• Cheaper fuel has airlines soaring to record profits

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    DALLAS (AP) — For airlines, the record profits keep coming, thanks to cheaper jet fuel. Like motorists, airlines have been saving money at the pump since oil prices began plunging last summer. Even with a recent increase, the spot price of jet fuel is down 40 percent since September. Airlines are getting such a price break that profits are surging even though their revenue is flat or declining. At American Airlines, passengers flew fewer miles and revenue declined 2 percent in the first quarter. But thanks to a $1.36 billion cut in its fuel bill, American reported Friday that it earned a first-quarter record $932 million. The other three U.S.

  • Recalls this week: vacuum cleaners, bicycles

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    Vacuum cleaners that pose an electric shock risk to users are among this week's recalled consumer products. Others include Trek bicycles with a defect that has caused several injuries. Here's a more detailed look: VACUUM CLEANERS DETAILS: Four models of Shark brand Rotator Powered Lift-Away series upright vacuum cleaners. They are either maroon or purple with a clear plastic middle section. Shark and Rotator are printed on the front of the vacuum cleaners. Recalled model numbers include NV650W, NV651, NV652 and NV660. The model number is printed on a silver sticker on the upper right-hand corner of the back of the unit. They were sold at Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Kohl's, Lowes, Target and other stores nationwide, onl

  • Diet Pepsi dropping aspartame on customer concerns

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — PepsiCo says it's dropping aspartame from Diet Pepsi in response to customer worries and replacing it with sucralose, another artificial sweetener commonly known as Splenda. The decision to swap sweeteners comes as Americans keep turning away from popular diet sodas. Rival Coca-Cola said this week that sales volume for Diet Coke, which also uses aspartame, fell 5 percent in North America in the first three months of the year. Atlanta-based Coca-Cola said in a statement that it has no plans to change the sweetener in Diet Coke, which is the country's top-selling diet cola.

  • Falling prices, rising threats cool interest in Kurdish oil

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — The hall for the Irbil Oil and Gas Exhibition this week was crowded with company displays, executives and investors. But conspicuously absent were international oil giants like Shell, Exxon-Mobil and Chevron that only a year ago were eager to exploit the promising reserves of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. The threat of Islamic State group militants, who have swept across much of northern Iraq and are battling Kurdish forces only miles away from the Kurdish capital, Irbil, has dampened international interest. The security threat only increases oil companies' doubts, on top of falling oil prices and disputes between the Kurds and the Iraqi central government in Baghdad.

  • Backpack strap used by Apollo 14 moonwalker sells for $41K

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — A backpack strap used by an Apollo 14 astronaut as he moved around the surface of the moon in 1971 has sold at auction for nearly $42,000. Massachusetts-based RR Auction says the strap that Edgar Mitchell brought back as a souvenir of the mission fetched $41,806 this week. The buyer's identity was not disclosed. Mitchell spent nearly 9½ hours on the lunar surface, where he left the life support backpack before returning to Earth. Astronauts typically left such items on the moon to save weight and offset the moon rocks they needed to bring back with them. The suit he wore is on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington.

  • US oil and natural gas rig count drops by 22 to 932

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 22 this week to 932 amid depressed oil prices. Houston-based Baker Hughes said Friday 703 rigs were seeking oil and 225 explored for natural gas. Four were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, 1,861 rigs were active. Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas lost 19 rigs; North Dakota lost five; Oklahoma was down three; and Alaska, New Mexico and West Virginia each lost one. Louisiana gained two rigs, while Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas and Pennsylvania each gained one. Ohio, Utah and Wyoming were unchanged. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1

  • Harley recalls nearly 46,000 motorcycles

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — Harley-Davidson is recalling nearly 46,000 motorcycles in the U.S. because they could stay in gear due to clutches that won't fully disengage. The recall covers certain Electra Glide, Ultra Limited, Police Electra Glide, Street Glide, Road Glide and Road King models from the 2014 and 2015 model years. Harley-Davidson Motor Co. said in documents that gas bubbles can cause the clutch master cylinder to lose its ability to fully disengage the clutch, especially if the bike has been parked for a long time. This could cause a rider to lose control of the motorcycle if it's started in gear. The problem was found through customer complaints. Harley reported 27 crashes and four minor injuries.

