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1. US Manufacturing Grows at Fastest Pace in 3 1/2 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing grew in August at the strongest pace in more than three years as factories cranked out more goods and new orders rose.

The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index rose to 59 from 57.1 in July, the ISM said Tuesday. That was the highest reading since March 2011. Any measure above 50 signals that manufacturing is growing.

2. Services Firms See Increased Growth -

U.S. services firms grew at the fastest rate in more than eight years in July, the latest sign of an economy picking up speed in the second half of the year.

The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that its service-sector index jumped to 58.7, up from 56 in June. Any figure above 50 indicates expansion. June's reading is the highest since December 2005. The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers.

3. US Services Firms Grow at Fastest Pace in 8 Years -

U.S. services firms grew at the fastest rate in more than eight years in July, the latest sign of an economy picking up speed in the second half of the year.

The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that its service-sector index jumped to 58.7, up from 56 in June. Any figure above 50 indicates expansion. June’s reading is the highest since December 2005. The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers.

4. Start Co. Steers Accelerators Toward Demo Day -

Memphis’ startup community is in the throes of its busiest summer in memory.

The Start Co. organization is running four startup accelerator programs at the moment simultaneously, compared to past undertakings that involved one accelerator at a time. The four programs underway now include Seed Hatchery, Upstart, SparkGap and Sky High, and they include the participation of more than two dozen teams, some of which hail from Memphis and others from around the country.

5. Contractors See Bright Days Ahead -

After slogging their way through the deepest economic slump in more than 60 years, Memphis area contractors say the near future looks much brighter than the dark days of the recession and its immediate aftermath.

6. Time to Invest in Emerging Markets? -

Emerging markets are a group of countries that are in the process of developing both their infrastructure and economic system.

Emerging countries include the big names that have dominated the space for years like Brazil, Russia, India and China (known as the BRIC), but also smaller developing countries in Emerging Asia, South America and Eastern Europe.

7. AP Survey: China's Lending Bubble a Global Threat -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Just as the global economy has all but recovered from debt-fueled crises in the United States and Europe, economists have a new worry: China. They see a lending bubble there that threatens global growth unless Beijing defuses it.

8. February Has Stock Market ‘Reboot’ -

Frustrating. A word often used to describe computers, smartphones, tablets and, quite often, the stock market.

Sometimes we can press the exact same button on our computer as we did the day before and something completely different pops up on our screen. What do we do? Do we call the IT person or reboot?

9. All Dividend Stocks Not Created Equal -

There are 422 dividend paying stocks in the S&P 500 Index, but not all are created equal.

To use a job analogy, some jobs offer a good upfront salary and stability in income, however, upside growth is limited. While other jobs may have lower starting salaries, they make up for it with growth opportunity and, in some cases, unlimited upside through bonuses or commissions.

10. US Service Firms Grow More Quickly, Boost Hiring -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. service firms expanded more quickly last month as new orders rose and hiring increased, a positive sign the economy is rebounding after an unusually cold winter.

11. Lakecrest II Sells for $4.6 Million -

The Lakecrest II office building in East Memphis has changed hands again.

Southland Primacy LLC acquired the 129,104-square-foot office building at 6055 Primacy Parkway from Jefferson-Pilot Investments Inc. Feb. 28 for $4.6 million.

12. Sector Capital Management Independent Again -

Three years after its acquisition by Argent Financial Group, Memphis-based Sector Capital Management is an independent company again.

Sector CEO Reed Walters led the negotiations to buy back the wealth management firm in the wake of Louisiana-based Argent going on something of an acquisition spree in recent years. Sector also has relocated from Argent’s office at The Crescent Center to the Atrium I building at 6800 Poplar Ave.

13. Beale Alterations Point to Possible Larger Changes -

As a brass band leading a lunch-hour parade on Beale Street last Friday passed Handy Park, a crew wearing the district’s new uniforms for maintenance workers were taking down the Performa Entertainment sign outlining the ground rules for the park area.

