• US stocks drop; strong jobs report raises rate hike prospect

    Updated: 15 min ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks dropped on Friday as another strong U.S. jobs survey raised the likelihood that the Federal Reserve would start to raise interest rates later this year. The dollar jumped and U.S. government bond prices fell after the report. KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 21 points, or 1 percent, to 2,079 as of 11:57 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 196 points, or 1.1 percent, to 17,940. The Nasdaq composite fell 40 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,942. MORE JOBS: U.S. employers extended a healthy streak of hiring in February by adding 295,000 jobs, the 12th straight monthly gain above 200,000. The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent from

  • Apple will replace AT&T in the Dow Jones industrial average

    Updated: 17 min ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — In the Dow's elite club, Apple is in and AT&T is out. Apple will replace AT&T in the Dow Jones industrial average after the close of trading on Wednesday, March 18, the manager of the index announced early Friday. Apple will start trading as part of the 30-stock Dow at the opening of trading the next day. THE REASON S&P Dow Jones Indices, the index manager, said it's making the move in response to a planned stock split for Visa, another member of the 119-year old barometer of the stock market. After its four-to-one stock split, Visa will wind up with a lower price. S&P said that would reduce the weight of the information technology sector in the Dow, because Visa, a credit-card and payment-processing

  • Prospect of higher interest rates sends stocks, bonds lower

    Updated: 21 min ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The prospect of higher interest rates is sending U.S. stock and bond prices lower in midday trading. Yields on long-term U.S. government bonds rose sharply Friday after the Labor Department reported a surge in hiring last month. That raised the likelihood that the Federal Reserve could raise rates this summer. Stocks also fell, sending the Dow Jones industrial average down 200 points, or 1.1 percent, to 17,935 as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 22 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,078. The Nasdaq fell 44 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,938. Apple rose 1 percent on news that the company would join the Dow, replacing AT&T. AT&T fell 1.5 percent. The yield on the 10-ye

  • Runways open at LaGuardia after plane that skidded removed

    Updated: 30 min ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The rough landing of a Delta jetliner at LaGuardia Airport in a driving snowstorm just minutes after the runway had been plowed has raised questions about when airports should close runways due to snow or ice. Six people were hurt when the plane skidded off a runaway at midday Thursday and crashed through a chain-link fence, its nose coming to rest just feet from the roiling waters of an icy bay. The plane was removed with cranes overnight and taken to a hangar, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airport, said Friday. The affected runway was reopened at about 10:30 a.m. Friday, according to Port Authority spokesman Joe Pentangelo. The airport's other runway was reopened about

  • Restaurants and bars drove US job growth in February

    Updated: 31 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — It's been an extended happy hour at U.S. bars and restaurants, which led hiring gains last month. U.S. dining establishments added 58,700 jobs in February, the Labor Department said Friday. It was a sign that solid job growth — more than 3 million positions added over the past 12 months — is causing more consumers to splurge on lunches, lattes and dinners. The additional spending should help power overall economic growth, given that consumers account for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity. All told, employers added 295,000 jobs in February, and the unemployment rate dipped from 5.7 percent to 5.5 percent, the lowest level in nearly six years.

  • Lew tells Congress of emergency measures to avoid debt limit

    Updated: 34 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is telling Congress that he will start using the package of emergency measures he has used in the past to keep the federal government from going over the debt limit next week. The debt limit has been suspended for the past year, meaning that Treasury could borrow as much as it needed to keep running the government. But the limit will go back into effect on Monday at whatever level of debt exists at that point. The nation's debt currently stands at $18.1 trillion. Once the limit is reimposed, Treasury can employ certain accounting measures to buy time to keep the government operating without going over the debt ceiling. Lew says he will take the first of those measures on

  • Wisconsin Assembly sends right-to-work bill to Gov. Walker

    Updated: 49 min ago

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin lawmakers voted Friday to make their state the 25th to enact right-to-work legislation, pushing a fast-tracked bill through the Assembly after an overnight debate and sending it on to Gov. Scott Walker for his promised signature. The Republican governor, a likely 2016 presidential candidate who rose to national prominence by taking on public-sector unions four years ago, plans to sign it Monday. Walker was scheduled to be in Iowa for an agriculture summit on Saturday that's attracting other likely Republican presidential candidates. The Assembly passed the bill 62-35 after a marathon session that included about 20 hours of debate. It was a straight party-line vote, with no Democrats backing th

  • Solid US jobs report: 295K positions added; rate at 5.5 pct.

    Updated: 54 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A burst of hiring in February underscored the resilience and confidence of U.S. businesses, which are adding workers at the fastest pace in 17 years. Yet the strong job gains did little to raise wages last month. The unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent, the government said Friday. But the rate declined mainly because some people out of work stopped looking for jobs and were no longer counted as unemployed. The average hourly wage rose just 3 cents to $24.78 an hour. Average hourly pay has now risen just 2 percent over the past 12 months, barely ahead of inflation. Still, over that time, 3.3 million more Americans have gotten jobs. More jobs and lower gas prices have led many consum

  • Hyundai recall: Water leak can cause gear shift problem

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — Hyundai is recalling more than 26,000 Genesis luxury cars in the U.S. and Canada to fix a water leak that can cause the transmission gear shifter to malfunction. The recall covers cars from the 2015 model year. Water can leak into the rear light assembly. In rare cases that can cause delays in gear shifting or display the wrong gear on the instrument panel. The gear selector is connected electrically to the rear lights. Hyundai says in government documents that the incorrect gear can increase the risk of the cars moving unexpectedly and causing a crash. The company says it has no reports of any crashes or injuries from the problem. Dealers will install pads to stop the water leak at no cost to the owner

