• American Airlines 4th-qtr profit gets lift from cheap fuel

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines is logging record profits and rewarding shareholders just one year removed from bankruptcy court and a big merger. The airline is getting a huge lift from cheaper fuel — savings could top $5 billion this year — and travel demand that shows no sign of weakening. CEO Doug Parker says 2015 is shaping up as another strong year. But amid a broader market sell-off, American's shares fell 5 percent — more than other major U.S. carriers — after the company said that a key revenue figure would decline in the first quarter. American said revenue for each seat flown one mile would be 2 percent to 4 percent lower than a year ago partly because competition is leading to lower fares on a

  • Amgen tops Street 4Q forecasts

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    Amgen Inc. cruised to a 27 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit and beat Wall Street expectations, due to higher sales of nearly all its medicines, tight cost controls and a tax benefit. The world's biggest biotech drugmaker by revenue said it's starting a cycle of several important new product launches — big enough that last year it announced major job reductions and other cost cuts to free up money for the launches. The company also reaffirmed its October forecast for 2015 profit, for revenue of $20.8 billion to $21.3 billion and adjusted earnings per share of $9.05 to $9.40 — in line with analysts' forecasts. Amgen, based in Thousand Oaks, California, on Tuesday reported net income of $1.3 billion, or $1.68 per

  • Once ubiquitous, parking garages fall to the wrecking ball

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — They were supposed to be saviors of downtown, drawing people by offering parking as plentiful as at any suburban shopping mall. But decades after cities tore down buildings and replaced them with parking structures, communities across the country are demolishing the garages and putting up buildings again, confident that more people will be drawn to lively offices, hotels and housing. "Virtually every city is grappling with this," said Tom Murphy, an urban revitalization expert and former mayor of Pittsburgh, referring to the demolitions designed to enliven dowdy business districts.

  • US Steel tops Street 4Q forecasts

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — United States Steel Corp. on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter results that topped Wall Street expectations. The Pittsburgh steelmaker's shares gained 8.6 percent in aftermarket trading. U.S. Steel said it had net income of $275 million, or $1.83 per share, down from $297 million, or $1.93 per share, in the same period in 2013. Earnings excluding one-time items were $1.82 per share, topping the average analyst estimate of 89 cents per share, according to Zacks Investment Research. Revenue dropped 4.6 percent, to $4.07 billion. Analysts expected a deeper decline, to $3.96 billion, according to Zacks. The company said it has improved its balance sheet and is confident that it can handle chall

  • American Airlines interested in offering flights to Cuba

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    Add American Airlines to the list of carriers that want to take you to Cuba. An airline executive said Tuesday that American already operates about 20 charter flights a week to Cuba and would like to add regular flights from Miami. "We don't have anything to announce today," the airline's president, Scott Kirby, said on a conference call with analysts and reporters, "but we will be anxious to start serving Cuba as soon as it's legally allowed." Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and JetBlue Airways have expressed interest since President Barack Obama announced last month that the U.S. would establish diplomatic relations and expand trade and tourism with Cuba.

  • Airlines begin digging out from storm in northeastern US

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    Lingering snow and subfreezing temperatures mean that travel delays in the Northeast will extend through Wednesday, even if the storm wasn't as bad as expected. Airlines have already cancelled more than 500 flights for Wednesday, according to FlightAware.com. But that's a reprieve after 7,600 U.S. flights got scrubbed and another 3,200 ran late on Monday and Tuesday, mostly in the blizzard's path. New York was spared the worst of the blizzard, but Boston was hit with more than two feet of snow. By Tuesday afternoon, airlines had already canceled one-fourth of the flights that would normally depart from Boston's Logan Airport on Wednesday, and subfreezing temperatures will mean tedious de-icing of the planes that do take off.