14. Factory, Construction Growth Boost 2014 Outlook -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Expectations are rising for a stronger U.S. economy in 2014 after reports Thursday showed solid growth in manufacturing and construction spending at the end of last year.

15. Durable-Goods Orders Fall 2 Percent in October -

Businesses spent less last month on machinery, computers and most other items, lowering orders for U.S. long-lasting factory goods. The decline suggests companies may have been reluctant to invest during the 16-day partial government shutdown

16. First Horizon Stresses Patience to Investors -

The business of banking isn’t exactly a picnic at the moment for a company like First Horizon National Corp., which has made big strides toward lowering its risk profile but continues to see lower near-term profitability than it would like.

17. US Service Sector Grows at Slower Pace Last Month -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. service sector firms grew in November at the weakest pace since June, evidence that cautious spending by consumers and businesses may be slowing growth.

The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday its service-sector index fell to 53.9 in November, down from 55.4 in October. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. The index hit an eight-year high of 58.6 in August.

18. Durable-Goods Orders Fall 2 Percent in October -

Businesses spent less last month on machinery, computers and most other items, lowering orders for U.S. long-lasting factory goods. The decline suggests companies may have been reluctant to invest during the 16-day partial government shutdown

19. Factory Production Rises 0.3 Percent in October -

U.S. factories increased production for a third straight month in October, as stronger output of primary metals and furniture offset declines in auto production.

Manufacturing output rose 0.3 percent last month, up from 0.1 percent in September, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. Factory output is the biggest component of industrial production, which also includes mining and utilities.

20. Factory Production Rises 0.3 Percent in October -

U.S. factories increased production for a third straight month in October, as stronger output of primary metals and furniture offset declines in auto production.

Manufacturing output rose 0.3 percent last month, up from 0.1 percent in September, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. Factory output is the biggest component of industrial production, which also includes mining and utilities.

21. US Service Firms Expanded More Quickly in October -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Activity at U.S. service firms accelerated in October behind a jump in sales and more hiring, suggesting businesses largely shrugged off the partial government shutdown.

22. African-American Execs Needed -

The expertise and connections of African-American corporate executives can help chart a sustainable future for historically black colleges and universities. Historically black colleges and universities are amongst the largest African-American-controlled businesses in America. Many date to the 19th century. They have educated generations and built the black middle class. They are major employers in communities across the country. They also face challenges as they operate in an increasingly competitive educational marketplace.

23. Community Main Focus of Conrad’s Goals -

Since Kemp Conrad, principal with Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors LLC, took the position as president of Commercial Advisors’ asset services – a leading third-party provider of leasing, property management and project management services – revenues have increased by 215 percent.

24. Community Improvement at Heart of Conrad’s Goals -

Since Kemp Conrad, principal with Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors LLC, took the position as president of Commercial Advisors’ asset services – a leading third-party provider of leasing, property management and project management services – revenues have increased by 215 percent.

25. Growth at US Service Firms Slows From 8-Year High -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Growth at U.S. service companies slowed in September from an eight-year high in August, as sales fell sharply, new orders dipped and hiring weakened.

The Institute of Supply Management said Thursday that its service-sector index fell to 54.4 in September, down from 58.6 in August. August's reading was the highest since December 2005. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

26. US Service Firms Expand at Fastest Pace in 8 Years -

Companies in the U.S. service sector expanded at their fastest pace in nearly 8 years last month as sales and orders grew and employers ramped up hiring.

The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday that its service-sector index rose to 58.6 in August from 56 in July. It's the highest point since December 2005. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

27. US Service Firms Expand at Fastest Pace in 8 Years -

Companies in the U.S. service sector expanded at their fastest pace in nearly 8 years last month as sales and orders grew and employers ramped up hiring.

The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday that its service-sector index rose to 58.6 in August from 56 in July. It's the highest point since December 2005. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

28. Aerotropolis Manager Bowman Completes Delta Leadership Program -

Chad Bowman, aerotropolis project manager for the Memphis and Shelby County Division of Planning and Development, has graduated from the Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy, a yearlong Delta Regional Authority program designed to foster collaborative initiatives across the Delta region.

