Yellen to give her outlook as Fed honeymoon fades
WASHINGTON (AP) — Janet Yellen has won credit for guiding the Federal Reserve's first six months of transition from the Ben Bernanke era. Bernanke's Fed had steered the economy through a deep crisis by slashing interest rates and restoring confidence in banks. Yellen has so far carried on his approach with barely a hiccup.
She may one day recall her first six months as a too-brief honeymoon.
The perilous question that now awaits Yellen's Fed has put investors on nervous alert: Can it manage to raise rates from record lows without weakening the U.S. economy or spooking markets?
Or, conversely, will it wait too long to raise rates, causing the economy to overheat and inflation to surge?
Global cruise lines set sail for China
HONG KONG (AP) — Royal Caribbean's newest ship has attractions not usually seen on cruise liners, including bumper cars, a skydiving simulator and a glass observation capsule on a mechanical arm that lifts its passengers high into the air.
What's also a surprise is the vessel's intended home port: Shanghai.
After floating out of a German shipyard last week, the $935 million Quantum of the Seas will spend the winter running between New York and the Caribbean before moving to its new base next summer in mainland China's financial center.
It's a gutsy move for the world's second biggest cruise company. Cruise operators have traditionally sent older vessels to developing countries while saving their most advanced ships for U.S. and European customers. But surging growth in China means it's a market operators can no longer ignore.
APNewsBreak: BofA reaches $17B settlement with US
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bank of America has reached a record $17 billion settlement to resolve an investigation into its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities before the 2008 financial crisis, officials directly familiar with the matter said Wednesday.
One of the officials, who spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the announcement isn't scheduled until Thursday at the earliest, said the bank will pay $10 billion in cash and provide consumer relief valued at $7 billion.
The deal is the largest settlement arising from the economic meltdown in which millions of Americans lost their homes to foreclosure. It follows agreements in the last year with Citigroup for $7 billion and with JPMorgan Chase & Co. for $13 billion.
Women small business owners struggle to get loans
NEW YORK (AP) — Women are a growing force in the business world, but if they own a company, they may still struggle to get a loan from a bank.
Carrie Charlick and Marcia Cubitt have $4 million in sales but have been rejected for $500,000 credit lines since 2012. Their 11-year-old company, Essential Body Wear, sells women's underwear at parties at customers' homes. That's a problem for bankers, Charlick says. Because the business, based in the Detroit suburb of Commerce Township, doesn't have a traditional structure and sells directly to the public rather than retailers, banks keep saying no.
Male loan officers have also made inappropriate comments about the fact the company sells lingerie. Charlick is convinced that they have a problem with women-owned businesses.
Target cuts outlook as breach fallout lingers
NEW YORK (AP) — Target Corp. slashed its annual profit outlook for the second time in three months as the retailer reels from a massive customer-data breach, a botched Canadian expansion and sluggish U.S. sales.
The nation's third-largest retailer also said Wednesday that its second-quarter earnings dropped 61.7 percent. Excluding expenses related to the data breach, earnings per share came in a penny short of Target's reduced estimate, issued earlier this month.
The latest results highlight the challenges that new CEO Brian Cornell, a former PepsiCo executive who officially started at Target Aug. 12, faces on all fronts.
Apple's stock bounces back to hit a new high
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple's stock touched a new high Wednesday, reflecting investors' renewed faith in CEO Tim Cook's ability to outwit the competition and expand the technological hit factory built by the late Steve Jobs.