Business Briefs – July 5, 2016

U.S. Factory Orders Drop in May; Military Spending Plunges

WASHINGTON (AP) – Orders at U.S. factories dipped in May, dragged down by less demand for steel, aluminum, furniture, electrical appliances and military aircraft.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that factory orders fell 1 percent in May, after gains in the two prior months. So far this year, orders for manufactured goods have dropped 1.9 percent to $2.2 trillion compared to the same period in 2015.

The decline suggests that U.S. manufacturers have yet to fully recover from the sting of weaker economic growth worldwide.

New 50-Euro Note Unveiled To Combat Counterfeiting

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – The European Central Bank has unveiled a new 50-euro note as part of a program to make it harder to counterfeit the currency shared by 19 European countries.

The bank said Tuesday that the 50-euro note (worth $55.66) is the most widely used of its banknotes.

New features in the banknote to make it safer include a hologram, a new watermark, as well as a new emerald green reflective paint. The new banknote will come into circulation in April next year.

Ford Explorers Investigated for Exhaust Gas Odor Inside SUV

NEW YORK (AP) – The U.S. government is investigating complaints from Ford Explorer owners who say they smelled exhaust gas inside the SUV.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it received 154 complaints involving Ford Explorers with model years between 2011 and 2015. One driver said the odor caused a low-speed crash. No injuries were reported.

The NHTSA and Ford Motor Co. declined to say how many vehicles are being investigated. Ford sold more than 950,000 of its 2011 to 2015 Explorers, according to Autodata Corp.

FDA Approves First Dissolving Stent for U.S. Patients

WASHINGTON (AP) – A medical implant that slowly dissolves into the body could be the answer to long-standing safety concerns with devices used to treat clogged arteries.

But not so fast, say experts.

Abbott Laboratories’ newly-approved Absorb stent comes with one important caveat: it hasn’t yet been shown to be safer than older metal implants.

The FDA approved the device Tuesday for patients with coronary artery disease, the artery-narrowing condition that causes about 370,000 U.S. deaths each year, according to government figures. The new stent is made of a plastic-like material that’s designed to gradually dissolve over three years.

Currently-used stents are permanent, mesh-wire tubes that hold open arteries after a procedure used to clear fatty plaque.