29. Growth at US Service Firms Jumps on New Orders -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. service firms expanded in July at the fastest pace since February, fueled by a brisker month of sales and a jump in new orders. The increase suggests economic growth could be picking up after a weak first half of the year.

30. Made in Memphis -

Memphis’ geography is limited to roughly 300 square miles, but its identity stretches beyond the city limits, resonating to the far corners of the globe.

The city’s brand has obvious cornerstones, such as its place in the nation’s cultural topography. But setting aside those no-brainers, like the rock ‘n’ roll innovator whose mansion in Whitehaven still attracts gawkers from around the world, a lot of what makes Memphis’ story is the story of what’s made in Memphis.

31. Hudson's Bay Buying Saks for About $2.4 Billion -

NEW YORK (AP) – Don't let the global economy fool you: Luxury is hardly dead.

Saks Inc. agreed to sell itself to Hudson's Bay Co., the Canadian parent of upscale retailer Lord & Taylor, for about $2.4 billion in a deal that will bring luxury to more North American locales.

32. World Looks to Bernanke to Clarify Stimulus Plans -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Is the era of ultra-low interest rates nearing an end? That's the question – and the fear – Chairman Ben Bernanke will face this week when he takes questions after a Federal Reserve policy meeting.

33. US Service Firms Grow More Slowly, Hiring Weakens -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Two reports Wednesday showed that U.S. service companies grew more slowly in March and private employers pulled back on hiring. The declines suggest businesses may have grown more cautious last month after federal spending cuts took effect.

34. Survey: US Manufacturing Grew More Slowly in March -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A survey shows U.S. manufacturing activity expanded more slowly in March than February, held back by weaker growth in production and new orders. But factories hired at the fastest pace in nine months, an encouraging sign ahead of Friday's report on March employment.

35. Argent Financial Sees Growth in Memphis, Beyond -

Argent Financial Group hasn’t let its foot off the gas since arriving in Memphis.

The Louisiana-based wealth management firm, which is now responsible for more than $5.5 billion in client assets, has continued to expand both in Memphis and beyond.

36. US Factory Output Falls on Weak Auto Production -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. factories slowed production in January after two solid months of cranking out goods. The weakness mainly reflected a big drop in output at auto factories that is likely temporary.

37. Lawrence’s Background a Fit for Work at EDGE -

It might be said that John Lawrence has a background made to order for looking at the big picture – one of real estate, urban planning, marketing and organization management. Through the course of various career moves, he’s developed the tools necessary for the use in his position as manager of strategic economic development planning for Memphis and Shelby County’s Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE).

38. Lighting the Spark -

Somewhere, there’s an entrepreneur scribbling an idea on little more than the back of a napkin. Someone else has all the pieces of a new company in place, and now they’re ready to dial for dollars. Entrepreneurs are a talented bunch, but that talent doesn’t always include a knack for management or finance – skill sets that plenty of experts in Memphis stand ready to help explain.

39. Argent Financial, Highland Capital Merging -

Memphis-based Highland Capital Management LLC and Louisiana-based Argent Financial Group, which entered the Memphis market a few years ago, are merging.

40. Changing Market -

Much of 2012’s commercial real estate deals could be summed up in one of three phrases: speculative construction, institutional buyers and unusual transactions.

The first quarter was kicked off when Industrial Developments International Inc. revealed plans to add one build-to-suit and two speculative buildings in its Crossroads Distribution Center in Olive Branch – marking the area’s first spec construction since 2008.

41. Makowsky Ringel Greenberg Beefs Up Commercial Team -

Makowsky Ringel Greenberg LLC is sharpening the focus of its commercial real estate division to stabilize its existing portfolio as well as build its third-party brokerage in the Memphis market.

42. Commercial Advisors Capital Markets to Zero In on ‘Untapped Segment’ -

Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors Asset Services LLC has launched a Capital Markets Group, a new service line to complement the firm’s tenant representation and third-party leasing and management businesses.

