• Reynolds brings back Susan Cameron as CEO

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Reynolds American has elected board member and former leader Susan Cameron as president and CEO of the tobacco company. Cameron previously served as president and chief executive officer of the company from 2004 to 2011 before she retired. She rejoined the company's board in December. Cameron will take on the CEO job again starting May 1. She replaces Daniel Delen, who is retiring and resigning from the board. He will stay on as a consultant for two years to help with the transition. Reynolds American Inc. is the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and several other tobacco companies. Its brands include Camel, Pall Mall and Winston.

  • Capital One Financial's profit edges up

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    MCLEAN, Va. (AP) — Capital One Financial Corp. says its first-quarter profit edged up, even as income it receives from lending slipped. After the market closed Wednesday, McLean, Va.-based Capital One reported net income of $1.14 billion, or $1.96 per share, for the three months ending March 31. That compares with net income of $1.04 billion, or $1.77 per share, in the same period of 2013. Revenue dipped 3 percent to $5.37 billion from $5.55 billion. On average, analysts expected earnings of $1.69 per share on $5.45 billion in revenue, according to the data provider FactSet. The lender says loans fell in its U.S. credit card division and home loans dropped, too.

  • US stocks close higher for third day in a row

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    Investors drove stock prices to their highest level in a week Wednesday, encouraged by a crop of corporate earnings and reassuring U.S. and Chinese economic data. Major U.S. stock indexes notched their third day of gains in a row. Yahoo and Delta Air Lines were among the companies posting big gains. The gains were broad; for every stock that declined, nearly four rose. The market is coming back from a steep drop at the end of last week led by Internet and biotechnology stocks. That move away from some of the riskier, high-priced stocks that drove down the market is nearly, if not completely done now, said Jim Russell, senior equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

  • Gap outlines growth plans for China

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Gap Inc. announced Wednesday it plans to more than triple sales in China in three years as it seeks to grab a bigger piece of the overall $1.4 trillion global clothing market. The San Francisco-based clothing chain, which operates stores under the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta brands, generated $300 million in sales in China in the latest fiscal year ended Feb. 1. It says China will be its biggest growth initiative. The company had 81 Gap stores in China at the end of last year and unveiled its first Old Navy store in the country earlier this year. It plans to open about 30 additional Gap stores in China in the current fiscal year.

  • Editorial Roundup: Excerpts from recent editorials

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad: ___ April 15 The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune on Rwanda's turnaround: It has been 20 years since the genocide that took as many as a million lives and left Rwanda in ruins. So it is illuminating that a new report shows that life expectancy in the formerly splintered African nation has doubled in that time. The development reveals what can happen when murderous, corrupt regimes are replaced with leadership focused on maintaining peace and improving living conditions. Harvard professor Paul Farmer, along with Rwandan health experts, just published a study of the life expectancy data in The Lancet, the world's most prestigious medical

  • ComEd seeks rate hike to help pay for Smart Grid

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    CHICAGO (AP) — Commonwealth Edison wants another rate increase to help offset the costs of modernizing Illinois' electric grid. The company on Wednesday filed a rate request with the Illinois Commerce Commission, asking permission to collect an addition $275 million in delivery charges. The increase would cost residential customers about $3 per month extra starting in January 2015. The ICC has eight months to act on the request. In December it approved a rate increase allowing ComEd to collect an additional $340 million this year. The company says it's making "strong progress" on upgrades that include switching 4 million northern Illinois customers to wireless "smart meters." ComEd and downstate electricity prov

  • Farm Bureau opposing multi-state transmission line

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Farm Bureau has voted to act as an intervener in a case before the state's utility commission involving the Grain Belt Express electric transmission line. The St. Joseph News-Press (http://bit.ly/1r0FEkW ) reports the organization opposes granting eminent domain to Clean Line Energy Partners for its project, which would carry electricity generated by windmill turbines through about 200 miles of the state. The Missouri section is part of a $2.2 billion project to build a 750-mile-long high-voltage overhead transmission line from Kansas, through Missouri and Illinois and to a substation in Indiana. Clear Line has filed with the Missouri Public Service Commission for utility status

