• Tips on auto financing if you have poor credit

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    Easy credit and longer-term loans currently being offered at auto dealerships can make buying an expensive car alluring. Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at the Bankrate.com website, says consumers with poor credit shouldn't bite. Consumers tend to focus on the payment rather than the interest rate, which likely will be far higher than the below 3-percent rate now available to those with good credit. "They engage in the dangerous financial habit known as payment shopping," McBride says. Here's what he suggests instead. — Buy a lower-priced car or a used car with a shorter payoff period. Paying it off will help you get a lower interest rate on your next car. — Don't be fooled by the payment on a loan

  • Where things stand with Detroit's bankruptcy plan

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — More than a year after Detroit filed for the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history, a federal judge is hearing evidence on whether he should approve the city's plan to emerge from billions of dollars in debt. Here's a look at the past, present and future of the city's finances: AT STAKE For decades, Detroit paid its bills by borrowing money while struggling to provide the most basic of services for residents. The city, once fueled by the massive auto industry it gave birth to, shrunk from 1.8 million people six decades ago to fewer than 700,000 now. So, when Detroit finally succumbed and filed for bankruptcy in July 2013, its long-term debt exceeded $18 billion.

  • Fire forces partial shutdown of N. Ill. coal plant

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    HENNEPIN, Ill. (AP) — Authorities are investigating what caused a transformer fire at a northern Illinois power plant that forced one of two power-generating units to shut down. The (LaSalle) News-Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1rL3pU1 ) that firefighters were called to the Dynegy Power Station in Hennepin around 11 a.m. Tuesday as thick black smoke rose from the site along the Illinois River. Smoke was no longer visible by noon. Dynegy Inc. spokeswoman Katy Sullivan says the fire occurred in an area of the plant where electricity from the generating unit is transferred to the power grid for distribution. She says nobody was hurt. She says the company will investigate the cause of the fire and whether there was any da

  • Quake jolts, doesn't stop 2014 Napa harvest

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    NAPA, Calif. (AP) — The first pinot noir grapes of the season came in to Trefethen Family Vineyards as usual, glistening purple mounds stacked in white bins. Well, almost as usual. This year, harvest workers donned safety vests and hard hats in deference to their proximity to a circa 1886 building left sagging at the knees by the magnitude-6.0 earthquake that hit Aug. 24. But with the building propped up, the harvest went on, here and elsewhere in the Napa Valley. No one is minimizing the quake — dozens of people were injured, historic buildings were damaged, rivers of wine were lost, and early estimates put the loss at $360 million — but the impact on the harvest itself, and therefore the wine made from it, is expected

  • New Mexico utility plans to request rate increase

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's largest electric provider plans to ask state regulators to raise rates for their customers. PNM wants to recover costs for investment in power plants and other infrastructure and to make up for a decrease in power consumption. The drop in consumption is attributed to factors such as the state's weak economy, energy conservation and renewable sources such as rooftop solar. The utility expects to file a case for a rate increase with the Public Regulation Commission by December, PNM Vice President for Regulatory Affairs Gerard Ortiz told the Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/1lwe9CZ). PNM hasn't yet decided how big of an increase it will request.

  • New York: Bank didn't lend to blacks in Buffalo

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A bank purposely avoided giving mortgages to African-Americans by locating all of its branches outside black neighborhoods and directing advertising and loan products toward largely white communities, New York's attorney general said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday as part of a wider investigation into an illegal practice known as redlining. Evans Bank is accused in the federal civil complaint of violating federal, state and local housing and discrimination laws, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said at a news conference in Buffalo.

  • Google's corporate products division changes name

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google is hoping a new brand will help sell more of its services to other companies. The decade-old division responsible for corporate sales is now known as "Google for Work." It had been called Google Enterprise since the Internet company began to redesign email and other consumer products for business use. Google Inc. believes the simpler name unveiled Tuesday will make it easier to persuade corporate technology managers to adopt many of the same tools that their employees already use in their personal lives. The lines between work and leisure have been blurring as more people rely on smartphones and tablets for many common computing tasks.

  • US manufacturing grows at fastest pace in 3½ years

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing grew in August at the strongest pace in more than three years as factories cranked out more goods and new orders rose. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index rose to 59 from 57.1 in July, the ISM said Tuesday. That was the highest reading since March 2011. Any measure above 50 signals that manufacturing is growing. Tuesday's ISM report coincides with other signs that manufacturing is helping drive the U.S. economy's improvement. Factories are benefiting from strong demand for aircraft, furniture, and steel and other metals. The boost from manufacturing has helped offset slower homebuilding, a slowdown in consumer purchases and weaker spending on utilities and other ser

  • Study to look at financial impact of gas boom

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — Researchers are looking at whether money from the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom helps children and families in regions where companies are drilling. Penn State University sociology professor Molly Martin said there is a unique opportunity to compare northeastern Pennsylvania communities that have experienced the boom during the last six years with nearby ones in New York state that haven't. New York has a moratorium on shale drilling, which uses hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to break underground rocks apart and free the gas, while Pennsylvania has become the second-largest producer in the nation. Some families in fracking communities get millions of dollars in royalties, many get tens of thousands

  • 1-800-FLOWERS buying Harry & David for $142.5M

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    CARLE PLACE, N.Y. (AP) — 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Inc. is buying Harry & David for $142.5 million to help broaden the assortment of foods that its customers can choose as gifts. The deal includes Harry & David Holdings Inc.'s brands, websites, 47 retail stores, some plants, orchards and its headquarters in Medford, Oregon. Harry & David's fruit, food and other gifts are housed under brands including Wolferman's, Cushman's and its namesake. Products include Harry & David Royal Riviera pears, Tower of Treats gifts, Fruit-of-the-Month Club products, Wolferman's specialty English muffins and other breakfast products and Cushman's HoneyBells citrus gifts. 1-800-FLOWERS' brands already include Fannie May, Cheryl's and The Popcorn

  • Select Income REIT adds to portfolio in $2.7B deal

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    NEWTON, Mass. (AP) — Select Income REIT will spend about $2.7 billion in cash and stock to buy Cole Corporate Income Trust in a deal that adds 64 office and industrial properties to the real estate investment trust's portfolio. The transaction will give Select Income strategic distribution centers for companies like Amazon.com and headquarters locations for companies including Tesoro Corp. and Noble Energy Inc. Select Income said Tuesday the acquisition will expand its United States footprint to 35 states from 21 and diversify its tenants. The combined company will have more than 43 million square feet of real estate. The acquisition totals about $3 billion, counting the assumption of mortgage debt.