43. US Service Firms Grow at Fastest Pace in 6 Months -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. service companies grew in September at the fastest pace in six months, helped by a sharp increase in customer demand.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 55.1, up from 53.7 in August. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

44. Growth Streak -

Andrew Holliday and Daniel Brown, the founding partners of Memphis-based branding and marketing firm Harvest Creative, used to joke about one day making the Inc. 500|5000, the list published each year by Inc. Magazine that honors the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.

45. US Service Firms Grew at Faster Pace in August -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. service companies expanded at a faster pace in August than July, helped by stronger hiring. The growth at firms that employ roughly 90 percent of the work force suggests the economy is slowly improving.

46. Survey: US Manufacturing Shrinks for Third Month -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. factory activity shrank for the third straight month in August as new orders, production and employment all fell. The report adds to other signs that manufacturing is struggling around the globe.

47. Robinson’s Memphis Roots At Center of Career -

It could be said a passion for the Bluff City runs deep in fourth-generation Memphian Daniel T. Robinson Jr., who practices corporate law as an attorney with Evans Petree PC, a 105-year-old Memphis law firm.

48. US Service Firms Grew Slightly Faster in July -

U.S. service companies, which employ 90 percent of Americans, grew at a slightly faster pace in July.

The Institute for Supply Management reported Friday that its index of non-manufacturing activity picked up slightly last month with a reading of 52.6. That was up from June’s reading of 52.1, which had been the lowest since January 2010.

49. US Jobless Aid Applications Fall to 6-Week Low -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fewer people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, and a private survey showed hiring picked up in June. The reports offered some hope for the job market after three sluggish months of hiring.

50. US Manufacturing Shrinks for First Time in 3 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing shrank in June for the first time in nearly three years, adding to signs that economic growth is weakening.

Production declined, and the number of new orders plunged, according to a monthly report released Monday by the Institute for Supply Management.

51. Dodd-Frank Could Have ‘Dire Impact’ On Economy -

As banks nationwide are feeling the pressure of regulatory change like the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commercial real estate lending standards by community banks will likely remain stringent for the foreseeable future.

52. US Manufacturing Grows at Fastest Pace Since June -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing grew last month at the fastest pace in 10 months. New orders, production and a measure of hiring all rose.

The strength at U.S. factories suggests the economy is healthier than recent data had indicated. That's a hopeful sign ahead of Friday's report on hiring in April.

53. Many Questions Raised Before Going Public -

As Facebook prepares for its multibillion-dollar initial public offering (IPO) next month, it sheds light on how companies – including local ones – decide whether to go public or not.

Memphis-based pharmaceutical company GTx Inc. went public in 2004 and local paper producer Verso Paper Corp. held its IPO in 2008, but the overall number of publicly traded companies both locally and nationally has dropped over the past two decades.

54. US Service Firms Grow At Steady Pace, Boost Hiring -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. service companies expanded at a healthy pace last month and stepped up hiring, more evidence that the economy is growing and adding jobs.

The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that its index of non-manufacturing activity dropped to 56 in March. That’s down from February’s 57.3, which was a 12-month high. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

55. US Factory Orders Up 1.3 Pct. -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Businesses ordered more machinery and equipment from U.S. factories in February, a signal that many are investing in their companies despite the expiration of a tax credit.

56. Argent Opens Trust Office in Nashville -

It’s been a few years now since Louisiana-based Argent Financial Group, a diversified financial services company responsible for more than $3 billion in client assets, arrived in Memphis.

Since then, Argent has solidified its ties to the city. Now, it’s grown beyond Memphis deeper into the state.

57. Panel: State Has ‘Robust’ Bioscience Community -

Members of the region’s scientific, medical, academic and business communities seeking more knowledge about innovative early-stage investment strategies in the biosciences packed the ballroom of The University Club, 1346 Central Avenue, on Thursday, Feb. 23, for a panel discussion hosted by Memphis Bioworks Business Association.

