Fed may raise rates in first 6 months of 2010: Blinder
Former Fed vice chairman, Alan Binder, today in a Bloomberg Television interview said the Federal Reserve may start to raise its target interest rate from its current rate of near zero in the first half of 2010 as the economy recovers.

Fed forecasts unemployment rate to increase
U.S. Federal Reserve officials have modified their unemployment rate predictions as they expect the rate to top 10 percent above the previously forecast value of 9.6 percent. In June the nation's unemployment rate climbed to 9.5 percent, a 26-year high. The latest projections have cast a new shadow of doubt on the timing the economy will take to recover.

Paulson defends his actions in BofA and Merrill deal
Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Wednesday defended his actions in warning Bank of America Chief Executive, Kenneth Lewis, and his executives that they could face the prospect of losing his job if they had turned their backs on the merger. He said his actions spared the U.S. financial market from total collapse. Many more Americans would be without their homes, their jobs, their businesses, their savings and their way of life, he said in written testimony prepared for a hearing Thursday.

U.S.-China agree on Clean Energy Research Center

The United States and China agreed to develop a joint Clean Energy Research Center that will focus on building energy efficiency, clean coal including carbon capture and storage, and clean vehicles. Each country pledged $15 million to support initial activities, the Department of Energy said.

Crude oil stockpiles fall 2.8 million barrels

Crude oil inventories declined by 2.8 million barrels on the week ending July 10, at 344.5 million barrels, the Department of Energy said on its weekly report on U.S. stockpiles on Wednesday. Gasoline inventories increased by 1.5 million barrels last week, and distillate fuel inventories including heating oil and diesel raised by 0.6 million barrels, the EIA reported.

Porsche SE has a debt of more than 10 billion euros ($14.05 billion)

Porsche is looking to lower its debt, which has risen to more than 10 billion euros ($14.05 billion), according to Reuters. Qatar and two families that control the company were set to make a 5 billion euro capital injection, according to the report. Qatar and the families would receive voting shares as a result, according to the report.

Space Shuttle Endeavour finally lifts off
After more than a month's delay, space shuttle Endeavour and seven astronauts thundered into orbit Wednesday on a flight to the international space station, hauling up a veranda for Japan's enormous lab and looking to set a crowd record. Read Full Article Here.

FutureGen project moves forward

The U.S. Department of Energy and the FutureGen Alliance moved forward to proceed with site-specific activities for the first commercial scale, fully integrated, carbon capture and sequestration project in the U.S. After these activities, in early 2010, the Department and the Alliance will decide whether to construct and operate the coal-fueled 275-megawatt facility, the DOE announced.

Microsoft announces cloud computing prices
Microsoft Corp. unveiled some of the pricing for its cloud computing platform, Windows Azure. It will offer a discount of 15% to 30% to developers and resellers who agree to work with them for six months or more. In the pay-per-use category, the company will charge 12 cents an hour for computing, 15 cents per gigabyte for storage and 10 cents per 10,000 storage transactions.