  • Xerox says quarterly profit dropped 20 percent, cuts outlook

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    NORWALK, Conn. (AP) — Xerox's quarterly profit dropped 20 percent and the company cut its earnings estimate for the full year amid sliding sales and a rising dollar. The news drove its stock down $1.18, or 9 percent, to $11.96 in Friday afternoon trading. Before the market opened, Xerox Corp. reported first-quarter net income of $225 million, down from $281 million the year before. Total revenue slipped 6 percent to $4.47 billion. Xerox, which sells copiers and business services, blamed higher costs as well as the stronger U.S. dollar. If the dollar had stayed put in the first three months of the year, total revenue would have slipped 2 percent. On a per-share basis, the Norwalk, Connecticut, company reported first-qu

  • Fire officials: New York City crane accident leaves man dead

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Fire officials say a boom-crane accident in midtown Manhattan has left a man dead. The Fire Department of New York says the accident occurred shortly before noon Friday near 44th Street and Second Avenue. The crane was attached to a truck. The cause of the accident isn't immediately clear.

  • Big technology stocks rise in midday trading; Amazon soars

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Big gains by Amazon and Google are lifting technology stocks. Amazon soared 15 percent in midday trading Friday after revealing details about its cloud computing service for the first time. Google and Microsoft also rose after reporting their latest quarterly results. The Nasdaq composite index rose more than the rest of the market. The Nasdaq gained 40 points, or 0.8 percent, to 5,095 as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern time. The gain came a day after the index beat its record-high close from 2000 at the height of the dot-com boom. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 14 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,072. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose four points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,117. Bond prices rose. T

  • Proposed electric increases fuel Kentucky governor's race

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Tammy Stewart makes about $1,600 a month and it goes quickly: a mortgage and a car, insurance, utilities and student loans. So she got a little worked up when Louisville Gas & Electric proposed raising her power and gas bill. "That little bit of increase is a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk, maybe a jar of peanut butter," she told the Kentucky Public Service Commission last month. Kentucky's candidates for governor are seizing that kind of populist fervor in an election cycle already dominated by debates over job creation. They will have plenty of opportunities.

  • Barra compensation triples to $15.8M in 1st year as GM CEO

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — General Motors CEO Mary Barra's compensation more than tripled in 2014 to $15.8 million in her tumultuous first year in the automaker's top job. Barra and other top executives got only 74 percent of the cash incentives they could have received, because GM fell short of goals set by the board. But her stock awards more than doubled from 2013 when she was senior vice president of for product development and purchasing. GM reported its 2014 compensation Friday in its proxy filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company also named a new board member and announced that its annual stockholders meeting will be held on June 9 at GM's Detroit headquarters. Barra, 53, became the first woman

  • Foreigners who came to Brazil in boom times flee the bust

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — When Frenchman Gwenel Lecourieux was gearing up to move to Brazil, the country with its swelling upper class and world-renowned hunger for luxury goods seemed like the perfect place to set up his dream business, selling high-end watches. But Brazil's economy skidded to a halt and demand evaporated for his watches worth thousands of dollars each. Just 15 months after arriving in Rio de Janeiro, 36-year-old Lecourieux is preparing to cut his losses and return to France. And he's not alone. The number of foreigners receiving work authorizations fell 24 percent between 2013 and 2014, from 62,387 to 47,259, according to the Labor and Employment Ministry.

