U.S. small business sentiment rises in July
U.S. small business sentiment rose in July, in a boost to the economic outlook at the start of the third quarter. The National Federation of Independent Business said on Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index increased by 0.7 point to 95.7 last month. More at the Reuters and 24/7 Wall Street.
» Small Business Is Using More Contractors
First-time buyers shut out of expanding U.S. home supply
An inventory crunch for entry-level houses has only worsened during the past year as discounted foreclosures become scarce and cash-paying investors snap up affordable listings to convert to rentals. Properties at the lower end of the market are also the most likely to have underwater mortgages, keeping would-be sellers from moving. More at Bloomberg.
Why selling bananas is such a big (and difficult) business
The merger between banana heavyweights Fyffes and Chiquita Brands hit the skids early this week after Florida-based juice maker Cutrale Group and Brazilian investment firm Safra made a rival bid for Chiquita. So why is everyone suddenly so hungry for bananas? More at the Telegraph.
After offshore oil failure, Cuba shifts energy focus
Cuba has shifted its focus away from offshore oil, concentrating on renewable energy and improving output from onshore wells due to a lack of interest by foreign companies for further deepwater exploration, sources close to the industry say. More at Reuters.
Florida celebrates 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal
The Panama Canal, which has been called one of the “Seven Wonders of the Modern World,” is celebrating its 100th birthday this week. But Panama isn’t the only place planning a big centennial celebration. More at the Miami Herald.