Tesla planning early payoff of Energy Department loan

The chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Motors says his company plans to pay back an Energy Department loan in half the time required by the government.

CEO Elon Musk said Tesla plans to pay off the $465 million federal loan in five years, rather than 10 years. Musk made the comment Tuesday at a summit on energy innovation, where he appeared on stage with Energy Secretary Steven Chu and defended the Obama administration’s clean energy program.

Noting the firestorm of criticism aimed at the Energy Department after the bankruptcy of solar company Solyndra, which received a $528 million federal loan, Musk said it was only fair that the administration wins praise for success stories such as Tesla. He said the company is on course to earn a small profit this quarter.

In his appearance at the ARPA-E summit, Musk also said the Palo Alto, Calif., company lost as much as $100 million in market valuation as a result of a public spat with The New York Times following a negative review of its all-electric Model S car.

Musk accused the newspaper of faking results of an East Coast road test and traded shots with the paper and its reporter for more than a week on Twitter and in blogs. The Times said the test was an honest account of what happened on the drive.

 

JPMorgan, Evercore to help sell Chicago, L.A. newspapers

Tribune Co. says it has hired investment banks JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Evercore Partners to help it sell its newspapers, which include the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.

The move comes two months after the media conglomerate emerged from bankruptcy.

Tribune spokesman Gary Weitman said the company has received “a lot of interest” in its newspapers. Hiring the firms, he said, will help Tribune Co. determine whether a potential buyer’s interest is credible and help the company weigh its options.

The sale of the newspapers has been widely expected, especially after the company appointed a group of TV-focused board members and hired former Discovery Communications chief operating officer Peter Liguori as its CEO last month.

Home Depot earnings fuel quick Wall Street rebound

A jump in home sales and strong earnings from Home Depot helped the Dow claw back more than half of its losses from Monday. Improving consumer confidence also brought back buyers to the market.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 115.96 points, or 0.8 percent, to 13,900.13. The Dow fell 216 points the day before, its biggest drop in three months, on concern that the European debt crisis may flare up again. The index has moved 100 points or more on four out of the past five trading days.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 9.09 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,496.94. The Nasdaq composite was up 13.40 points, or 0.4 percent, at 3,129.65.

Home Depot, the biggest home improvement store chain in the country, jumped $3.64, or 5.7 percent, to $67.56 after reporting that its income rose 32 percent in the latest quarter thanks to strong U.S. sales and the cleanup that followed Superstorm Sandy. That made it the biggest gainer in the Dow, accounting for about 28 points of its advance.