• Markets Right Now: US stocks edge higher in early trading

    Updated: 25 min ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on global financial markets (all times local): 9:35 a.m. Stocks are opening mostly higher on Wall Street, led by gains in telecommunications companies. Verizon Communications and AT&T each rose about 1 percent in early trading Monday. Apollo Education, which runs the University of Phoenix, jumped 9 percent after a group of investors raised their bid for the company. Baker Hughes rose 1 percent and Halliburton rose 3 percent after the two companies called off their planned merger. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 29 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,807. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained three points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,069. The Nasdaq composite was little chan

  • Energy explorers Haliburton and Baker Hughes abandon merger

    Updated: 51 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Two companies crucial to the business of U.S. energy exploration — Halliburton and Baker Hughes — have abandoned their planned $34 billion merger. The companies and the Justice Department disclosed the plans on Sunday. The department filed suit April 6 to block the merger of Halliburton and Baker Hughes. It claims the transaction would unlawfully eliminate significant competition in almost two dozen markets crucial to the exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the United States. "The companies' decision to abandon this transaction — which would have left many oilfield service markets in the hands of a duopoly — is a victory for the U.S. economy and for all Americans," Attorney G

  • 6 of 9 families return home after natural gas explosion

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Six of nine families have been allowed to return to their homes two days after a natural gas pipeline exploded into a fireball in western Pennsylvania. Spectra Energy Corp. of Houston is working with three other families whose homes were too badly damaged by Friday's explosion to return after the evacuation order was lifted Sunday. That happened after crews drained pressurized gas from three nearby pipelines owned by the same company. That's a precaution needed for crews to begin determining how the fourth line blew up about 8:15 a.m. Friday in Salem Township. Twenty-six-year-old James Baker's home was damaged and he was burned trying to escape the area. He remained in critical condition Monday

  • Alabama governor, senator urge TVA to sell unfinished nuke

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Sen. Richard Shelby are among those urging TVA to sell its unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Plant. Comments released publicly by the Tennessee Valley Authority show Bentley and Shelby along with local officials, some environmental groups and others want the Tennessee Valley Authority to get rid of the facility in northeast Alabama near Hollywood. Documents also show an out-of-state, alternative energy company is interested in purchasing Bellefonte for use as an energy plant. An executive with the firm, Phoenix Energy of Nevada, says it wants to use a new technology to generate electricity at the site. Several environmental groups are urging the federal utility to ke

  • Ohio gas prices climb to average price per gallon of $2.29

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gas prices around Ohio continue going up as the price per gallon starting into the workweek climbed to $2.29. The state average was up 12 cents from $2.17 the previous week in Monday's survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. The average price in Ohio on Monday was 28 cents higher than what it was this time last month. But the average remained below the $2.43 cents reported this time last year. The national average price in Monday's survey was $2.22, compared with $2.06 a month ago. The national average price this time last year was $2.61. ___ Online: AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report: http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.

  • AAA Michigan: Statewide average gas prices rise 13 cents

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says gas prices statewide have risen by about 13 cents a gallon in the past week. The Dearborn-based auto club says Sunday the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was about $2.30 per gallon. That's about 22 cents less than it was at the same point last year. AAA says relatively inexpensive gas prices are boosting driving and 2016 could be a record year for gasoline consumption and annual miles traveled. The lowest average price was about $2.23 per gallon in the Marquette area, while the highest average was about $2.37 per gallon in the Jackson and Lansing areas. AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state. ___ On

  • Companies crucial to energy exploration abandon $34B merger

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Two companies crucial to the business of U.S. energy exploration have abandoned their planned $34 billion merger, according to the Justice Department. The department filed suit April 6 to block the merger of Halliburton and Baker Hughes. It claims the transaction would unlawfully eliminate significant competition in almost two dozen markets crucial to the exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the United States. "The companies' decision to abandon this transaction — which would have left many oilfield service markets in the hands of a duopoly — is a victory for the U.S. economy and for all Americans," Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement on Sunday.

  • Feds approve plan to build gas pipeline for power plant

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    SHAMOKIN DAM, Pa. (AP) — Federal officials have signed off on a plan to build a 34-mile pipeline through five central Pennsylvania counties that will carry natural gas to a power plant being built along the Susquehanna River. Federal energy regulators approved the Sunbury Pipeline Project on Friday. The pipeline would service the power plant being built in Shamokin Dam, about 40 miles north of Harrisburg, and will travel through Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Union and Snyder counties. UGI Energy Services Inc. spokesman Kenneth Robinson says they are pleased with the approval. Construction should begin after state environmental regulators issue the necessary permits.

  • Requests to revisit AEP, FirstEnergy deals in Ohio due

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Opponents are facing a deadline to ask Ohio utility regulators to reconsider their approval of two closely-watched energy deals that allowed two utility companies to impose short-term rate increases to subsidize some older coal-fired and nuclear power plants. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has set Monday as the date for requesting re-hearings on power purchase agreements filed separately by Akron-based FirstEnergy and Columbus-based AEP. Commissioners approved the companies' plans with some changes March 31. In the run-up to those votes, the deals generated mountains of written testimony, websites, email-writing campaigns and sparring television ads. That's because they follow an o

  • New England seen as having ample summer electricity supply

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    HOLYOKE, Mass. (AP) — The operators of New England's power grid are confident the region will have enough resources to meet demand over the summer months. Electricity demand typically spikes during in the summer because of air conditioning use. Holyoke-based ISO New England, which oversees the region's wholesale electricity markets, says supplies should be sufficient even during an extended heat wave. One possible fly in the ointment: ISO says construction and maintenance work scheduled on natural gas pipeline infrastructure could restrict delivery of natural gas to some gas-fired power plants in the region. But the company says it has contingency plans to maintain power system reliability.

