Money & Markets

GM invests $500m in Lyft, forms partnership

DETROIT - The automotive industry is placing its biggest bet yet that using a device to hail a ride - with or without a driver - is the future of transportation.General Motors Co. said Monday it is investing $500 million in ride-hailing company Lyft Inc. and forming an unprecedented partnership ...

Trial in NYC set to air GM ignition switch recall issues

NEW YORK - A civil trial set to start this month in New York City will test the legal boundaries of hundreds of claims remaining against General Motors Co. stemming from faulty ignition switches.The case involves an Oklahoma man who blames a defective ignition switch for preventing his air bags ...

Apple raises iPhone prices in Germany over new content levy

BERLIN - Apple raised the prices for hand-held devices in Germany at the start of the year, following a deal between the tech industry and content producers that will benefit a range of creative professionals including musicians, actors and pornographic filmmakers.The Cupertino, ...

Google to analyze if rooftop solar panels are a good deal

RALEIGH, N.C. - The company that lets you compare air fares and translate foreign languages online wants to make it easier to weigh the costs and benefits of installing solar panels on household rooftops.Google is rolling out a new online service that quickly tallies up considerations of going ...

Social media, upgraded theaters help drive $11B year

LOS ANGELES - It takes more than "Star Wars" to make an $11 billion year.Disney and J.J. Abrams pushed 2015 over the mark days before its conclusion, but many factors helped make the year the biggest of all time - including social media and better theatrical experiences - which helped draw ...

Target’s turnaround gets shoppers back into stores

NEW YORK - Target's efforts to draw shoppers back into its stores are paying off.Take Annabel Bernardo, who once bought trendy clothes at Target but cut back after she felt it lost its fashion edge.Now, Bernardo, who lives in Rockville, Maryland, is back: "The store is looking much better. It's ...

Gadgets around us will keep getting smarter, like it or not

Our cars, our homes, our appliances and even our toys: Things around us are going to keep getting smarter. In 2016, we'll entrust even more of our lives and their intimate details to machines - not to mention the companies that run them.Are we ready for that?You might, for instance, like the ...

Pot industry tries to build brands

DENVER - Snoop Dogg has his own line of marijuana. So does Willie Nelson. Melissa Etheridge has a marijuana-infused wine.As the fast-growing marijuana industry emerges from the black market and starts looking like a mainstream industry, there's a scramble to brand and trademark pot products.The ...

China manufacturing index improves in Dec.

BEIJING - A monthly survey shows that a contraction in Chinese manufacturing eased slightly in December, while service industries continued to expand.The numbers were a potential sign of recovery among exporters in the world's No. 2 economy, while reflecting the government's efforts to shift ...

US stocks end 2015 mostly flat, capping volatile year

The U.S. stock market took investors for a wild ride in 2015, but in the end it was a trip to nowhere.Despite veering between record highs and the steepest dive in four years, the stock market ended the year essentially flat, delivering the weakest performance since 2008. That means if you ...

How much money you just saved on gas in 2015

NEW YORK - U.S. drivers saved a bunch of money on gasoline this past year, as Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members kept the pumps going in the face of low oil prices. Massive stockpiles of crude globally turned 2015 into the year of the pain-free fill up. More of the same is expected for 2016 as ...

Biggest container ship to visit US enters San Francisco Bay

SAN FRANCISCO - The largest container ship to visit the U.S. passed under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco before arriving at the Port of Oakland.The nearly quarter-mile-long megaship named the Benjamin Franklin set sail from China earlier this month with a stop in Los Angeles after ...

Facebook glitch celebrates 46 years of friendship

SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook's making some of its users feel a lot older than they really are. The social network sent automated messages Thursday inviting some users to celebrate "46 years of friendship on Facebook" with one or more of their online friends.That's odd, since Facebook only started ...

How to spend $5 trillion: A record-breaking year in deals

NEW YORK - Companies around the world spent a record $5.04 trillion on acquisitions in 2015, according to Dealogic, as slow worldwide economic growth and low interest rates pushed companies to combine forces.Dealogic, a financial data provider, says the value of global deals soared 37 percent ...

Apple agrees to pay $350 million in Italian tax case

ROME - Apple has agreed to pay Italy 318 million euros (about $350 million) in taxes for several past years, prosecutors said Wednesday, part of a broader European effort to make multinationals pay what they owe in each country where they do business.Italy has already brought several cases ...

Weight Watchers stock soars after Oprah ad airs

NEW YORK - Weight Watchers is getting another boost from Oprah Winfrey.The weight loss company's shares soared Wednesday as a TV commercial starring Winfrey began to air.The commercial shows past videos of Winfrey working out and referencing her struggle with weight, a frequent topic of her ...

Pep Boys agrees to be bought by Icahn for $1B

NEW YORK - Carl Icahn is acquiring Pep Boys for $1 billion, ending his weekslong bidding war with the Japanese tire company Bridgestone.The deal announced Wednesday is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.Icahn Enterprises offered $18.50 in cash for each share of Pep Boys, $1.50 ...

Stocks are ending 2015 mostly flat, capping volatile year

The U.S. stock market took investors for a wild ride in 2015, but in the end it was a trip to nowhere.Despite veering between record highs and the steepest dive in four years, the stock market is on track to end the year essentially flat. That means if you invested in a fund that tracks the ...

DuPont moves ahead on job cuts ahead of merger

DuPont will cut 1,700 jobs in its home state of Delaware and thousands more globally as it prepares for its merger with Dow Chemical. Dow and DuPont announced earlier this month that they would join to create a giant chemical producer that will eventually be split into three independent ...

Health law reporting extension for employers

WASHINGTON - The Treasury Department on Monday gave employers an extension of critical reporting requirements, as it seeks to manage some of the most complicated parts of the federal health care law.Employers had previously faced deadlines in February and March to report 2015 health insurance ...