• Federal team investigating fatal Tenn. explosion

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A special investigative team of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is looking into an explosion at a Tennessee ammunition plant that killed one person and injured three others. The blast Wednesday at the Rio Ammunition plant in McEwen, about 55 miles west of Nashville, killed Rodney Edwards and critically injured Joey Clark, who was being treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Thursday. A woman whom authorities have not yet publicly identified was in stable condition, and another man was discharged. ATF spokesman Michael Knight said local officials spent Thursday clearing the area around the plant of any live ammunition to bring in heavy equipment and stabilize t

  • US stock market ends higher as earnings pour in

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    A batch of U.S. company earnings drove stocks mostly higher on Thursday. The major stock indexes shifted between small gains and losses ahead of their scheduled close for Good Friday. The gains kept the indexes ahead for the week, though the remained down for the month. The market appeared set Thursday morning for its fourth-consecutive positive open this week, but immediately turned negative as investors sold shares in Google and IBM. The market heavyweights reported disappointing earnings late Wednesday. Earnings from toy maker Mattel and insurer UnitedHealth also dragged down the market. But by midmorning, the market started to push higher as traders cheered upbeat results from Morgan Stanley, General Electric and Pe

  • Aereo CEO speaks on future of company, industry

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — The future of Aereo, an online service that provides over-the-air TV channels, hinges on a battle with broadcasters that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court next week. For as little as $8 a month, Aereo subscribers in New York and 10 other markets can watch shows live or record them using Aereo's online digital video recorder. Subscribers access programming with computers, smartphones and other devices, as well as with TVs with Roku or Apple TV streaming devices. Aereo resembles a cable or satellite TV service, except it costs less and is limited to over-the-air channels, plus Bloomberg TV. Cable and satellite TV companies typically pay broadcasters to include TV stations on customers' lineups. Aereo argues i

  • Target expands subscription service tenfold

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Target is taking aim at rival Amazon by expanding a service that regularly delivers products to shoppers' homes. The nation's second-largest discounter started its subscription service in September by offering 150 baby products, like baby wipes and diapers, for delivery. Target is expanding that program tenfold by adding nearly 1,600 items, from beauty products to pet supplies to home office supplies. The discounter also is offering a five percent discount on items ordered through the program. The service — and shipping — are free. And there is no minimum on orders: Shoppers can order one tube of toothpaste shipped each month if they want.

  • Business Highlights

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    ___ China factories face new challenge as growth slows HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese manufacturers are discovering that being an efficient low-cost producer is no longer enough to prosper in the face of the country's slowing growth. Government priorities are changing, labor costs are rising and global demand is still weak. This puts pressure on manufacturers to move into more advanced production, consolidate into bigger entities or shift to cheaper inland regions to survive. Growth in the world's second-largest economy eased to 7.4 percent last quarter, the lowest since a mini-downturn in late 2012, government figures showed Wednesday. Last year's expansion of 7.7 percent tied 2012 for the weakest since 1999.

  • Business Highlights

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    ___ China factories face new challenge as growth slows HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese manufacturers are discovering that being an efficient low-cost producer is no longer enough to prosper in the face of the country's slowing growth. Government priorities are changing, labor costs are rising and global demand is still weak. This puts pressure on manufacturers to move into more advanced production, consolidate into bigger entities or shift to cheaper inland regions to survive. Growth in the world's second-largest economy eased to 7.4 percent last quarter, the lowest since a mini-downturn in late 2012, government figures showed Wednesday. Last year's expansion of 7.7 percent tied 2012 for the weakest since 1999.

  • Heavy winter storms weigh on DuPont during 1Q

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    DOVER, Del. (AP) — DuPont's agricultural sales suffered and its operating costs rose during extensive winter storms that dragged on first-quarter earnings, although volumes increased in the company's industrial segments and profit margins improved in almost every one of them. The Wilmington, Del., chemical maker reported net income Thursday of $1.4 billion, or $1.54 per share, for the quarter ended March 31. That's down from $3.35 billion, or $3.58 per share, for the same quarter a year ago, which included a one-time gain from completion of the sale of DuPont's performance coatings unit. Excluding one-time items, DuPont reported operating earnings of $1.58 per share, up from $1.