  • King and Bank of America are big market movers

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market: NYSE King Digital Entertainment Plc, up 60 cents to $18.03 The maker of the "Candy Crush" is partnering with China's messaging giant Tencent to showcase its hugely popular game. Yelp Inc., up $2.74 to $65.80 Citigroup upgraded the online reviews site after a share pullback, saying it sees the company well positioned for growth in mobile devices. Bank of America Corp., down 26 cents to $16.13 The bank swung to a loss in the first quarter, stung by $6 billion in legal expenses from the housing collapse. CSX Corp., down 50 cents to $27.

  • Officials gather in ND to discuss new EPA rules

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple on Wednesday signaled a potential legal challenge to proposed federal rules aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants and oil refineries. "We cannot jump to a much higher standard for CO2 overnight," the Republican governor told representatives from more than 20 states and companies that own utilities and power plants. "It simply is not possible. It's not attainable, and we will fight that with every tool that we have available." The federal Environmental Protection Agency is crafting rules, part of a Climate Action Plan released by President Barack Obama last year, that would cap emissions at existing coal-fired power plants and set limits

  • Soybean prices rise on signs of strong demand

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    Soybean futures are higher as traders see more signs of strong demand for beans. Wheat futures are lower. The actively traded contract for soybeans delivered in July rose 21 cents to $15.09 a bushel Wednesday. Brandon Marshall, commodity trader with Northstar Commodity in Minneapolis, said soybean processing plants are bidding higher prices for beans. That's a sign of robust demand for products they make including soybean meal, which is commonly used as animal feed in China. Wheat for July delivery fell 15 cents to $6.95 a bushel. Corn edged down 6 cents to $4.98 a bushel. Metals prices mostly rose. Gold for June delivery rose $3.20 to $1,303.50 an ounce. Crude oil was little changed at $103.76 a barrel. Oth

  • Alfa heads to US in June with sporty $54,000 4C

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — After a nearly 20-year absence, Italian car maker Alfa Romeo is returning to the U.S. market. Alfa CEO Harald Wester said Wednesday the company plans to ship around 100 4C sports cars to the U.S. this June. Alfa expects to ship a total of 800 cars to the U.S. this year, including 500 limited edition 4C models. Wester expects 4C shipments will grow to 1,200 to 1,300 per year in 2015 and beyond. "It's just an appetizer," Wester said at the New York auto show, where the 4C is displayed next to its sister Italian luxury brand, Maserati. Wester is also the head of Maserati. Wester won't yet say which U.S. dealers will sell Alfas, or how customers can order them. Alfa's parent company, Italian automake

  • Fed survey: Growth picks up across most of US

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A Federal Reserve survey shows economic growth picking up across most of the United States over the past two months as bitter winter weather subsided. Ten of the Fed's 12 regions reported an increase in economic activity, according to the Beige Book survey released Wednesday. In most places, the Fed described the improvement as "modest or moderate." Only Cleveland and St. Louis reported slower growth. In March and early April, consumers took advantage of better weather to go shopping. Manufacturing expanded across most of the country. Ports and highways were busier. Across most of the country, home prices rose modestly and homebuilding picked up. Tourism was "generally positive." In several districts, ski

  • Some exempted from minimum wage, increased or not

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Some workers won't benefit even if a long-shot Democratic proposal to raise the federal minimum wage becomes law. That's because more than a dozen categories of jobs are exempt from the hourly minimum, currently $7.25. Those exclusions run from some workers with disabilities to crews on fishing ships to casual baby sitters. Legislation sponsored by Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin would gradually raise the minimum to $10.10 by 2016. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the measure would boost earnings for 16.5 million workers — but also cost 500,000 others their jobs. And the bill doesn't eliminate exemptions from the required minimum.