  • Executive: No guarantee BP would help pay subsidiary's fines

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An executive for the BP subsidiary that faces billions of dollars in possible fines for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill testified Tuesday that it is uncertain whether other BP entities would step in to help pay a steep penalty. The day's first witness was Richard Morrison, regional president and chairman of the board for BP Exploration and Production, often referred to in court as BPX&P. He acknowledged three times since the spill when BP entities have aided his corporation with loans or equity purchases but added that he had no way of knowing whether parent corporation BP PLC or other entities would provide more help. "They have to consider the overall business environment that we're going into," Morri

  • Record iPhone sales drive blowout quarter for Apple

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple had another blowout quarter thanks to its new plus-sized iPhones, which helped the company smash sales records for the holiday season. Apple said Tuesday that it sold 74.5 million iPhones during the three months that ended Dec. 31, beating analysts' expectations for the latest models of Apple's most popular gadget, introduced in September. The surge in iPhone sales drove the company's total revenue to $74.6 billion, up 30 percent from a year earlier. CEO Tim Cook said on a call with analysts that demand for the phones was "staggering," and noted that results would have been even higher if not for the impact of the strong dollar on overseas sales. Net income rose 38 percent to $18 billion, as Apple

  • Jobless-rate moves in 2014: Colorado best, Louisiana worst

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Colorado's unemployment rate fell by a third. Louisiana's jumped nearly a quarter. Across the country, changes in unemployment rates varied from state to state in 2014, but collectively the numbers pointed to a year of substantial improvement: Jobless rates fell in 46 states, and everyone except Mississippi added jobs. Even Louisiana's gain masked some good news: The state added a healthy number of jobs — just not enough to keep up with population growth. The broad improvement shown in Tuesday's report from the Labor Department reflected a pickup in hiring across the country. Employers nationwide added nearly 3 million jobs last year, the most since 1999. The gains were driven by solid economic gr

  • W.Va. bill requires lawmakers to OK state carbon plan

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia lawmakers are considering giving themselves the ability to vote on state plans to comply with proposed federal carbon emission standards for coal-fired power plants. Tuesday, a Senate committee passed a bill concerning how the coal state will meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. A House version has passed one committee. The bill requires the GOP-led Legislature to vote before the state sends compliance plans to the EPA. It also requires a state feasibility report 180 days after the rule is finalized. In an anti-global warming push, the EPA aims to drop emissions from existing coal-fired plants by 30 percent nationally by 2030, compared to 2005. West Virginia

  • Democrats put brakes on Iran sanctions bill

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats on Tuesday put the brakes on new Iran sanctions legislation, ending for now a looming showdown between Congress and President Barack Obama over negotiations to prevent Tehran from having the capability to make a nuclear weapon. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., a leading proponent of the legislation, says he remains skeptical a deal will materialize, but says he and nine other Democrats now won't push the bill at least until the end of March. Menendez' concession to the White House is good news for Obama, who has threatened to veto any new sanctions legislation.

  • Big costs drag AT&T to 4Q loss, but revenue up 4 percent

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    DALLAS (AP) — AT&T booked a nearly $4 billion loss for the fourth quarter because of a slew of one-time expenses that included a loss on benefit plans, but its revenue grew 4 percent to top expectations. The nation's second-largest wireless carrier added 1.9 million wireless subscribers — twice as many as in the year-ago quarter. Postpaid "churn," or subscriber turnover rate, rose only slightly to 1.22 percent from 1.11 percent in the year-ago period, which was the best ever for a fourth quarter, the company said. Postpaid customers are generally those with better credit who stay with carriers longer, sometimes with contracts. In its landline business, AT&T added 405,000 U-verse high speed Internet subscribers to bring th

  • Utility to add more electricity generation in Montana

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana-Dakota Utilities says it plans to install more electricity generation to its power plant in Sidney, Montana, to keep up with growing customer demands. The 19-megawatt addition would be powered by natural gas and located within the company's Lewis and Clark coal plant. It would be used to provide power to customers during times of peak demand and could reach full power within 10 minutes. MDU spokesman Mark Hanson says construction costs are estimated at $40 million. MDU provides electricity to 137,000 customers in Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. Hanson says the number of customers has been increasing by 4 percent to 6 percent annually, driven in part by the oil boom in the Bakken

  • Obama sees need to move on drone rules now

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the wayward quadcopter that crashed on the White House grounds — flown by an off-duty intelligence employee — shows that the U.S. must take steps to ensure commercial and consumer drones are used safely. It's his own administration that has lagged on the matter. Both Congress and the drone industry have pressed for rules and clarification as the technology of civilian drone use grows apace and the small unmanned craft become ever cheaper. Obama, in a CNN interview from India, likened the 2-foot-long quadcopter that crashed on the White House lawn to one that could be bought at Radio Shack, which lists them from $50 to $700.