  • Clarification: New England Energy story

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — In a story April 23 about energy policy, The Associated Press reported that five of New England's six governors said they would work across the region while each state pursues individual projects. The story should have made clear that the statement was agreed to by all six leaders, including New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, who did not attend the gathering in Hartford. A clarified version of the story is below. New England governors discuss ways to chop energy prices New England governors agree on long-term strategy to cut high energy prices By STEPHEN SINGER Associated Press HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — New England's governors agreed Thursday to a mix of regional and state action

  • BYOB: It's brew your own beer at some colleges

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    POMONA, Calif. (AP) — A bachelor's in beer? A master's in malt? Not quite. But these days some colleges are teaching students to make beer as part of their studies. When California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, fired up its gleaming new stainless steel brewery in December, it joined a small but growing number of colleges instructing students how to produce high-quality craft beers. At the same time, it took the movement a step beyond — kegging the results of their labors and selling it on campus.

  • American Airlines beats Street 1Q forecasts

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The fuel bill at American Airlines fell by nearly half in the first quarter, helping the company set a record profit despite a dip in revenue. The combination of cheaper fuel and steady demand for flights within the U.S. is boosting all the major domestic airlines, with American joining Delta, United and Southwest in posting sharply higher earnings. American Airlines Group Inc. said Friday that net income was $932 million, nearly double last year's $480 million, the previous record for the quarter. The record profit, however, was less than the company's $1.36 billion savings on fuel, compared with a year earlier.

  • Durable goods orders up, but business investment falls again

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Purchases of long-lasting manufactured goods in March jumped by the largest amount in eight months, but a closer look at the details reveals that businesses kept pruning their investment plans in the face of a softening U.S. economy. Orders to factories for durable goods rebounded 4 percent in March after a 1.4 percent decline in February, the Commerce Department reported Friday. The result was led by a big jump in demand for commercial aircraft. Outside of the transportation category, however, orders fell for a sixth straight month. More worrying was a 0.5 percent drop in demand in a key category that serves as a proxy for future business investment. The retreat followed a 2.2 percent drop in February and

  • Rent spike forces cartoon museum from San Francisco space

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — There's nothing funny about the uncertain transition of the Cartoon Art Museum. The San Francisco facility bills itself as the only museum in the West dedicated to preserving and sharing "cartoon art in all its forms." Over the past 30 years, it has exhibited editorial cartoons, comic books, graphic novels, anime, Sunday funnies, Saturday morning cartoons and other works. It also boasts a research library (what's Porky Pig's signature slogan again?) and a 7,000-piece permanent collection. But the museum faces a sad tale: Monthly rent has doubled in its space south of Market. It is forced to find a new permanent home in the next two months. "We've been through this before with the dot-com boo

  • Scuttled mining combo tops list of biggest failed deals

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    Comcast's failed $45 billion deal for Time Warner Cable is a high-profile example of a failed deal, but it doesn't crack the list of the 10 largest. It's not even the biggest scuttled takeover attempt of a company named Time Warner. That distinction belongs to an unsolicited, $79.6 billion bid for Time Warner Inc. made by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, according to financial data provider Dealogic. Time Warner Inc. spun off Time Warner Cable Inc. in 2009. Here is Dealogic's list of the 10 largest failed deals globally, with the price, acquirer, target, and year things fell apart. — $144.97 billion: BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto Plc, 2008 — $117.35 billion: Pfizer Inc., AstraZenca Plc, 2014 — $97.92

  • What could McDonald's do to fix its business?

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — When it comes to McDonald's, everyone seems to have an opinion about what the company needs to do differently. After turning in another quarter of sliding sales and profit, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook said the chain will unveil initial details on a plan to turn around its fortunes on May 4. Among the challenges it is facing are intensifying competition and an image for serving junk food that it just can't seem to shake. Already this year, McDonald's has given a nod to the "clean label" trend with a simplified grilled chicken recipe, and announced plans to curb the use of antibiotics in raising chickens. In March, it also hosted a "Turnaround Summit" for franchisees in the U.S. The company isn't pr




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