At The Motley Fool, we know our readers like to be informed. So we have scouted out today's most relevant news items and brought them to you all in one page. We hope you find this midday edition informative and useful.
Amazon battles state taxes
Online retailer Amazon.com
Such measures allow Amazon to sell goods at lower prices than state retailers because it doesn't have to add the sales tax, which in some states can be up to 8%. Many states don't like this situation. According to a study by the University of Tennessee, governments will lose $10.1 billion to $11.3 billion in sales taxes not collected by online retailers. Some states have passed laws dubbed "Amazon laws" to curtail this effect, but Amazon has responded with lawsuit challenges. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.
MasterCard profit unexpected
Despite numbers suggesting that the economy had slowed down, MasterCard
Not AAA appropriate
During debt negotiations, one of the looming worries was that the U.S. would lose its cherished AAA credit rating. But most of the country's biggest corporations don't have this rating anymore. In fact, only four corporations can boast this rating: Automatic Data Processing
On Wall Street, a AAA credit rating is now seen as a straitjacket that forces them to take a more conservative approach to sustain the ratings. Experts say being downgraded a notch has not had much impact on their operations and some of the best-regarded companies, like Berkshire Hathaway, General Electric
Research In Motion set to improve
After losing ground in smartphone operations, Research In Motion
This will be the first release since August 2010. RIM has been losing sales in the U.S. mainly to Apple and Google's Android platform. The release comes at a critical time, after the company announced it would cut 2,000 jobs to rein in costs. Read more at Bloomberg.
New mileage rules and fears about China
At an auto conference in Michigan, Fiat and Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne said new fuel economy standards imposed by the government are very reachable. The White House proposed that new cars and trucks should get 54.5 miles to the gallon by 2025. Marchionne also said the drive to reach these standards would be extremely beneficial to the auto industry.
Marchionne also said the American auto industry could be threatened if China decides to export cars. He said Western countries must make their auto industry more competitive. He added that automakers have to stop relying on Asian subsidiaries and instead bring a renaissance of the American industry. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.
So there you have it, the top financial stories for this afternoon. Check Fool.com throughout the day for commentary on these and other stories. Also, follow us on Twitter, on Facebook, or through our email digests.