  • NBC brings back former news president

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — NBC has changed the leadership of its troubled news division by bringing back the executive who led the network out of a dark period two decades ago. The hiring of Andy Lack as chairman of NBC News and MSNBC was announced Friday in a memo to staff from NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke. Lack, who was NBC News president from 1993 to 2001, subsequently ran Sony Music Entertainment, worked at Bloomberg Media and most recently has been head of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a federal agency. Among Lack's first duties will be deciding the future of Brian Williams, who is serving an unpaid six-month suspension for misrepresenting his role covering the Iraq War in 2003 and is the subject of an ongoing internal in

  • FDA approves first lower-cost biotech drug

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials have approved the first lower-cost copy of a biotech drug to reach the U.S. market, a long-awaited milestone that could generate billions in savings for insurers, doctors and patients. Biotech drugs are powerful, injected medicines produced in living cells. They are typically much more expensive than traditional chemical-based drugs. The Food and Drug Administration approval of Novartis' version of the blockbuster drug Neupogen paves the way for a new market of quasi-generic biotech medicines. Express Scripts, the country's largest prescription benefit manager, estimates Novartis' version of the Amgen drug could save the U.S. health system $5.7 billion over the next decade.

  • Vermont raises concerns about nuclear plant decommissioning

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont is asking federal nuclear regulators to require the owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant to address concerns about Entergy's plans for cleaning up the site. The Vermont attorney general, Department of Public Service, Agency of Natural Resources and Department of Health filed comments with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Friday. They are concerned that Entergy has not done enough work to determine what contamination exists and may not have enough money to cover the decommissioning. Vermont Yankee's fund has about half the amount expected to be needed. The NRC allows retired plants to take up to 60 years to complete decommissioning.

  • Nissan recalls more Altimas for hood latch problem

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — Nissan is recalling 640,000 more cars in the U.S. and Canada to fix a growing problem with faulty latches that can allow hoods to fly open while cars are being driven. The latest recall covers Altima midsize sedans from the 2013 through 2015 model years, bringing the total number of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles recalled for the problem to nearly 1.1 million worldwide. In documents posted Friday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Nissan said that if the main latch isn't fastened, the secondary latch may not hold the hood closed as designed. Friday's recall covers Altimas built from March 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2014. In October of last year, Nissan recalled 238,000 Altimas from the 2

  • Illinois oil train derailment involved safer tank cars

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    GALENA, Ill. (AP) — The two rail cars that split open and burst into flames during a western Illinois oil train derailment were retrofitted with protective shields to meet a higher safety standard than federal law requires, the railroad said. Thursday's accident in a rural area south of the city of Galena is the latest failure of the safer tank car model and raises more concerns that even tougher requirements are needed. Six of the BNSF Railway train's 105 cars derailed in an area where the Galena River meets the Mississippi. Two of those cars burst into flames. No injuries have been reported.

  • 4 members of FDA tobacco panel leave after court ruling

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Four members of Food and Drug Administration's tobacco advisory panel, including its chairman, have left after a federal judge ruled some of its members had conflicts of interest, the agency said. Members of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee were rescreened after the court ruling and either resigned or were removed from the panel responsible for advising the agency on tobacco-related issues, Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, said late Thursday in a statement. In July, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon in Washington, D.C., ordered the FDA to reconstitute the panel and barred the agency from using its 2011 report on menthol cigarettes.

  • US trade deficit in January falls 8.3 pct. to $41.8 billion

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit in January dropped sharply as both exports and imports fell. The Commerce Department said Friday that the deficit fell 8.3 percent to $41.8 billion in January from $45.6 billion in December. The shrinking trade gap reflected a drop in exports, which fell $5.6 billion to $189.4 billion. Imports fell $9.4 billion to $231.1 billion. Much of the dip in imports likely came from lower oil prices and a labor dispute that disrupted shipping at West Coast ports. At the same time, the strong dollar that has made American-made goods less affordable abroad is weighing down exports. The trade deficit reached $505 billion last year, up 6 percent from the 2013 deficit of $476.4 billion. It wa

  • Daimler to build van plant in US, creaking 1,300 jobs

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    LADSON, S.C. (AP) — Daimler AG says it will spend about $500 million and create 1,300 jobs with a new plant near Charleston that will build its Sprinter vans. The company issued a news release Friday morning. It is making the formal announcement at the existing plant in Ladson, which is about 30 miles from Charleston. Currently, the Ladson plant assembles vans under the Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner brands from parts made overseas and shipped to this country in kits. Construction on the new plant is supposed to start in 2016.

  • Hiring burst sends bond prices lower, dollar higher

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — News of a burst of hiring last month sent bond prices lower and the dollar higher in early trading in the U.S., while the stock market opened lower. Apple rose 1 percent early Friday after it was announced that the company would be joining the Dow Jones industrial average, replacing AT&T. AT&T fell 1 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 107 points, or 0.6 percent, to 18,024 as of 9:35 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 lost nine points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,091. The Nasdaq fell 10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,971. Bond prices fell, sending yields higher, after the Labor Department reported that U.S. employers extended a healthy streak of hiring in February. That could give

  • For virtual reality creators, a question of control

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — At the Game Developers Conference, it's easy to imagine what virtual reality will look like when it eventually hits the marketplace. What it will feel like, however, is an entirely different matter. From wand-shaped controllers to motion-detecting sensors, VR creators are trying out all sorts of input methods on the road to bringing the immersive technology into consumers' homes. For decades, to interact with virtual worlds depicted on television and computer screens, gamers had to rely on either hand-held controllers with an assortment of buttons, directional pads and analog sticks, or a keyboard coupled with a mouse.

  • Daimler spending $500 million for van plant in South Carolina; will create 1,300 jobs

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Daimler spending $500 million for van plant in South Carolina; will create 1,300 jobs.