Last updated: August 23. 2013 8:37AM - 579 Views

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Chesapeake loses

four executives

Four top executives from Chesapeake Energy have left their positions, according to recent National Public Radio reports.

The company that touts its status as the second-largest natural gas production company in North America has significant investments in the Marcellus Shale region, including in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Recent news media attention for hefty fines levied by the state Department of Environmental Protection and its former president borrowing money from investors has marred its reputation, NPR reports.

There also have been unconfirmed reports that nearly 100 employees at locations across the country have been laid off. Calls by The Times Leader to Chesapeake’s Oklahoma and Sayre, Pa., offices were not answered.

Economic indicators

suggest US upswing

A gauge of the U.S. economy’s health rose in July, pointing to stronger growth in the second half of the year.

The Conference Board said Thursday that its index of leading indicators increased 0.6 percent last month to a reading of 96.0. The increase followed no change in June and a 0.2 percent increase in May.

The solid gain suggests economic growth is picking up after a weak start. The economy grew at an annual rate of 1.4 percent from January through June. Many economists expect growth could improve to a 2.5 percent rate in the second half of 2013.

Eight of the 10 components of the index were positive in July. Higher stock prices, more requests for building permits and a decline in weekly applications for unemployment benefits made the biggest contributions. The only measures to show decreases: average manufacturing workweek and orders for manufactured goods that signal business investment plans.

Sears’ sales sag

during quarter

It was another bad quarter for Sears Holdings Corp.

The beleaguered retailer, which operates Kmart and Sears stores, said Thursday its second-quarter loss widened as the company continued to struggle with weak sales and deep discounts. The results were also hurt by the decline in the number of stores in operation and the lingering effects from its spinoff of the Hometown and Outlet brand.

A series of retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Macy’s Inc., have reported disappointing quarterly results this month and have issued bleaker outlooks as shoppers deal with an uncertain economy and an increase in the payroll tax.

Some store executives have also noted that people are shifting spending toward bigger-ticket items such as cars and home improvement and away from clothing.

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