July 30 - Summary of business headlines: Wall Street turns tepid awaiting possible stimulus from ECB, Fed; Apple, Samsung begin face-off in court; U.S. meat industry hungry for corn relief. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Investors did a little selling after pushing Wall Street close to a three-month high last week. Blue chips did hold above the 13,000 level ahead of meetings by the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. The Fed may decide to wait for more data and for another reason, says Sam Coffin of UBS. SOUNDBITE: SAM COFFIN, ECONOMIST, UBS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Second of all to listen to what the euro central bank is doing and that of course also conditions our policy in that it would seem a bit odd for them to be easing more aggressively than the European Central Bank at this point." The Fed's two-day meeting ends on Wednesday and the ECB meets on Thursday. A California courthouse is the stage for the latest in a global legal battle between Apple and Samsung. Apple is suing Samsung, accusing it of stealing heavily from the iPhone and the iPad. Samsung is countersuing, claiming Apple is trying to quiet the competition. Billions of dollars are at stake here. Samsung's Galaxy smartphones, which could be banned in the U.S., are estimated to be outselling the iPhone at a rate of nearly two-to-one. That of course could change with the iPhone 5 expected to go on sale later this year. Shares of Samsung are up 20 percent year-to-date in their home market, but shares of Apple surging nearly 50 percent even with a sell-off last week. The trial is expected to last at least four weeks. Meat producers are looking to the Environmental Protection Agency for some hoped-for relief. Facing a spike in feed costs due to a drought in the Midwest pushing corn to record prices, industry trade groups want the EPA to relax rules for using corn to make ethanol used in gasoline, for one year. In Europe, stocks were up on strong hopes of ECB action later this week. Conway Gittens, Reuters