  • Lowe's agrees to minimize lead dust, pay fine

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Lowe's Home Centers has agreed to pay a $500,000 federal penalty in settling claims that its contractors in at least nine states broke environmental rules for addressing lead paint dust during home renovation projects, two federal agencies announced Thursday. As part of the deal announced by the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency, the North Carolina-based home improvement retailer also pledged to adopt a compliance program for dealing with lead paint during the renovation programs offered through its more than 1,700 stores. The Justice Department's complaint and brokered deal with Lowe's, filed Thursday in federal court in East St. Louis, Ill.

  • Reid calls rancher's backers 'domestic terrorists'

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is calling armed backers of a Nevada rancher "domestic terrorists" for using guns in a grazing rights battle with the federal Bureau of Land Management. The Democrat was speaking at an event hosted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal (http://bit.ly/QrWVIj ) Thursday when he referred to Saturday's armed confrontation between BLM agents and self-described militia members supporting Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy. No shots were fired. After the confrontation, the BLM released almost 400 of Bundy's cattle that had been rounded up. The BLM says its action was spurred by Bundy's failure to pay more than $1 million in grazing fees on federal land.

  • Weibo shares jump in market debut

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    Chinese social media company Weibo Corp.'s shares soared in their U.S. market debut Thursday. Weibo was launched four years ago by Chinese online media company Sina Corp. Weibo provides a Twitter-like service that allows users to post a feed of up to 140 Chinese characters to share with others. Users can also attach multimedia, such as photos and videos, to their posts. The company has 61.4 million average daily active users, according to its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Weibo raised $285.6 million, pricing 16.8 million American depository shares at $17 each. That's a smaller amount than anticipated. Weibo had projected an offering of 20 million shares priced between $17 and $19. Its sh

  • Chipotle plans first price hike in 3 years

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Chipotle is feeling confident that customers are willing to pay more for its burritos, bowls and tacos. The Mexican food chain said Thursday that it would raise prices for the first time in three years as its popularity continues to soar. Menu boards with the new prices should start rolling out in coming weeks and be in place at all restaurants by this summer. Executives have said in the past they were considering a hike of about 3 percent to 5 percent. That translates to an extra 24 cents to 40 cents for an $8 burrito bowl. Jack Hartung, Chipotle's chief financial officer, said during a conference call with analysts that price is not the main reason customers visit its restaurants anyway. "Most

  • Barnes & Noble and IBM are big market movers

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market: NYSE Western Union Co., down 80 cents to $15.25 Wal-Mart announced a new money transfer service catering to its low-income customers, a huge threat to the money transfer chain. Barnes & Noble Inc., down $2.23 to $16.37 Chairman Leonard Riggio sold another sizeable chunk of shares in the bookseller, lowering his total stake to about 20 percent. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., down $32.79 to $519.61 The Mexican food chain said that it will raise prices for the first time in three years. IBM Corp., down $6.39 to $190.

  • Gasoline prices in Arizona at $3.46 per gallon

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    PHOENIX (AP) — Gasoline prices around Arizona are higher again at the pump this week. Officials with Triple-A Arizona said Thursday that the average statewide price for unleaded regular gasoline is $3.46 a gallon. That's up by nearly 4 cents from last week. This week's national average is at $3.65 per gallon, an increase of nearly a nickel from last week. Triple-A analysts say Arizona currently has the nation's ninth-lowest fuel average. Tucson has Arizona's lowest average gasoline price at $3.34 a gallon and Flagstaff has the highest at $3.59. Utah has the lowest average gas prices in the continental U.S. at $3.32 a gallon with California having the highest at $4.19 a gallon.

