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Money & Markets

Google reveals 77 pct of its traffic is encrypted

SAN FRANCISCO - Google is disclosing how much of the traffic to its search engine and other services is being protected from hackers as part of its push to encrypt all online activity.Encryption shields 77 percent of the requests sent from around the world to Google's data centers, up from 52 ...

PlayStation VR to debut in October

SAN FRANCISCO - Sony's version of virtual reality will cost a few hundred dollars less than competitors when it's released in October. The company announced a $399 price tag and the October release date for PlayStation VR on Tuesday during the Game Developers Conference. The head-mounted ...

Pricey tea a growing niche crop in US, even Canada

BROOKHAVEN, Miss. - After Hurricane Katrina wiped out his timber 11 years ago, Jason McDonald wanted a crop less susceptible to Mississippi's potentially powerful storms.Low maintenance was also a priority."I didn't want to be a cattle farmer and chase down cattle at 3 or 4 in the morning," ...

China’s central banker says economy can hit growth target

BEIJING - In a new effort to dispel anxiety about China's cooling economy, the central bank governor said Saturday the country can hit this year's official growth target and Beijing has no need to weaken its currency to boost sagging exports.Zhou Xiaochuan's comments at a news conference during ...

Oil price appears to have ‘bottomed out,’ energy agency says

PARIS - The organization that represents major oil-consuming nations said Friday that signs of a market that has "bottomed out" are emerging.U.S. crude prices jumped to a high for the year. Brent crude, used as a global benchmark, hit a high for the year Tuesday and rose 1 percent ...

Alba’s Honest Co. lashes out over accusations

NEW YORK - Honest Co., co-founded by movie star Jessica Alba, is denying a news report that said its laundry detergent contains an ingredient that it promised its customers that it would never use.Alba helped found Honest Co. about five years ago. It has grown rapidly, selling diapers, soap, ...

Ore. governor signs landmark anti-coal law

PORTLAND, Ore. - With the stroke of Gov. Kate Brown's signature Friday, Oregon became the first state to eradicate coal from its power supply through legislation and now boasts some of the most stringent demands for renewable energy among its state peers.The new law will wipe out coal-generated ...

US rebuts Apple claim on password reset in iPhone case

WASHINGTON - A decision to reset the password on an iCloud account tied to one of the San Bernardino attackers did not effectively thwart the investigation into the shooting, FBI officials said in a court filing Thursday as part of the Justice Department's ongoing encryption dispute with Apple ...

A wheezing, unloved bull market tries to keep running

NEW YORK - It's been seven years since one of the stock market's best-ever runs began, but the anniversary is passing without a party yet again.This bull market is the third-longest in history, and investors in mutual funds that track the broad U.S. market have more than tripled their money ...

Chinese inflation accelerates to 2.3 pct

BEIJING - China's inflation accelerated to 2.3 percent in February, driven by a jump in food prices, but stayed below the government's official target for the year. The consumer price rise reported Thursday was up from January's 1.8 percent. Food prices surged 7.3 percent, up from the previous ...

Strike draws closer for New Jersey commuters

NEWARK, N.J. - Negotiations between rail worker unions and New Jersey Transit concluded without a deal Thursday, as a deadline neared that would affect tens of thousands of commuters whose cost of traveling to New York City each day has already soared. The parties met for several hours Thursday ...

Snapchat, Seagate among companies duped in tax-fraud scam

SAN FRANCISCO - Tax-filing season is turning into a nightmare for thousands of employees whose companies have been duped by email fraudsters. A major phishing scheme has tricked several major companies - among them, the messaging service Snapchat and disk-drive maker Seagate Technology - into ...

Volkswagen’s top US executive out

WASHINGTON - Volkswagen's top U.S. executive is stepping down amid the company's ongoing emissions cheating scandal, the company announced Wednesday.U.S. President and CEO Michael Horn is leaving "to pursue other opportunities effective immediately," the automaker said in a statement. He had ...

Bill would standardize airline fees disclosure

WASHINGTON - The government would standardize the way airlines disclose fees for basic services like checked bags and ticket changes so that passengers can more easily comparison-shop the full cost of flights under a bipartisan Senate bill introduced Wednesday. The proposal is part of an ...

Pre-paid card users, under scrutiny, find tax refunds frozen

PHOENIX - Thousands of people have had their prepaid debit cards frozen when they try to direct their tax refund to their accounts, a result of financial industry efforts to combat an escalation in tax fraud.It's keeping people from their money, and delaying access to much-anticipated tax ...

Study: Renters’ rise extends beyond big US cities to suburbs

NEW YORK - In the American imagination, suburbs are places to buy a house and put down roots. But a growing percentage of suburbanites rent, according to a new study.About 29 percent of metropolitan-area suburbanites were renters in 2014, up from 23 percent in 2006, according to a report being ...

FDA settles with drugmaker in fish-oil drug marketing case

WASHINGTON - The maker of a prescription fish-oil drug says it has reached a legal settlement that will allow it to promote unapproved uses of its drug for lowering fat levels.The closely watched case between Amarin and the Food and Drug Administration could strengthen the drug industry's hand ...

Blue Origin planning test flights to space by 2017

KENT, Wash. - Private space travel company Blue Origin expects to launch its first people in 2017, company founder Jeff Bezos said Tuesday during a tour of the venture's research and development site outside Seattle. Those won't be paying customers, he said, but thousands have expressed ...

Bloomberg not to mount third-party bid for White House

NEW YORK - Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday that he will not run for president as an independent - a move that would have roiled this year's already extraordinarily unpredictable presidential campaign.The billionaire, who has spent months mulling a third-party run, made ...

Stock market posts meager gains, led by energy companies

NEW YORK - Stocks wavered throughout the day but managed to eke out modest gains Monday as oil prices rose.Investors bought drillers, refiners and other energy companies as the three-week rise in crude continued. Six of 10 industry sectors in the Standard & Poor's 500 rose, helping the ...