U.S. car giant General Motors Corp (GM) plans to invest $12 billion in China from 2014 to 2017 and build more plants next year as it competes with aggressive rivals in the world's largest auto market. GM expects its China sales to expand 8-10 percent this year, in line with the overall growth of the Chinese market, where foreign firms, such as Volkswagen AG , and domestic players like SAIC Motor Corp vie for more market share. In total we are investing $12 billion between 2014 and 2017," Matt Tsien, president of GM China, said at the Auto China show in Beijing. GM plans to build five more plants in China next year, as part of its efforts to ramp up manufacturing capacity there by 65 percent by 2020, executives said on Sunday.
By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The latest delay to a final decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline will reinforce a White House strategy to energize President Barack Obama's liberal-leaning base before fall elections in which Democrats risk losing control of the U.S. Senate. Environmentalists, worried about the project's effect on climate change, have put enormous pressure on the president to reject the pipeline from Canada's oil sands, staging demonstrations outside the White House and protests in states where he travels. A decision to approve it now could have prompted that vocal group, which was instrumental in electing Obama in 2008 and 2012, to sit out the November 4 congressional elections. The State Department's announcement on Friday that it would give government agencies more time to study the project was seen by strategists from both parties as a move to prevent that and boost Obama in the eyes of his supporters.
U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has approached British rival AstraZeneca to propose a 60 billion pound ($101 billion) takeover, Britain's Sunday Times reported. The paper cited senior investment bankers and industry sources saying that informal conversations about a deal had taken place between the two but that no talks were currently under way after AstraZeneca resisted the approach. Pfizer and AstraZeneca both declined to comment on the report to Reuters. AstraZeneca, Britain's second-biggest pharmaceuticals group, has been frequently touted as a potential takeover target as it wrestles with patents expiring on a number of best-selling drugs, leaving future growth uncertain.
By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - Earnings season shifts into high gear next week, and with nearly one-third of S&P 500 names set to post results, investors hope the news provides a catalyst to buy stocks and leave the market's recent weakness in the dust. Several behemoths, including Apple, the largest U.S. company by market value, as well as Microsoft, McDonald's and AT&T , are due to report earnings. They'll be accompanied by highfliers like Netflix and Facebook, giving the first real cross-section of the state of corporate America as temperatures rise across the country and investors hope to put the cold weather behind them. Strategists will also be looking for clues on how badly China's slowdown hits U.S. corporate results.