Money & Markets

House vigorously backs 5-year transportation bill

WASHINGTON - After years of stymied efforts to address the nation's aging and congested highways and bridges, Congress found the sweet spot for passage on Thursday - a 5-year, $305 billion bill laden with enough industry favors, parochial projects, safety improvements and union demands to gain ...

ECB stimulus falls short of hype

FRANKFURT, Germany - The European Central Bank on Thursday ramped up efforts to stimulate the sluggish eurozone economy, but the measures fell far short of what investors had expected and stocks took a painful tumble.For weeks, ECB head Mario Draghi had indicated that the bank, the chief ...

Group sues NYC over new salt-warning labels

NEW YORK - New York City's new warning label for chain restaurant food is headed for a court fight, after restaurateurs sued to argue that regulators overstepped legal bounds to enact the first-of-its-kind requirement. The National Restaurant Association's suit came just two days after the rule ...

2014 US health spending grew at fastest rate of Obama years

WASHINGTON - U.S. health care spending last year grew at the fastest pace since President Barack Obama took office, driven by expanded coverage under his namesake law and by zooming prescription drug costs, the government said Wednesday.After five years of historically low growth, national ...

India, Brazil resist bid for long-term carbon goals

LE BOURGET, France - Attempts to inscribe a long-term goal to phase out carbon emissions in an envisioned global climate pact are facing pushback at U.N. talks from big developing countries including India and Brazil.Negotiators from both countries said Wednesday they favor sticking to the ...

Cabela’s may be hunting for a buyer

OMAHA, Neb. - Cabela's, the outdoor sporting goods chain known for its elaborate in-store wildlife displays, may be seeking a buyer.The retailer has been under pressure since late October when the investment firm Elliott Management started pushing for money-generating maneuvers from Cabela's, ...

Cyber Monday spending tops $3 billion

NEW YORK - Shoppers spent more than $3 billion online this "Cyber Monday," making it the biggest online shopping day ever.Research firm comScore said shopping by phone, laptop or tablet jumped 21 percent to $3.11 billion Monday, fueled by a 53 percent surge in spending via mobile devices. It's ...

US factory activity drops in Nov.; first decline in 3 years

WASHINGTON - U.S. factory activity plummeted last month to the lowest level in more than six years, with a stronger dollar and low oil prices cutting new orders and hurting production.The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that its index of factory activity in November dropped to 48.6 ...

Brazil’s economic downturn deepens with GDP drop

RIO DE JANEIRO - Latin America's largest economy has shrunk even more than expected, increasing fears about the well-being of a nation hammered by falling commodity prices and a massive corruption scandal.Gross domestic product fell by 4.5 percent in the third quarter compared with the same ...

US auto sales hit 14-year high in Nov.

DETROIT - November used to be a slow month for U.S. car sales. Not anymore.Black Friday promotions - some of which began well before Thanksgiving - pushed last month's sales to a 14-year high of 1.3 million, just short of a record for the month. Sales were up 1.4 percent from last November, ...

Construction spending rises, highest since ‘07

WASHINGTON - U.S. construction spending jumped in October, fueled by solid gains in home building and the largest increase in federal construction in nine years.The Commerce Department said Tuesday that construction spending rose 1 percent in October from the previous month to a seasonally ...

Kemper plant overruns climb another $62M

JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi Power Co. said Tuesday it will spend at least another $62 million to finish the power plant it's building in Kemper County, pushing total costs to nearly $6.5 billion.The unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. said the money will pay for the plant's completion, startup ...

Cyber Monday sales still on top, but losing some luster

NEW YORK - Shoppers traded bricks for clicks on Monday, flocking online to snap up "Cyber Monday" deals on everything from cashmere sweaters to Star Wars toys.Now that shoppers are online all the time anyway, the 10-year-old shopping holiday has lost some of its luster as online sales on ...

IMF adds China’s yuan to top currencies

WASHINGTON - The Chinese yuan will join a basket of the world's leading currencies, the International Monetary Fund announced Monday. The IMF said that the yuan "met all existing criteria" to be included with the U.S. dollar, euro, Japanese yen and the British pound as one of the currencies ...

Nearly half of US homes use cellphones only

NEW YORK - Nearly half of U.S. households only use cellphones, according to new federal statistics that show more and more people are cutting the cord on landlines.Now, only about 8 percent of households have just landlines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday.More ...

Info on 5 million VTech customers and kids exposed in breach

NEW YORK - Kid's technology maker VTech says the personal information of about 5 million of its customers and their children may have been stolen by hackers. The Hong Kong-based company disclosed the breach of a customer database late last week, but didn't say how many people could be affected ...

Black Friday store sales fall as more bouught online

WASHINGTON - Black Friday shopping is shifting from hours spent in line to more time online.Sales at retail stores on Black Friday fell to $10.4 billion this year, down from $11.6 billion in 2014, according to preliminary figures from research firm ShopperTrak.And sales on Thanksgiving dropped ...

Weather, flights aid post Thanksgiving travel efforts

NEW YORK - Tens of millions of Americans returning home after the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend Sunday had cooperative weather and mostly efficient airport operations to thank for smooth traveling conditions.Besides a winter storm that will bring freezing rain and snow to the central Plains ...

Billions promised to boost clean energy tech

PARIS - Government and business leaders are banking on clean energy technology to fight global warming, kicking off this week's high-stakes climate change negotiations by pledging tens of billions of dollars for research and development. Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, ...

How Black Friday played out around the country

NEW YORK - Black Friday, the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season, isn't always what people expect.In Colorado, for instance, marijuana stores got into the act. In Arizona, families skipped the spending frenzy to go hiking. And in Chicago, shoppers snapped photos of demonstrators ...