  • Goldman's income falls 11 percent, but still beats

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Goldman Sachs' earnings fell in the first quarter as bond trading slumped, but the results still came in ahead of what investors expected as other parts of the bank performed well. EARNINGS AND REVENUE: The bank earned $1.95 billion in the quarter, down 11 percent from $2.19 billion in the same period a year earlier. The earnings were equivalent to $4.02 a share, compared with $4.29 in the first quarter of 2013. Revenue totaled $9.33 billion, down 8 percent from $10.09 billion a year earlier. EXPECTATIONS EXCEEDED: Goldman's earnings easily beat the $3.49 a share that analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted. First-quarter revenue also beat analysts' expectations of $8.7 billion. Goldman's stock rose 22

  • Morgan Stanley's income rose 18 percent

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Investment bank Morgan Stanley said Thursday that its first-quarter income rose 18 percent from a year ago, helped by higher earnings in its trading and merger and acquisitions advisory businesses. THE RESULTS: Morgan Stanley earned $1.39 billion, up from $1.18 billion in the same period a year ago. The figures exclude accounting adjustments related to the value of the bank's debt. The earnings were equivalent to 68 cents per share. That easily beat the 61 cents per share analysts were expecting, according to FactSet, a financial data provider. Revenue from continuing operations was $8.8 billion. GAINS ACROSS THE BOARD: All major segments of Morgan Stanley's business increased.

  • Coffee surges on renewed concern about crop

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    The price of coffee surged on Thursday on renewed concerns about the outlook for Brazil's crop. Coffee for July delivery jumped 15.25 cents, or 8.1 percent, to $2.04 per pound. The price of coffee beans has risen about 85 percent this year on concerns that dry weather in Brazil will damage the harvest there. Brazil is the world's largest coffee producer, accounting for about a third of global production, according to the International Coffee Organization. The catalyst for the move higher on Thursday was a crop inspection report from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based coffee importer, Wolthers Douque. The report predicted that 35 percent of the coffee crop would be lost in the South Minas region of Brazil due to unfavorable wea

  • BNSF outlines fertilizer shipment plan to feds

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — BNSF Railway Co. will add trains in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Montana solely for transporting fertilizer for spring crop planting, the railroad has told a federal oversight board. "Simply put, we are working to deliver high volumes of fertilizer into the marketplace as quickly as we can," the railroad said in a mandated response to the Surface Transportation Board that was released Thursday. The federal board this week ordered BNSF and Canadian Pacific Railway to report their plans by Friday to ensure delivery of fertilizer shipments this spring. BNSF beat the deadline. Calgary-based Canadian Pacific had not filed a response by midday Thursday.

  • NYC to change maligned Sandy rebuilding program

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York City is aiming to start reconstruction by the end of the summer on 500 homes that were wrecked during Superstorm Sandy. The mayor unveiled a sweeping report Thursday that examines the city's recovery progress. He made the announcement from a Staten Island neighborhood that was battered by the storm. De Blasio says the Build-It-Back program has been too complex and created confusion among homeowners. He says the city will reform the program by providing financial relief to homeowners and engaging local communities in the rebuilding process. Only nine homes are currently under construction under the federally funded program.

  • Money market fund assets fell by $35.02 billion

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    Total U.S. money market mutual fund assets fell by $35.02 billion to $2.58 trillion for the week that ended Wednesday, according to the Investment Company Institute. Assets in the nation's retail money market mutual funds fell by $5.33 billion to $912.96 billion, the Washington-based mutual fund trade group said Thursday. Assets of taxable money market funds in the retail category fell $2.72 billion to $721.59 billion. Tax-exempt retail fund assets fell $2.61 billion to $191.37 billion. Assets in institutional money market funds fell $29.69 billion to $1.66 trillion. Among institutional funds, taxable money market fund assets fell by $27.19 billion to $1.59 trillion. Assets of tax-exempt funds fell $2.5 billion to $73.06 bill

  • GM 1Q global sales up 2 pct to 2.42M

    Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says it sold 2.42 million cars and trucks in the first three months of the year, keeping it slightly ahead of Volkswagen in the global sales race. The Detroit automaker says its sales grew 2 percent worldwide from January through March. The company was led by 13 percent growth in China. But sales fell 2 percent in North America. Sales leader Toyota has yet to release first quarter numbers but says it's on the way to selling 10.1 million vehicles this year. Volkswagen says it sold 2.4 million vehicles in the first quarter, up almost 6 percent. Toyota finished first last year with a record 9.98 million sales. General Motors Co. finished second and VW third.