  • Qatar bank says some leaked customer data may be accurate

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar's largest bank acknowledged Sunday that some personal customer data that was leaked online may be authentic, and said it has hired an outside expert to review potential vulnerabilities to its computer systems. Files dumped online last week appeared to contain sensitive information involving thousands of Qatar National Bank customers, including bank logins, passwords, security questions and answers, credit card numbers, national identification numbers, phone numbers and email addresses. The bank previously said only that it was investigating an alleged breach.

  • Settlement of coastal oil suits? Industry groups say no

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A business lobbying group and oil industry organizations are publicly denying speculation that energy companies are negotiating with public officials to settle lawsuits over damage to Louisiana's coast. The statement comes from the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association and the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association. It notes that Gov. John Bel Edwards and Attorney General Jeff Landry have moved to intervene in lawsuits filed by three coastal parishes seeking compensation for alleged state permit violations, coastal damage and pollution. The industry groups said Friday that Louisiana's intervention does not mean settlement talks are happening.

  • Offer to restore power at shuttered state park rejected

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois utility has rejected a local park district's offer to cover the unpaid electric bills at a state park that was recently closed under the ongoing budget impasse. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources temporarily shuttered Ramsey Lake State Recreation Area in Fayette County and Horseshoe Lake State Park in Granite City in April. The Belleville News-Democrat (bit.ly/1O6ITDu ) reports that the Metro East Park and Recreation District offered to pay the trash and electricity bills at Horseshoe Lake during the state budget stalemate.

  • Saudi Binladin Group employees set fire to buses in protest

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Employees at the Saudi Binladin Group, a construction giant, have set fire to more than seven company buses in the latest protest by disgruntled staff over not being paid salaries for months and a large round of reported layoffs. Maj. Nayef al-Sharif, the spokesman for the Civil Defense in the city of Mecca, said late Saturday that firefighters put out the blaze without any injuries reported. The Binladin Group has not issued any statements about the reported layoffs or the unrest. Calls and an email request for comment to the company were not immediately returned.

  • South Korean president visits Iran to boost ties

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — South Korea's president arrived in Tehran on Sunday for the first summit between the two countries since they established diplomatic ties in 1962. President Park Geun-hye's office said ahead of the three-day visit that she would hold talks with her Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on the Korean Peninsula and ways to promote bilateral ties. Iran's state news agency IRNA says Rouhani will hold a welcoming ceremony Monday. IRNA says over 230 business executives are accompanying Park. Iran has been seeking to integrate into the global financial system and improve ties with other countries since nuclear-related sanctions were lifted in January under a landmark deal with world powers.

  • Magnitude 3.5 earthquake rattles parts of northern Oklahoma

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    FAIRVIEW, Okla. (AP) — An earthquake has shaken parts of northern Oklahoma. The U.S. Geological Survey says the 3.5 magnitude quake was recorded at 8:06 a.m. Sunday about 16 miles northwest of Fairview in Major County, about 100 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. The temblor was recorded at a depth of three miles. No injuries or damage were immediately reported. Geologists say damage is not likely in quakes below magnitude 4.0. The number of magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes in Oklahoma has risen from a few dozen in 2012 to more than 900 last year. Scientists have linked the increase to underground disposal of wastewater from oil-and-gas production. State regulators are asking oil and gas companies to reduce t

  • Feds seek public input on oil-and-gas leasing in Ohio forest


    ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — A federal agency is seeking public comments on a draft environmental assessment of proposed oil and gas leasing in Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio. The Bureau of Land Management opened a comment period this week. Documents will be available for review until May 29. The environmental report analyzes impacts on about 40,000 acres underlying the forest. The agency says it is assessing a broader area than would be opened to drilling to avoid having to do a separate report on each individual lease request. Oil and gas companies told the bureau that they wanted to drill beneath the forest in 2011.

  • Iraq says oil exports, revenues increase in April


    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq says April crude oil exports have increased by 2.3 percent from the previous month, filling cash-strapped coffers amid an acute economic crisis. Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad, said Sunday that daily oil exports averaged 3.364 million barrels last month, worth $3.343 billion. March exports stood at 3.286 million barrels per day, bringing that month's revenues to $2.9 billion. Jihad added that last month's average price was $33.257 per barrel. Iraq's 2016 budget is based on an expected price of $45 per barrel. Iraq holds the world's fourth largest oil reserves, and oil revenues make up nearly 95 percent of its budget. Its economy was badly hit by the plunge in oil prices at a time when Baghdad i

  • As chemical weapons stockpiles shrink, OPCW eyes new threats


    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — With about 92 percent of the world's declared chemical weapons stockpiles destroyed, the watchdog agency overseeing the elimination of poison gas and nerve agents is looking now to counter emerging threats from extremist groups while still dealing with unfinished business in Syria. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is marking the April 29, 1997, entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/CWC/CWC_en.pdf with a three-day conference starting Monday focusing on chemical safety and security. It appears, in the future, extremists and criminals seem more likely than nations to launch chemical attacks.

  • Futures File: All that glitters is not gold; sometimes it’s silver, too

    Published: Sun, May 1, 2016

    Walt and Alex Breitinger: As a result of general economic fears and ongoing expectations of low interest rates, investors flocked toward gold and silver while dumping stocks.