News Archive
National | Thu, Feb 21, 2013

New York is not a truck kind of town. Delivery and moving vans, sure, but pickup trucks seem like odd emissaries from another America, a place where cabs are few and Ford F-150s are king.

Lawsuits are already filed in this month's disastrous Triumph cruise ship voyage, but the legal deck is stacked in parent company Carnival's favor, mainly because of the restrictive terms of vacationers' tickets, governing who can sue and where.

Stocks fell, following the biggest drop since November for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as concern grew that the U.S. Federal Reserve may slow the pace of stimulus and investors weighed corporate earnings.

Applications for unemployment benefits rose for the first time in three weeks, returning to levels seen prior to the holiday period and indicating little change in the pace of firings.

Nordstrom said Thursday its fourth-quarter net income rose 20 percent as high-end shoppers kept spending on clothing and makeup, and customers responded positively to its service improvements.

As the fortunes of many Americans go, so goes Wal-Mart, so goes the economy.

Seriously delinquent U.S. mortgages fell to the lowest level since 2008, as employment improved and recovering housing demand enabled struggling borrowers to sell without losing money.

South African police appointed a new chief investigator Thursday in the Oscar Pistorius murder case, replacing a veteran detective after unsettling revelations that the officer was charged with seven counts of attempted murder.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- West Texas Intermediate oil in New York fell to the lowest level this year as a government report showed that U.S. crude stockpiles climbed to the highest level since July.

Resales of previously owned U.S. homes increased in January, showing more momentum for the industry coming off its best year since 2007.

U.S. mortgage rates for 30-year fixed loans rose, increasing long-term borrowing costs after construction of single-family homes climbed to a four-year high.

Japan’s new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is proposing a bold departure for his country’s economy. He’s mostly right. Japan continues to underperform, and bad macroeconomic policy has been the main reason. Abenomics isn’t riskless or easy, however. The government will have to be wise as well as brave.

President Barack Obama wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour from $7.25 as a way to alleviate the pain of poverty and make work more attractive for the poor.

An unexpected indication from the U.S. Federal Reserve that it is considering how to bring an end to its super-easy monetary policy rattled markets Thursday.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures fell, indicating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will extend its biggest decline since November, as more Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week and investors awaited a home sales report.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- West Texas Intermediate oil in New York fell to a six-week low as an industry report showed that U.S. crude supplies increased to the highest level since December.

U.S. sales of previously occupied homes rose in January to the second-highest level in three years, a sign the housing market is maintaining its recovery and helping to bolster the economy.

U.S. consumer prices were flat last month, the latest sign inflation is in check. That could give the Federal Reserve leeway to continue its efforts to stimulate growth.

The head of NATO urged member countries Thursday to stop cutting their defense budgets in response to tough economic times, saying continued reductions will compromise the safety of all of the military alliance's 28 members.

Oil prices plunged for a second day Thursday, raising hopes that a relentless rise in gasoline prices may slow or reverse at least temporarily.

Drugstore operator Rite Aid Corp. said Thursday it completed a series of debt refinancing moves that result in a loss of $117 million, but will save it $45 million per year in interest payments.

The Coca-Cola Co. said Thursday that long-time board members Donald Keough and James Williams will not stand for reelection and will retire from the board after the company's annual meeting in April.

It turns out this year's flu shot is doing a startlingly dismal job of protecting senior citizens, the most vulnerable age group.

Slumping personal computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co.'s latest quarterly results provided a glimmer of hope after months of gloomy news.

Business and labor groups announced agreement Thursday on the principles of a new system to bring lower-skilled workers to the U.S, a key priority for a comprehensive immigration bill.

Food maker H.J. Heinz says its fiscal third quarter net income fell 5 percent as gains in emerging markets were offset by costs related to selling a frozen food business in China.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Newmont Mining Corp., the largest U.S. gold producer, reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates as gold prices rose.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Hewlett-Packard Co., the largest personal-computer maker, forecast fiscal second-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates, helped by cost-cutting measures and recovering demand for enterprise services.

