Business Tidbits

JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon Gets Big Pay Cut

NEW YORK (AP) – America’s best-known banker is getting a big pay cut.

JPMorgan Chase said Wednesday that it will dock the pay of CEO Jamie Dimon by more than half, to $11.5 million from $23 million.

It’s the latest fallout from an embarrassing trading loss at the bank last year, one that eventually ballooned to $6 billion. Its ripple effects have already been numerous, forcing Dimon to appear contritely before Congress and putting the bank squarely in the crosshairs of regulators and lawmakers.

U.S. Factory Output Rises for 2nd Straight Month

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. factory production rose in December for the second straight month, buoyed by more output of autos, electronics and business equipment.

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that factory output increased 0.8 percent last month compared with November. That followed a 1.3 percent rise in November, which partly reflected a rebound from Superstorm Sandy.

Total industrial production increased 0.3 percent in December from November. That followed a 1 percent rise in November. Production slowed last month mostly because utility output dropped 4.8 percent, reflecting unseasonably warm weather.

Foreign Holdings of US debt Hit Record in November

WASHINGTON (AP) – Foreign demand for U.S. Treasury securities rose to a record level in November, further evidence that overseas investors remained confident in U.S. debt despite looming budget battles in Washington.

The Treasury Department says foreign holdings of U.S. Treasurys rose 0.6 percent in November from October to $5.56 trillion. It was the 11th consecutive monthly gain.

China, the top foreign holder, increased its portfolio by $200 million to $1.17 trillion. Japan, the second-largest holder, boosted its investments by $900 million to $1.13 trillion.

EBay’s 4Q Earnings Top Analysts’ Estimates

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – EBay’s fourth-quarter earnings topped analysts’ projections as bargain-hunting year-end shoppers flocked to its internet shopping mall and digital payment service.

The results announced Wednesday served as the exclamation point on the best year yet for eBay Inc., an e-commerce pioneer founded in 1995 when the idea of buying merchandise online was just getting started.

Online shopping has since become a staple for hordes of consumers, turning eBay into a thriving business and a Wall Street favorite.

AMR Cuts Labor Costs, Posts 4q Profit of $262 Million

DALLAS (AP) – American Airlines made a profit in the fourth quarter, a big turnaround from a year ago, as it slashed labor costs and reaped other benefits from its trip to bankruptcy court.

Parent company AMR Corp. said Wednesday that net income was $262 million compared with a loss of $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Labor was AMR’s second-biggest expense behind fuel. The company chopped spending on wages and benefits by 13 percent as it eliminated thousands of jobs and reworked its union contracts to cut costs.