction by offering its shareholders rights to buy common shares or other equity in the newly created trust, with the balance from mortgage or other debt financing. Sears would continue to operate in the sold locations under master leases.
JPMorgan makes job cuts
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JPMorgan, the nation’s largest bank by assets, is cutting 3,000 more jobs this year than previously planned in its credit card and mortgage business units. The bank said in February that it was planning to eliminate about 2,000 jobs this year in its card, merchant services and auto unit, but now says that it will have cut a total of 4,000 jobs in the unit by the end of 2014. JPMorgan will also eliminate more jobs in its mortgage unit, reducing up to 7,000 positions in that part of the bank, compared with an earlier target of 6,000.
Dock drama may delay delivery of holiday goods
Spreading labor strife at major West Coast seaports is exacerbating importers’ problems getting products to market, threatening the on-time delivery of some holiday goods. Until this week, dockworkers and their employers were negotiating a new contract with little of the public drama that characterized past talks. The association representing companies that ship cargo in and out of 29 West Coast ports and manage containers once onshore is accusing the dockworkers union of deliberately slowing work to gain bargaining leverage.
Berkshire Hathaway profits down
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reported a 9 percent drop in third-quarter profit versus the same period a year ago, when the company had large investment gains. Berkshire said Friday it earned $4.62 billion, or $2,811 per Class A share. That’s down from $5.05 billion, or $3,074 per share, last year. Revenue grew 10 percent to $51.2 billion.
Bird display at L.L. Bean opening goes awry
The grand opening of an L.L. Bean store in Vermont has ruffled some feathers, with an owl attacking a hawk in a shopping mall display. Officials say a European eagle owl attacked a Harris’s hawk Friday in Burlington’s Town Center Mall. The Burlington Free Press reports witnesses said the owl squeezed the hawk in its claws for several minutes, causing the hawk to shriek. Workers separated the birds, whose owners said they had never fought before.
International sting targets online drug sellers
Seventeen people have been arrested so far in an international crackdown on underground websites selling illegal drugs, a top Europol official said Friday, with Dutch prosecutors saying the arrests came in the U.S., Ireland and Germany. Troels Oerting, head of the police agency’s cybercrimes division, said it coordinated raids in more than a dozen countries on Thursday, including a U.S. operation in which the FBI announced the arrest in San Francisco of a man accused of running the Silk Road 2.0 online drug bazaar.
Chicago Tribune and The Associated Press contributed.