Texas Instruments Inc. says it is increasing its dividend by 33 percent and plans to buy back up to $5 billion more of its shares.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. rose after fourth-quarter profit topped analysts’ estimates and the company raised its dividend, overcoming concerns that tax increases would hurt earnings this year.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Imax Corp. shares reached their highest level in 11 months after the company said that growing international demand for movies shown in its large-screen format helped double fourth-quarter profit.

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Earlier this month, influential mommy bloggers gathered in a penthouse suite at Manhattan’s Royalton Hotel for a brunch of bloody marys, mimosas and a buffet. Their host was Matt Petersen, a Mattel Inc. vice president who runs its North American boys’ toys and games division. In town for a toy fair, Petersen had invited the women to discuss one of the great mysteries of modern life: why moms don’t know how to play Hot Wheels with their sons.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- American International Group Inc., the insurer that repaid a U.S. bailout last year, gained in extended trading after posting fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates as results improved at the life unit.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc., owner of the world’s most popular search engine, debuted a touchscreen version of the Chromebook laptop, stepping up its challenge to Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. in computer hardware.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Sony Corp. unveiled the PlayStation 4, its first video-game console in seven years, introducing new cloud and social-media features as Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai seeks to reignite sales.

Linn Energy is buying the drilling company Berry Petroleum Co. for stock worth about $2.5 billion.

U.S. stock futures are falling as a sell-off that began the previous day on the release of Federal Reserve minutes gains more momentum with troublesome economic data from Europe.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The euro declined below $1.32 for the first time in six weeks after an industry report showed services and manufacturing in the region shrank at a faster pace in February than economists forecast.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Treasuries rose for a second day after a government report showed U.S. consumer prices climbed at a slower pace in January than the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent long-term objective.

MGM Resorts International says it needs to reduce its debt and sees selling off parts of its city within a city project on the Las Vegas Strip as one way to pull the company out of the red.

President Barack Obama sought Wednesday to mitigate any damage from the leak of an immigration bill being drafted by the White House, telling a Spanish-language TV network he didn't jeopardize negotiations with the Senate.

National Rifle Association President David Keene said Wednesday he doesn't expect a filibuster from gun rights supporters as the Senate prepares to vote on potential gun control issues.

The European Central Bank says Italian government bonds account for nearly half of its total holdings under a now discontinued bond-buying program launched in 2010 to ease the eurozone's debt crisis.

Grocery store operator Safeway said Thursday its net income jumped 13 percent in the fourth quarter as its customer loyalty program gained traction.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits jumped 20,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 362,000, though it remains at a level that suggests slow but steady improvement in the job market.

New figures show U.S. wine exports grew for the third consecutive year in 2012, setting a record of $1.43 billion in revenue.

All California schools will receive at least the same amount of money as they currently do, and poorer ones will receive significantly more, under Gov. Jerry Brown's sweeping proposal to change K-12 education funding, according to district-by-district estimates released Wednesday.

Five of the biggest U.S. banks have cut struggling homeowners' mortgage balances by $19 billion, part of a total $45.8 billion in relief provided under a landmark settlement over foreclosure abuses.

A measure of the U.S. economy's future direction edged up in January from December, suggesting slow growth will continue in the coming months.

The dollar is holding on to most of its gains after the Federal Reserve signaled that it's considering slowing or ending its efforts to support the economy.

An Iranian newspaper says at least 500 Porsche cars have been imported by way of a Persian Gulf island that is also claimed by the United Arab Emirates.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s general economic index fell to minus 12.5 in February from minus 5.8 the prior month. Readings lower than zero signal contraction in the area covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Navy Secretary Ray Mabus confronted a tough choice in the competition to develop a small, speedy and adaptable ship to patrol close to shore in politically turbulent waters from the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea.

Twice burned, Republicans are treading carefully around tea party groups as they pursue a Senate majority that slipped through their fingers in 2010 and 2012.

A judge has sentenced Drew Peterson to 38 years in prison for murdering his third wife.

Thu, Feb 21, 2013