  • Judge lets North Dakota oil patch overtime lawsuit proceed

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A lawsuit accusing oil-services company Schlumberger Ltd. of failing to pay overtime wages in North Dakota's oil patch can move forward, a federal judge says. Judge Ralph Erickson's ruling, released Monday, grants conditional class-action status to the suit filed by a former employee of Houston-based Schlumberger, which provides technology and other support services for the oil and gas industry. The suit alleges that employees worked more than eight hours a day and 40 hours a week, and that the company used a fluctuating workweek to avoid paying overtime. "At this early phase, courts apply lenient standards to the evidence necessary to support conditional certification," Erickson wrote.

  • US company outlooks worry investors, sending stocks lower

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    U.S. stocks slumped Tuesday after some of the market's largest companies reported disappointing earnings, taking investors on a turbulent ride that deepened the losses for the year. The companies that rattled the market included Microsoft, Caterpillar and Procter & Gamble. Some also forecast weaker results in months ahead. An unexpected drop in U.S. orders of long-lasting goods also weighed on investors, briefly dragging the Dow Jones industrial average down 390 points early in the day before it pared back some of the losses. It was the biggest one-day decline for the blue-chip index since Jan. 5. The downbeat company report cards raise concerns about corporate America's ability to grow profits at a time when many inves

  • House GOP moves toward possible lawsuit on immigration

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are moving toward authorizing a potential lawsuit against President Barack Obama on immigration, House Speaker John Boehner announced Tuesday, as the GOP struggled for a way to stop the president's unilateral deportation curbs. Boehner announced the plans in a closed-door meeting with lawmakers, telling them GOP leaders are finalizing a legal plan with the best chance of blocking Obama's moves, according to a person in the room. Options include joining a lawsuit already filed by states over the issue, or filing a separate lawsuit. The person in the room spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting.

  • Judge: former coal exec in W.Va. can view record from trial

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A federal judge is letting ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship see the jury selection transcript from a case where another Massey official was convicted. Tuesday in Beckley federal court, Judge Irene Berger ordered that Blankenship can access the document from Hughie Elbert Stover's case. In 2012, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a conviction that Stover lied to investigators and destroyed documents after the 2010 explosion that killed 29 coal miners at Upper Big Branch mine. Stover was a Massey security chief. Blankenship is charged with conspiring to violate safety and health standards at the mine. He faces up to 31 years in prison if convicted.

  • Wolf vows to support Senate's medical marijuana bill

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf held an impromptu reception Tuesday for parents of children who are suffering daily from debilitating seizures and vowed to sign a medical marijuana bill that senators are writing. The greeting in Wolf's ornate Capitol reception room followed a news conference at which Sens. Daylin Leach and Mike Folmer said they plan to broaden their legislation that overwhelmingly passed the Senate last fall. That bill was opposed by then-Gov. Tom Corbett and died when the House did not act on it at the end of the legislative session. Leach, D-Montgomery, and Folmer, R-Lebanon, envision a new bill that would expand the list of 10 authorized medical conditions to give doctors more leeway to prescr

  • Obama administration on track to surpass health care goal

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Some 9.5 million people have already signed up for 2015 coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law, and the administration is on track to surpass its nationwide enrollment target set last year. The Health and Human Services Department said Tuesday that, through the middle of January, more than 7.1 million people had signed up in 37 states where the federal government is running the insurance markets. At least another 2.4 million signed up in states running their own exchanges. The health insurance exchanges offer subsidized private coverage to people who don't have access on the job. The deadline for 2015 enrollment is Feb. 15, and officials are expecting the numbers to surge at the very end.<




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