58. Privatization Thoughts Highlight Changes -

Here’s a roundup of what some of the city’s banks and bankers, investment professionals, mortgage brokers, asset management firms and other financial services shops have been up to in recent weeks.

59. US Service Industry Growth Surges in January -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. service companies grew at the fastest pace in 11 months in January as companies started hiring to keep up with rising demand.

The Institute for Supply Management said Friday that its index of non-manufacturing activity jumped to 56.8 percent in January from 53 percent in December. The survey's employment index soared to its highest level since February 2006. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

60. Grinding it Out -

After most recessions, real estate bounces back.

But the Great Recession has been notably different – long, deep and very prolonged.

That’s the message Dr. John Gnuschke, director of the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research and co-director of the Center for Real Estate at the University of Memphis, delivered in December at the Urban Land Institute’s Real Estate Outlook for the Mid-South.

61. CRE Activity Stays Strong During 2011 -

Despite hard times, local commercial real estate firms were able to ink plenty of deals in the past 12 months.

Memphis’ industrial leasing activity kicked off in January when Buena Park, Calif.-based Pacific Logistics Corp. signed a 60,000-square-foot lease in ProLogis Park DeSoto for its first Memphis-area location.

62. Economists: Obama's Policies 'Fair' or 'Poor' -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama gets mediocre marks for his handling of the U.S. economy, and Mitt Romney easily outpolls his Republican rivals in an Associated Press survey of economists.

63. Durable Goods Orders Up, But Core Demand is Weak -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Companies' demand for long-lasting manufactured goods rose by the largest amount in four months in November, driven by a jump in orders for planes.

The Commerce Department says orders to U.S. factories for durable goods rose 3.8 percent in November. It was the biggest gain since July. But so-called core capital goods, a proxy for business investment spending, dropped for a second straight month. They fell 1.2 percent.

64. Prolonged Recession -

In the words of Phil Woodard, an owner of multiple residential and commercial properties in Downtown Memphis, breaking even is the new profit.

Or as national real estate expert Jonathan Miller said earlier this month at the Urban Land Institute’s Real Estate Outlook for the Mid-South, “We cannot expect to make money the way we did a few years ago.”

65. Key Storylines Emerge in 2011 Banking -

Much of the news that came out of the local banking and financial services sectors in 2011 fell into one of three buckets.

No new fees, please.

Smaller names are doing bigger business.

And, two heads are better than one.

66. US Factory Output Declined Sharply in November -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing output fell in November for the first time in seven months.

The decline was largely because factories made fewer autos. But production of home electronics, appliances and business equipment also dropped.

67. Pulling the Strings -

Long before the first widgets roll off the assembly line, way back before the ribbon cutting and the first shovels break ground, and even before executives quietly slip in to scout out a prospective piece of land, someone like Mark Sweeney gets a phone call.

68. US Service Firms Expanded in Nov. at Slower Pace -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Service companies, which employ 90 percent of the U.S. work force, expanded at a slower pace in November and a measure of employment at those firms fell.

Separately, the government said orders to U.S. factories dropped for the second straight month.

69. Forecasters Expect Recovery 'With a Lag' -

Over the past several days, eerily similar messages have come from a pair of economic forecasters who spoke at the Thursday, Dec. 1, meeting of the Economic Club of Memphis, the most recent forecast from a local investment firm and the latest economic snapshot from the Federal Reserve.

70. US October Durable Goods Orders Fell 0.7 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. business orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell for a second straight month in October. While much of the weakness came from a big drop in demand for commercial aircraft, a key category that tracks business investment spending fell by the largest amount since January.

71. House-Senate Negotiators Unveil Spending Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a bundle of spending measures for the ongoing budget year, blending cuts to NASA and community development programs while averting cuts to nutrition programs.

72. Factory Activity Slows as Economy Stays Sluggish -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing grew more slowly in October, hampered by weaker demand for exports and slower production at factories.

But companies ordered more goods, factories slashed their stockpiles and auto sales rose. Those trends suggest manufacturing activity could rebound in coming months.

