Published on NewsOK Modified: October 1, 2014 at 5:12 pm •  Published: October 1, 2014
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Why the bond market is more fragile than you think

NEW YORK (AP) — A bottleneck is building in the global market for bonds.

Main Street investors have poured a trillion dollars into bonds since the financial crisis, and helped send prices soaring. As fund managers and regulators fret about an inevitable sell-off, the bigger fear is that when people go to unload, there won't be anyone to buy.

Too many funds own the same bonds, making them difficult to sell in a sudden downturn. On top of that, the banks that used to bring bond buyers and sellers together have pulled back from the role. Investors looking to sell would be slow to find buyers, spreading fear through the $100 trillion global bond market and sending prices tumbling.

It's a situation known as "liquidity risk" and some bond pros are scrambling to prepare for it.

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GM looks to new vehicles, China to boost profit

MILFORD, Mich. (AP) — General Motors CEO Mary Barra told investors Wednesday that GM plans a raft of new models and a big push to sell more cars in China to drive profits in coming years, as the biggest U.S. automaker tries to shift the spotlight from a mishandled recall of older small cars.

Barra needed to reassure investors that GM has a strong plan going forward. The stock has dropped about 18 percent this year. It rose 1.7 percent in Wednesday trading.

GM recalled 2.6 million small cars worldwide earlier this year to fix faulty ignition switches that are now blamed for at least 23 deaths nationwide. Barra said suppliers have built all the replacement switches, but only about 1.2 million small cars have had the repairs so far.

GM has admitted knowing about the problem for a decade, but only recalled the cars this year. The switches can cause the engine to stall, deactivating the air bags.

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Review: Pay by phone or just keep using plastic?

NEW YORK (AP) — PayPal, Apple and others are betting on billions in mobile payments.

But so far, trying to use my phone to pay at restaurants and retailers has been frustrating. It's easier just to pull out my plastic credit card than to figure out which card works with which app and which app works with which store.

In theory, mobile-payment services such as Google Wallet are easy to use. You simply download an app and enter your card information. With Apple Pay, you can even snap a picture of the card or use the one you already use with Apple's iTunes. Then, when you're ready to pay, you typically hold your phone near the store's payment terminal. The transaction is authorized through a special wireless chip embedded in many Android phones and — in the case of Apple Pay — the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. PayPal and Square use a different method, but the idea is the same. There's no need to look for the right card in your wallet or purse.

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Small businesses scramble to keep top staffers

NEW YORK (AP) — People are quitting their jobs at a faster clip and that's pushing small business owners to work harder to hold onto top talent.

Dance studio owner Andrea Bisconti has experienced the challenge firsthand. When Kellie Love, an instructor there, said she was planning to leave to start a business of her own, Bisconti decided to act. Love inspires students to keep coming back for more lessons and brings in more than a quarter of the studio's revenue, says Bisconti, owner of a Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Willoughby, Ohio.

As the economy and job market improve, keeping the best employees is becoming vital for small businesses. Forty-three percent of owners are working to keep top staffers, according to a recent survey by Principal Financial Group. The reason: A growing number of employees are giving notice. The Labor Department reported more than 2.5 million people quit their jobs in July, up from 2.3 million a year earlier.

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Ways to prepare for possible long-term care costs

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