U.S. Stocks climbed Wednesday "led by energy and metals shares, after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicted oil will climb 29 percent through the end of the year and Morgan Stanley advised buying Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.," Bloomberg.com reports.
“In an early sign that investors are starting to pounce on the billions of dollars of troubled land and construction loans that banks are looking to unload, a venture headed by LandCap Partners is buying $40 million of such assets from Wachovia Corp.,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
“General Motors has backed away from a two-year drive to wean itself off incentives, highlighting the increasing desperation of US carmakers to counter the steep downturn in demand,” the Financial Times reports. The automaker is extending the discounts available to its employees to all buyers of cars for all 2008 and some 2009 models.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited a military chapel in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday where the bodies of 10 French soldiers, killed during a Taliban ambush, lay before they were to be flown home.
Doctors say U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio, is in critical condition and has limited brain function following a brain hemorrhage Tuesday. Tubbs Jones is the first black woman to represent Ohio in Congress.
According to CBS, federal officials at U.S. border crossings “repeatedly turned back filthy, disease-ridden shipments of peppers from Mexico” in the months before the salmonella outbreak that was eventually traced to Mexican chile peppers, but no other action was taken.
Tropical storm Fay continued its “erratic path” Wednesday, staying along Florida’s coast, but not heading back out over the Atlantic Ocean. The National Hurricane Center said that the storm’s chances of becoming a hurricane are shrinking.
This morning American Airlines launched its airborne broadband service on 15 transcontinental flights, allowing passengers to check their email, use instant messenger and visit Web sites while flying at 36,000 feet. The service costs $12.95.
According to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday, Republican John McCain has opened a 5-point lead on Democrat Barack Obama in the presidential race, leading 46 percent to 41 percent among likely voters and wiping out Obama’s 7-point advantage in the monthly poll in July.
The majority of stem cell researchers use animal materials to make the cells. But a scientist at UC Riverside has devised a method of making stem cells using no animal-derived materials, an important advance in using the cells for medical purposes in the future.
Scientists at the recent Joint Propulsion Conference in Hartford, Conn., analyzed designs for advanced propulsion that others have proposed for interstellar travel and showed that, “even using the most theoretical of technologies, reaching the nearest star in a human lifetime is nearly impossible,” Wired reports.
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won his second Olympic gold Wednesday night, setting a world record in the men’s 200 meters. For the first time since 1979, one man holds the world record in both the 100 and 200 meter races, ESPN reports.
Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, who turns 69 Friday, was resting comfortably at Massachusetts General Hospital following triple bypass surgery on Tuesday. He had been admitted earlier that day for chest pains.