73. Shared Success -

Talent acquisition and retention and an ongoing focus on sustainable workforce development are vital to the economic success of any city. And in Memphis – a city beleaguered by high rates of poverty and unemployment – long-term strategies aimed at building that workforce are now targeting future workers as young as middle school students.

74. Businesses Ordered More Long-Lasting Goods -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Businesses ordered more computers, communications equipment and other big-ticket items in August, a hopeful sign for the slumping economy.

Orders for capital goods, which are considered a good measure of business investment plans, rose 0.9 percent in August, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. It was the second gain in three months.

75. Economy Up Slightly but Threats Remain, Data Show -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The nation's economy is managing to grow modestly, reports Monday showed, despite high U.S. unemployment and growing alarm about Europe's debt crisis.

Manufacturing expanded in September more than in August, though the pace of growth remains weak, according to a survey by the Institute for Supply Management. The ISM said its manufacturing index rose for the first time in three months.

76. Employers Add No Net Jobs in Aug.; Rate Unchanged -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Employers stopped adding jobs in August, an alarming setback for an economy that has struggled to grow and might be at risk of another recession.

The government also reported that the unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent. It was the weakest jobs report since September 2010.

77. Health Care Stocks Endure Turmoil Better Than Most -

Health care stocks historically provide a relatively safe haven in roiling markets. They're less tethered to the economy's every movement than other stocks and tend to be less volatile.

Anxious investors might be considering putting money in the sector, but the current outlook is complicated by uncertainty over the government's changing involvement in health care. The wild card is potential cuts to Medicare or Medicaid, soon to be considered by Congress' new debt-reduction supercommittee.

78. Dallas Co. Pays $35M for Depot -

The Memphis Depot Business Park has sold for $35.8 million after being on the market for less than six months.

Memphis Depot Associates LLC, an affiliated entity of Dallas-based Mayfield Properties LP, on Friday, Aug. 5, bought 260 acres of property containing 4.2 million square feet in buildings in the industrial park and former Army base just north of Memphis International Airport from Depot Redevelopment Corp. of Memphis and Shelby County.

79. Dallas Co. Pays $35M for Depot -

The Memphis Depot Business Park has sold for $35.8 million after being on the market for less than six months.

Memphis Depot Associates LLC, an affiliated entity of Dallas-based Mayfield Properties LP, on Friday, Aug. 5, bought 260 acres of property containing 4.2 million square feet in buildings in the industrial park and former Army base just north of Memphis International Airport from Depot Redevelopment Corp. of Memphis and Shelby County.

80. Manufacturing Growth Hits Lowest Level in 2 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Manufacturers had their weakest growth in two years in July, a sign that the economy could weaken this summer.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 50.9 percent in July from 55.3 percent in June. The reading was the lowest since July 2009 – one month after the recession officially ended.

81. Complex Forces at Work in Debt Debate -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has begun talking about a trip to New York in September to meet with representatives of the three major credit rating agencies.

It would be a critical round of presentations by the governor and several top aides, since one of those rating agencies recently announced it might be forced to cut its rating on Tennessee’s credit if the federal government loses its own gold-plated credit rating in the coming days.

82. Survey: Most Pharmaceutical Execs Foresee More M&A -

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – A survey of top executives of U.S. drugmakers indicates mergers and acquisitions should pick up in the next couple of years, as companies aim to offset rising generic competition.

83. Q2 Mortgage Counts Fall 24 Pct. -

A slide in mortgage activity between April and June, coinciding with a plunge in home sales, adds up to a housing market in Shelby County that’s still shell-shocked.

And whether or not anyone wants to believe the picture will improve anytime soon, significant headwinds still abound. Fixed mortgage rates are on the rise, and joblessness is still a drag on not only housing but the economy at large.

84. Service Sector Grew in June at Slower Pace -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. service sector, which employs nearly 90 percent of America’s work force, expanded for a 19th consecutive month in June. But growth slowed from May, a sign that the economy remains sluggish.

