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Business Highlights

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 22, 2015 at 5:02 pm •  Published: January 22, 2015
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase have agreed to pay more than $35 million combined to resolve claims that loan officers at the two banks received kickbacks in exchange for steering mortgage borrowers to a Maryland title company.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Thursday that JPMorgan and Wells Fargo each agreed to consent orders filed in federal court to settle the claims.

Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $24 million in civil penalties and $10.8 million to consumers affected by the scheme. JPMorgan is to pay $600,000 in penalties and about $300,000 in redress.

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Obama idea to trim college savings plans hits GOP opposition

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's proposal to scale back the tax benefits of college savings accounts is running into opposition from Republicans in Congress who say they have no intention of raising taxes on families trying to save money for their children's education.

Obama's plan would reduce the tax benefits of future contributions to the popular 529 college savings plans. Current accounts would be grandfathered, so existing funds could still grow and be withdrawn, tax-free.

The administration says all the additional tax revenue would be used to help expand and make permanent a $2,500 tax credit that families can use for education expenses. Under current law, the tax credit is scheduled to expire at the end of 2017.

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McDonald's faces employee lawsuit over franchisee behavior

Some McDonald's workers who say they were fired because of their race are suing the fast-food giant, accusing it of dodging responsibility for the discrimination and harassment they say they endured.

The workers said in a federal complaint filed Thursday that about 15 African-American employees of some southern Virginia restaurants run by Soweva Co. were fired last May after several white employees were hired. Many of those fired were told by Soweva owner Michael Simon that while they were good workers they "didn't fit the profile" he was trying to build for the company, according to the complaint.

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Cadillac wants small dealers to upgrade to 'boutique' stores

DETROIT (AP) — In an effort to better compete with BMW and Mercedes, Cadillac wants about 700 smaller U.S. dealers to create "boutique" stores that focus on the General Motors luxury brand.

The move, to be outlined Thursday at the Washington Auto Show by Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen, is designed to improve a customer's buying experience so it matches or exceeds other luxury brands.

Cadillac now has 929 dealerships nationwide. About 200 have exclusive space for Cadillac, while 700 more sell the luxury brand along with Chevrolet or other GM brands. Those would become boutique locations with specially trained salespeople and service and luxury features. No dealerships would be closed.

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Gov't adds emergency brake features to safety device list

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government's auto safety agency wants to add two automatic emergency braking devices to its list of recommended safety features for new-car buyers.

But it's unclear when or if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require automakers to put the devices on all new vehicles.

The agency plans to add crash-imminent braking and dynamic brake support to its recommendations. Crash-imminent braking automatically stops a car if sensors detect a possible crash, while dynamic braking adds force to the brakes if the driver isn't pressing hard enough to avoid a crash.

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By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 259.70 points, or 1.5 percent, to 17,813.98. The Standard & Poor's 500 index jumped 31.03 points, or 1.5 percent, to close at 2,063.15. The Nasdaq climbed 82.98 points, or 1.8 percent, to 4,750.40.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.47 to close at $46.31 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 51 cents to close at $48.52 in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 0.5 cents to close at $1.331 a gallon. Heating oil rose 0.8 cents to close at $1.638 a gallon. Natural gas fell 13.9 cents to close at $2.835 per 1,000 cubic feet.