  • Group presents state energy strategy

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A group entrusted with developing a state energy strategy for New Hampshire has focused on four areas: modernizing the electric grid, increasing efficiency, diversifying the fuel supply, and increasing transportation choices. The group is made up of the Office of Energy Planning, in consultation with a state Energy Advisory Council created last year and with input from the public and legislators. The report was released Tuesday. Many of the recommendations are in transportation, including the expansion of charging areas for electric vehicles, with the possibility of offering tax credits for businesses that install public charging stations; and the expansion of mass transit options including local, inter

  • US stocks are mostly lower at midday

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    U.S. stocks are mostly lower at midday as energy stocks weigh on the market and investors wait to see what actions central banks take later this week. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 44 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,053 as of 11:53 a.m. Eastern time Tuesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index eased four points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,998. The Nasdaq bucked the trend, rising four points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,584. Eight of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 index fell, with energy stocks down the most. Investors are looking ahead to central bank meetings this week in Europe and Japan, and waiting for key U.S. employment figures Friday.

  • Netflix unveils new way to share recommendations

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix is giving its Internet video subscribers a more discreet way to recommend movies and TV shows to their Facebook friends after realizing most people don't want to share their viewing habits with large audiences. Until now, Netflix subscribers linking the service to their Facebook accounts automatically disclosed everything they were watching with a potentially wide-reaching range of people. The company believes the open-ended approach discouraged most Netflix subscribers from connecting their accounts with their Facebook profiles. The automatic disclosures will end Tuesday as Netflix Inc. embraces a new system that empowers subscribers to select which friends will receive their video recommendati

  • Some fear auto industry returning to bad habits

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — Big discounts. Six- or seven-year loans, in some cases to buyers who would have been turned down in the past. As the auto industry strives to sustain its post-recession comeback, car companies are resorting to tactics that some experts warn will lead to trouble down the road. Vehicle discounts have risen 5.5 percent from a year ago. More than a quarter of new buyers are choosing to lease, a historically high percentage. Auto company lending arms are making more loans to people with low credit scores. The industry is adding factory capacity. And the average price of a car keeps rising, forcing some customers to borrow for longer terms to keep payments down. Annual auto sales in the U.S. should top 16 mil

  • Gas prices hold steady at $3.52 per gallon in RI

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Gas prices are holding steady in Rhode Island, with an average price of $3.52 per gallon for self-serve regular, the same as a week ago. AAA of Southern New England says its weekly survey released Tuesday that prices are 21 cents lower than at this time last year, when gas was averaging $3.73 per gallon in Rhode Island. But the average price in the Ocean State is 9 cents more than the national average of $3.43 per gallon for regular.

  • Dominion, Duke propose $5B natural gas pipeline

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Dominion Resources, Duke Energy and other partners are proposing a $5 billion natural gas pipeline to connect the Southeast with the prodigious supplies of natural gas being produced in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Gas is being relied upon to generate more of the nation's electricity in recent years because enormous new domestic supplies have drastically lowered its price and because natural gas burns cleaner than the nation's other most important fuel for electric power, coal. The 550-mile project, called the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, would begin in Harrison County, West Virginia and stretch through Virginia and North Carolina to Robeson County, near the South Carolina border.

  • Gas drops by a penny per gallon in Massachusetts

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — Gasoline prices in Massachusetts continue to decline, although more slowly than they have been. AAA Southern New England reports Tuesday that a gallon of self-serve, regular has fallen by a penny in the past week to $3.44. That's 1 cent higher than the national average but 12 cents lower than a month ago. The current Bay State price is also 21 cents lower than at this time last year. AAA found self-serve, regular selling for as low as $3.29 per gallon and as high as $3.89.

  • Private equity firm to buy Compuware for $2.5B

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    Private equity firm Thoma Bravo will spend about $2.5 billion to buy Compuware and take the software developer private. The companies said Tuesday that Compuware stock owners will receive about $10.92 for each share they own. That price includes mostly cash and some stock from Compuware spinoff Covisint. It represents a premium of about 17 percent to the Detroit company's Friday closing price. Compuware Chairman Gurminder S. Bedi said in a statement that the deal will give shareholders an immediate cash value and provide an opportunity to complete the spinoff of Covisint, which went public in September 2013. Compuware said its board unanimously approved the deal and recommends shareholders vote for it as well.

  • Politico founder to be Washington Post publisher

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Katharine Weymouth is stepping down as publisher of The Washington Post and will be replaced by Frederick Ryan, who previously led Politico. Weymouth, a member of the Graham family that owned the Post for 80 years, announced Tuesday that she will leave the Post after serving for 17 years in various roles. She has been publisher for seven years. The move follows the sale of the publication last year to Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos. On Tuesday, Bezos also announced the appointment of Ryan as the new publisher. Ryan had served as president and CEO of the political news outlet Politico, which he co-founded in 2007. Ryan served in the White House from 1982 to 1989 and later became chief of staff to forme