• Two incompatible gun ballot measures lead in Washington state

    Reuters - 16 minutes ago

    By Jonathan Kaminsky OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) - Two incompatible ballot measures on background checks for gun buyers in Washington state enjoy majority support in a poll released on Tuesday, but the one advancing stricter gun controls is more popular. They are the latest touchstones in a longstanding fight over background checks on gun buyers. The debate hinges on whether their expansion constitutes a common-sense approach to keeping guns away from criminals and the mentally unstable or a first step in broader restrictions on gun ownership. Initiative 594 would require all firearm sales, including those at gun shows and conducted online, to be predicated on a background check of the buyer. More »Two incompatible gun ballot measures lead in Washington state

  • Official: 6 subpoenas in NY stock trade probe

    Associated Press - 17 minutes ago

    An official familiar with the investigation says the New York Attorney General's Office has issued subpoenas to six firms and sent a letter to another for details about split-second stock trading and any ... More »Official: 6 subpoenas in NY stock trade probe

  • Hot models at this year's New York Auto Show

    Associated Press - 22 minutes ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the U.S. auto industry. Here are some of the vehicles debuting this year. The show opens to the public Friday. More »Hot models at this year's New York Auto Show

  • Obama, Biden announce $600M for job grants

    Associated Press - 22 minutes ago

    OAKDALE, Pa. (AP) — Emphasizing skills training as key to a growing middle class, President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced $600 million in competitive grants to spur creation of targeted training and apprenticeship programs to help people land good-paying jobs. More »Obama, Biden announce $600M for job grants

  • Detroit pension deal approved by one retirement system

    Reuters - 24 minutes ago

    (Reuters) - The board of Detroit's General Retirement System on Wednesday approved economic terms of a settlement with the city that include cuts to pension benefits, putting in place another key component of Detroit's effort to exit bankruptcy by October. The city also has a tentative pact with its other pension fund, the Detroit Police and Fire Retirement System, whose board is expected to vote later this week. Together, the two pension funds represent some 23,000 active members and retirees. The tentative settlement with the General Retirement System, reached during a mediation session late on Tuesday, would cut pensions for general city workers and retirees by 4.5 percent and eliminate cost-of-living adjustments, the retirement system said in a statement. More »Detroit pension deal approved by one retirement system

  • SanDisk sees solid-state drives boosting margins

    Reuters - 27 minutes ago

    By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - SanDisk Corp increased its gross margin outlook for 2014 as fast-growing sales of its high-end solid-state drives helped offset volatile prices for memory chips, sending its shares higher. Shares of SanDisk jumped more than 6 percent in after-hours trade on Wednesday after the chipmaker said that, due to an improved product mix, it was increasing its 2014 gross margin target range to between 47 percent and 49 percent. SanDisk's NAND memory chips are widely used in smartphones, cameras and other mobile devices to store music, pictures and other data. Increasingly the company is using its chips to build and sell its own solid-state drives directly to companies and consumers. More »SanDisk sees solid-state drives boosting margins

  • GM faced a Cadillac ignition switch issue in 2006

    Reuters - 29 minutes ago

    By Paul Lienert and Eric Beech DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors engineers reported accidentally turning off ignition switches in a Cadillac SRX with their knees more than eight years ago, and they ordered a similar fix to a similar problem in smaller, cheaper cars linked to 13 deaths, according to documents from parts maker Delphi Automotive. The documents, provided to U.S. safety regulators, show GM used the same part, from the Cadillac Catera, to make ignition switches more difficult to turn off on the 2007 Cadillac SRX and the 2007 Saturn Ion and Chevrolet Cobalt. The documents are the first indication that GM's luxury Cadillac brand may have experienced ignition-switch problems similar to those that triggered the recall earlier this year of 2.6 million GM compacts, including the Cobalt and Ion. GM did not immediately respond to requests for clarification. More »GM faced a Cadillac ignition switch issue in 2006

  • GM exploring compensation program for recall: lawyer

    Reuters - 29 minutes ago

    The lawyer, Kenneth Feinberg, said in an interview on CNBC that, based on his initial conversations with GM, "they are asking for me to help develop some sort of program that might be used to compensate eligible claimants." GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said in testimony before Congress on April 1 that the company had hired Feinberg to help explore its options following the recall. GM since then has declined to say whether it would be creating some kind of victims compensation fund, which some members of Congress and consumers have been pushing for. In a related development on Wednesday, GM said it would ask a federal court to bar lawsuits related to actions before its 2009 bankruptcy, signaling a tougher stance toward legal claims stemming from the recall. GM declined to comment directly on Feinberg's remarks. More »GM exploring compensation program for recall: lawyer

