Money & Markets

Why optimism about the US economy’s strength has dimmed

WASHINGTON - Consumers, fueled by job growth, cheaper gas and higher home values, would drive the U.S. economy through a global slump.That was the widespread hope just a few months ago. Now, doubts are growing that the United States can withstand economic pressures flowing from overseas. ...

Skeptics: China’s slump deeper than admitted

BEIJING - China's official data show economic growth slowing but skeptics say the downturn is much deeper than Beijing admits.The latest data Tuesday showed growth in the world's No. 2 economy eased to a six-year low of 6.9 percent in the third quarter after expanding 7 percent in each of the ...

Consumer Reports’ lists Lexus as most reliable

DETROIT - Elaborate new transmissions are helping automakers meet rising fuel economy standards, but they're also requiring more trips to the repair shop.Transmission problems tripped up Honda, Nissan, Jeep and other brands in Consumer Reports' annual reliability survey. Drivers reported rough ...

Discover tops Street 3Q forecasts

RIVERWOODS, Ill. - Discover Financial Services on Tuesday reported a modest increase in its third-quarter per-share earnings, and its stock rose in after-hours trading. On a per-share basis, the company said it earned $1.38 per share, up from $1.37 a share a year earlier. The results exceeded ...

Lawsuits could force VW to buy back cheating diesels

DETROIT - Volkswagen almost inevitably will have to compensate owners of diesel cars equipped with emissions-rigging software. Some legal experts say the automaker could be forced to buy back the cars altogether.Many of the more than 200 lawsuits filed in the past few weeks allege that for ...

Chinese president begins visit to Britain

LONDON - Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Britain Monday for a four-day state visit as part of a push to increase trade ties between the two countries.Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan will spend several nights at Buckingham Palace, hosted by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, after an ...

Amazon sues to stop phony product reviews

NEW YORK - Amazon is stepping up its fight against bogus product reviews on its site, suing more than 1,000 people for allegedly offering to post glowing write-ups for as little as $5 apiece. The complaint, filed in state court in Seattle on Friday, takes aim at what is believed to be a ...

Administration says no manipulating currency

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration said Monday that China's currency remains undervalued in relation to the U.S. dollar but it did not cite the country for unfairly manipulating its currency to gain trade advantages.In a new Treasury Department report, the administration noted that China ...

Morgan Stanley’s earnings hit by bond slump

NEW YORK - Turbulence in global markets hit Morgan Stanley's business particularly hard in the third quarter, sending the bank's earnings down 42 percent, well short of analysts' estimates. The New York-based investment bank and wealth advisory firm earned $939 million after payments to ...

Takata air bag problem widens to some 2015 GM vehicles

DETROIT - The deadly problem with exploding Takata air bag inflators continues to spread to newer vehicles, this time hitting a small number of 2015 General Motors cars and SUVs.GM is recalling more than 400 vehicles because the side air bag inflators could rupture and send shrapnel into ...

Handgun makers compete to supply Army with new handgun

FORT STEWART, Ga. - Firearms manufacturers are competing for a rare chance to sell the U.S. Army a new handgun that would replace its current Cold War-era model, and they must meet a lengthy list of requirements to win the lucrative deal.The Army wants an easier-to-shoot handgun that can ...

Interior Department curbs future Arctic offshore drilling

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Interior Department announced Friday it is canceling future lease sales and will not extend current leases in Arctic waters off Alaska's northern coast, a decision that significantly reduces the chances for future Arctic offshore drilling.The news follows a Sept. 28 ...

Tsipras win austerity vote after snap poll

ATHENS, Greece - Greece's parliament has approved a new round of austerity measures - the first major test for leftwing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras after snap general elections last month, triggered by dissent over Greece's latest bailout deal.Lawmakers early Saturday voted 154-140 in favor ...

US employers advertised fewer jobs in August

WASHINGTON - U.S. employers advertised fewer job openings in August and kept hiring flat, another sign the American jobs market has lost strength since spring.The Labor Department reported Friday that job openings slid to 5.4 million in August from a record high 5.7 million in July.Hiring was ...

Government: No benefit hike for Social Security next year

WASHINGTON - Older Americans got a double dose of bad news Thursday: There will be no cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits next year, and Medicare bills are set to soar for many.It's just the third time in 40 years that Social Security payments will remain flat. All three times ...

US budget gap at $439B, lowest in 8 years

WASHINGTON - The U.S. budget deficit in 2015 fell to its lowest level in eight years, spurred by gains in tax revenue that outpaced greater government spending.The Treasury Department said Thursday that the deficit in the just-completed 2015 budget year fell to $439 billion from $483 billion in ...

Treasury: Debt limit deadline now Nov. 3

WASHINGTON - The Treasury Department on Thursday told Congress that it needs to act by Nov. 3 or the government will be dangerously close to being unable to pay all its bills. That's a little sooner than Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said two weeks ago when he set a Nov. 5 deadline. At the time, ...

Forbes: ‘PewDiePie’ is top YouTube earner

LOS ANGELES - YouTube's top-earning celebrity is a 25-year-old video-game-playing jokester who took in $12 million over the past year. Forbes magazine says Sweden's Felix Kjellberg, better known by his handle "PewDiePie," tops its first list of people who have spun short online videos into huge ...

Fed says consumer spending, auto sales boost US growth

WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve says steady consumer spending and an improving housing market spurred modest U.S. economic growth in the late summer, though factory output was sluggish in part because of the strong dollar.The Fed said Wednesday in its latest snapshot of the economy that nine ...

US to jury: 2 British ex-bankers manipulated interest rates

NEW YORK - The first U.S. trial to result from a worldwide investigation into the manipulation of interest rates began Wednesday when a prosecutor told jurors that two British former bankers put themselves first at one of the world's largest banks, while defense lawyers portrayed their clients ...