85. End of the Road -

Not long after the Federal Reserve announced a controversial program in November 2010 to buy $600 billion in U.S. government securities, Tennessee’s junior senator found himself besieged by incredulous voters at a town hall meeting in Memphis.

86. Brighter Days Ahead for Argent Financial, Sector Capital Combo -

The recent acquisition of Sector Capital Management, a local boutique money management firm, by the much larger Louisiana-based Argent Financial Group came together fast, a testament to how well both firms complement each other and wanted to join forces.

87. End of the Road -

ot long after the Federal Reserve announced a controversial program in November 2010 to buy $600 billion in U.S. government securities, Tennessee’s junior senator found himself besieged by incredulous voters at a town hall meeting in Memphis.

88. Bank of America in $8.5B Mortgage Settlement -

NEW YORK (AP) – Bank of America and its Countrywide unit will pay $8.5 billion to settle claims that the lenders sold poor-quality mortgage-backed securities that went sour when the housing market collapsed.

89. Tom Pease Interviews Tom Pease -

How about a dialogue of a strange sort, as I interview myself on small business. The main thing is value points for you, so give me a break. You are a business person, do you want Oprah or Trump? I come bearing business truth serum for good and bad.

90. IronHorse Capital Finds Niche Within Complex Economy -

David Waddell, Kerr Tigrett and Chad Cunningham recognized opportunity amid the Great Recession two years ago.

91. Growth Trajectory -

Late last year, the president of Duncan-Williams Inc. started something called the “great things list,” a new tradition at the firm founded by his father and which has grown into one of the premier broker-dealer firms in the Southeast U.S.

92. Trade Group Says US Service Sector Grew in May -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy's service sector, which employs 90 percent of America's work force, grew in May for an 18th straight month, posting slightly faster growth than in April.

93. Cable Service Provider Signs New Lease -

A Madison, Tenn.-based cable service provider is taking advantage of lower rates in a competitive leasing environment.

FTS USA has signed a 4,002-square-foot lease in East Pointe Business Center, 3915 S. Mendenhall Road.

94. US Service Sector Expanded at Much Slower Pace -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S economy's service sector grew last month at the slowest pace since August, renewing concerns that more expensive gas and food may be weakening growth.

Service companies, which employ 90 percent of the nation's work force, still expanded for the 17th straight month. But their growth slowed considerably because of a sharp drop in demand for their services, the Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday.

95. US Service Sector Expanded at Much Slower Pace -

The U.S economy’s service sector grew last month at the slowest pace since August, renewing concerns that more expensive gas and food may be weakening growth.

Companies that employ 90 percent of the nation’s work force still expanded for the 17th straight month. But their growth slowed considerable because of a sharp drop in demand for their services, the Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday.

96. Businesses Ordered More Factory Goods in March -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Businesses increased their demand for industrial machinery, computers and autos in March, lifting factory orders for the fifth consecutive month.

Orders rose 3 percent in March after a 0.7 percent increase in February, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. A key category that signals business investment plans jumped 4.1 percent after a small increase in February and a big decline in January. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders rose 2.6 percent.

97. Argent Financial Strengthens Memphis Ties -

It’s been almost a year since Louisiana-based Argent Financial Group, a diversified financial services company with more than $3 billion in client assets, opened a Memphis office.

Since then, the company has incrementally deepened its ties to the city with moves that include signing a five-year lease at The Crescent Center last spring.

98. Argent Financial Acquires Sector Capital Management -

Argent Financial Group, one of the region’s oldest full-service independent trust and financial service companies, has acquired Sector Capital Management LLC of Memphis.

99. Dollar Signs -

From wealth management to accounting to investment firms, plenty of financial services companies in Memphis are enjoying a robust level of growth that might seem surprising to an outsider.

Yet it’s clear the economic recovery is well under way, and companies with strong fundamentals are reaping rewards.

100. Factory Activity Grows at Fastest Pace in 7 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Factory activity expanded in January at the fastest pace in nearly seven years, as America’s manufacturers reported a sharp jump in new orders.

Still, builders spent less on projects in December, pushing annual construction spending down to a decade low.