  • GM to seek court protection against ignition lawsuits

    Reuters - 29 minutes ago

    GM has said it is protected from liability for claims related to incidents that occurred before it exited bankruptcy in 2009, and has taken steps to raise those issues with the court by filing motions to stay recall-related lawsuits while it asks that bankruptcy court to clarify the extent of that protection. In a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Tuesday, GM asked for a stay on litigation related to ignition claims until a judicial panel on multidistrict litigation decides on a motion to consolidate the case with other lawsuits and the bankruptcy court rules on whether the claims violate GM's 2009 bankruptcy sale order. The company earlier filed a similar motion with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeking a stay on pending litigation. The defect has been linked to the deaths of at least 13 people and the recall of 2.6 million GM vehicles. More »GM to seek court protection against ignition lawsuits

  • How the Dow Jones industrial average fared

    Associated Press - 40 minutes ago

    Stocks closed higher for the third day in a row on Wednesday as investors welcomed a crop of solid company earnings and encouraging economic news from China and the U.S. The major stock indexes hit their ... More »How the Dow Jones industrial average fared

  • Wisconsin passes law to curb private custody transfers of children

    Reuters - 44 minutes ago

    By Megan Twohey NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wisconsin has adopted a law to limit private custody transfers of children, the first law of its kind in the United States, responding to a Reuters investigation that exposed the dangers of the unregulated practice. Reuters reported in September that parents were transferring custody of their unwanted adopted children to strangers met on the Internet, often with no government oversight and sometimes illegally. No state or federal laws specifically prohibit the practice, which is known as "re-homing. ... More »Wisconsin passes law to curb private custody transfers of children

  • Capital One Financial's profit edges up

    Associated Press - 45 minutes ago

    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 ... More »Capital One Financial's profit edges up

  • Nigerian military says most of abducted schoolgirls freed

    52 minutes ago

    ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria's military said on Wednesday its forces had freed most of the schoolgirls abducted by Islamist Boko Haram militants, and were continuing the search for eight students still missing. "With this development, the Principal of the school has confirmed that only 8 of the students are still missing," armed forces spokesman Major General Chris Olukolade said in a statement sent to media. He did not specify exactly how many of the girls had been rescued, but said one of the "terrorists" involved in the abduction had been captured. ... More »Nigerian military says most of abducted schoolgirls freed

  • US stocks close higher for third day in a row

    Associated Press - 53 minutes ago

    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. More »US stocks close higher for third day in a row

  • Obama, Biden visit Pennsylvania to promote job-training plan

    Reuters - 54 minutes ago

    By Steve Holland OAKDALE, Penn. (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden took a trip to a Pennsylvania community college on Wednesday to promote a plan to train workers for skills they need for hard-to-fill jobs. For security reasons, Obama and Biden flew in separate planes for the event in this suburb of Pittsburgh but rode in the same limousine from the airport and appeared together at the Community College of Allegheny County. With the visit, they put a renewed emphasis on the U.S. economy after the Obama administration last week met the early enrollment benchmarks for Obama's healthcare law months after the disastrous rollout of Healthcare.Gov. Obama told an audience that some jobs lost to overseas competition in recent decades are coming back to the United States but that they are sometimes hard to fill because workers lack the skills. "In today's economy it has never been more important to make sure that our folks are trained for the jobs that are there and for the jobs in the future," Obama said. More »Obama, Biden visit Pennsylvania to promote job-training plan

  • Gap outlines growth plans for China

    Associated Press - 54 minutes ago

    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 ... More »Gap outlines growth plans for China

  • U.S. SEC releases cyber security examination blueprint

    Reuters - 1 hour 2 minutes ago

    By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators have unveiled a road map that lays out how they plan to make sure Wall Street firms are prepared to detect and prevent cyber security attacks. The SEC also plans examinations of more than 50 firms that will focus on cyber security-specific issues. The document's release comes several months after Jane Jarcho, an associate director in the SEC's investment adviser examination program, announced in a speech the agency planned to scrutinize whether firms have policies to prevent cyber attacks. The SEC subsequently followed up with a March 26 roundtable where experts debated how public companies, brokerages, asset managers and exchanges can protect themselves from cyber threats, and what role the U.S. government should play to ensure such attacks are adequately disclosed. More »U.S. SEC releases cyber security examination blueprint

  • IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump

    Associated Press - 1 hour 2 minutes ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — IBM's first-quarter earnings fell and revenue came in below Wall Street's expectations amid an ongoing decline in its hardware business, one that was exasperated by weaker demand in China and emerging markets. More »IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump

  • China's Xi purging corrupt officials to put own men in place: sources

    Reuters - 1 hour 5 minutes ago

    By Benjamin Kang Lim and Megha Rajagopalan BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to use a purge of senior officials suspected of corruption to put his own men and reform-minded bureaucrats into key positions across the Communist Party, the government and the military, sources said. Xi hopes that removing corrupt officials and those resisting change will allow him to consolidate his grip on power and implement difficult economic, judicial and military reforms that he believes are vital to perpetuate one-party rule, said the sources, who have ties to the leadership. In the most far-reaching example of his intentions, Xi plans to promote about 200 progressive officials from the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang, where he served as party boss from 2002 to 2007, to senior positions across the spectrum in the years ahead, two of them said. The biggest investigation Xi has ordered so far revolves around retired domestic security tsar Zhou Yongkang, who is under virtual house arrest. More »China's Xi purging corrupt officials to put own men in place: sources

  • Google first-quarter revenue misses Wall Street targets

    Reuters - 1 hour 18 minutes ago

    By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc's first-quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street targets and margins narrowed as the price of its ads continued to decline, pushing its shares sharply lower. Shares of Google were down 5.7 percent at $525 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. The number of "paid clicks" by consumers on Google's ads increased by 26 percent in the first quarter, disappointing some analysts that had hoped for stronger volume growth. ... More »Google first-quarter revenue misses Wall Street targets

  • Google's 1Q earnings disappoint as ad prices slip

    Associated Press - 1 hour 21 minutes ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's first-quarter earnings growth faltered as the Internet company dealt with a persistent downturn in advertising prices while spending more money to hire employees and invest in daring ideas. More »Google's 1Q earnings disappoint as ad prices slip

  • Weak U.S. prices, not inflation, the threat now: Fed's Yellen

    Reuters - 1 hour 21 minutes ago

    By Jonathan Spicer NEW YORK (Reuters) - Persistently low inflation poses a more immediate threat to the U.S. economy than rising prices, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday, stressing that the U.S. central bank would be delivering policy stimulus for some time to come. In her second public speech since taking the Fed's helm, Yellen was careful not to predict when interest rates would rise from near zero. Instead, she stressed the decision would hinge on healing in the labor market and on how briskly inflation rises toward the Fed's 2 percent goal. Yellen's relatively staid remarks to the Economic Club of New York intensified somewhat when Martin Feldstein, a Harvard University professor and former adviser to President Ronald Reagan, asked her whether she would let inflation creep above 2 percent to give the economy a bit more support. More »Weak U.S. prices, not inflation, the threat now: Fed's Yellen

  • AmEx posts higher 1Q profit as spending picks up

    Associated Press - 1 hour 24 minutes ago

    American Express says its net income climbed 12 percent in the first quarter, helped by higher spending by its cardholders even as cold winter weather gripped much of the country. The New York-based company ... More »AmEx posts higher 1Q profit as spending picks up

  • IBM posts lower 1Q earnings, revenue

    Associated Press - 1 hour 40 minutes ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — IBM says its first-quarter earnings fell because of a large charge related to reorganizing its work force. Revenue fell amid an ongoing decline in its hardware business. More »IBM posts lower 1Q earnings, revenue

  • IBM reports lowest quarterly revenue in five years as hardware sales fall

    Reuters - 13 minutes ago

    IBM Corp reported its lowest quarterly revenue in five years as the company struggles with falling demand for its storage and server products. They have missed so many times, it's hard to keep track of it," said Fred Hickey, editor of The High-Tech Strategist newsletter, which is widely read by investors. Revenue from the hardware business, which includes servers and systems storage, plunged 23 percent to $2.4 billion. The company has been restructuring its business by cutting jobs and selling its low-end server business to Chinese PC maker Lenovo Group Ltd for $2.3 billion in January. More »IBM reports lowest quarterly revenue in five years as hardware sales fall

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