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Report: J.C. Penney dumps Martha Stewart

Sep. 06, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- J.C. Penney may be ending the tug-of-war with its nemesis for Martha Stewart.

The chain is reportedly dumping the Martha Stewart brand, after sales of the home maven's goods failed to live up to expectations. The move, reported by the New York Post on Thursday, comes as a judge is expected to rule in a lengthy court battle between J.C. Penney Co. and rival Macy's Inc. over whether Macy's has an exclusive right to sell some of her products.

The Post cited unidentified sources as saying that Mike Ullman, a former Penney CEO who returned to the top job this year, made the decision to drop Martha Stewart because of poor sales. CNBC has reported that Martha Stewart is saying that her company has no intentions of ending her deal with Penney. Meanwhile, emails seeking comment from Martha Stewart and Penney on the newspaper report were not immediately returned.

The move is the latest way Ullman is unraveling the botched bid by Penney's former CEO Ron Johnson to transform the retailer from dowdy to trendy. Since he took the job after Johnson was ousted in April, Ullman has been doing things like adding back some of the sales events and restoring basic merchandise that Johnson got rid of during his tenure.

JPMorgan to cease making student loans

LOS ANGELES -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. is exiting the student loan business, saying it doesn't see meaningful growth in the private market for education loans.

Spokeswoman Trish Wexler says that the New York lender will stop accepting student loan applications after Oct. 12.

The move is the latest step by the bank to scale back its role in student lending.

In the spring of 2012, the bank stopped making student loans to borrowers who weren't already Chase customers.

Chase made $200 million in student loans last year, down from $6.9 billion in 2008.

Wexler notes that families are increasingly relying on government-backed student loans.

As a result, Chase plans to focus more on auto lending and other businesses where it expects more growth.

US Airways traffic rises as summer winds down

TEMPE, Ariz. -- US Airways says traffic and a key revenue measure rose in August, as the nation's fifth-biggest airline filled more seats during the last month of the summer-vacation season.

The airline said Thursday that revenue for every seat flown one mile rose about 5 percent last month compared with August 2012. That's a closely watched statistic that rises when planes carry more passengers and average fares are higher.

Traffic rose 5.6 percent, as passengers flew 6.47 billion miles on US Airways and its US Airways Express regional flights.

The company increased passenger-carrying capacity by 5.1 percent. Airlines usually raise capacity by adding flights or using bigger planes.

With traffic growing slightly faster than capacity, average occupancy inched higher by 0.5 percentage points, to 87.4 percent. The figures include US Airways Express.