  • Ohio's new top utility regulator is sworn in

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) has sworn in a former state budget director and lawmaker as Ohio's top utility regulator. The Republican governor swore in Thomas Johnson as chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio on Wednesday. Johnson, of suburban Columbus, replaces Todd Snitchler (SNIHCH'-lur), who decided not to seek reappointment when his term expired April 10. Johnson was appointed by Kasich and confirmed by the Ohio Senate. He spent 22 years in the Ohio House before becoming budget director for then-Gov. Bob Taft. Snitchler has joined the business department at McDonald Hopkins, where he'll counsel clients on issues of energy policy and strategy, government affairs and regulato

  • CEO of regional carrier PSA Airlines to retire

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — PSA Airlines, which operates regional flights for US Airways, says that its CEO and president will retire and be replaced by the president of US Airways Express. The company said Wednesday that Keith Houk, 66, will retire on Aug. 31 after more than 25 years at PSA Airlines including nine as CEO. Dion Flannery, 47, will become president. A spokeswoman for the airline said that there were no plans to have a separate CEO. PSA and other regional carriers operate flights under the US Airways Express name, connecting passengers from smaller cities with US Airways flights at big, so-called hub airports. PSA is owned by American Airlines Group Inc., the company formed by the December merger of America

  • Maine Senate sustains veto of solar rebate bill

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Senate failed to muster enough support Wednesday to revive a bill that would have restored a program that provides rebates for residents and businesses who install solar panels. Despite strong support in the Democratic-led House earlier this week, the effort to overturn Republican Gov. Paul LePage's veto fell two votes short of the two-thirds majority support it needed in the Senate, killing the bill as lawmakers make their way through the final days of the legislative session. The measure drew sharp criticism from LePage and GOP lawmakers because it would have been paid for by raising Mainers' electric bills roughly 60 cents a year.

  • Bank of America posts loss, hurt by legal charges

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Bank of America said Wednesday that it swung to a loss in the first quarter, hurt by $6 billion in legal charges. A LOSS: The Charlotte, N.C., bank reported a loss applicable to common shareholders of $514 million, compared with a profit of $1.11 billion a year earlier. The loss amounted to 5 cents a share. A year earlier, the bank earned 10 cents a share. STUNG BY LEGAL EXPENSES: BofA's results were lowered by $6 billion, or 40 cents a share, in legal charges, with $3.6 billion of that amount from a previously announced settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and $2.4 billion from an addition to the bank's legal reserves for other mortgage-related matters.

  • A look at 3 minority business mentoring programs

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    A look at minority business mentoring programs, called accelerators, in three metropolitan areas. All the programs aim to help already established companies owned by minorities win contracts with large companies and organizations. The goal is for them to expand and hire more workers, helping the local economy. CINCINNATI MINORITY BUSINESS ACCELERATOR Founded: 2003 by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Current number of companies: 35 Who's eligible: Companies that are least 51 percent minority-owned, with at least $1 million in annual revenue. How long do companies stay: No time limit. Big companies/organizations that participate: Macy's, Procter & Gamble, Kroger, Cincinnati Reds, Duke Energy, Toyota a

  • Energy state Dems in Senate races split from Obama

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Natalie Tennant is scrapping to keep a West Virginia Senate seat Democratic, even as the state moves sharply to the right. And she's hoping her defense of the state's coal industry will separate her from unpopular President Barack Obama. It's a proven strategy for Democrats in Republican-leaning energy states. West Virginia's senators, Joe Manchin and retiring Jay Rockefeller, and colleagues Mark Begich in Alaska, Mary Landrieu in Louisiana and Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, have won in states where Obama lost and remains unpopular. The question is whether that's enough for Democrats to maintain a tenuous Senate majority. Republicans need to gain six seats to win control of the Senate.

  • CSX railroad expects modest 2014 profit growth

    Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — CSX railroad expects to deliver modest profit growth this year, but the impact of the severe winter will linger into the second quarter. Officials with the railroad said on a conference call Wednesday that the improving economy and stronger domestic utility demand for coal will boost CSX's earnings in the second half of this year and in 2015. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based railroad had said Tuesday that the harsh winter disrupted shipments and contributed to a 14 percent drop in its first-quarter profit even as it hauled 3 percent more freight. CSX's results hint at what investors can expect from other transportation companies because they were all affected by the brutal winter, but they also suggest