Business Highlights

6/11/2015 3:15 PM
By Associated Press

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Murdoch's sons to become CEO, co-chair at 21st Century Fox

NEW YORK (AP) — Rupert Murdoch is preparing to hand over the CEO job at Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. to his son, James, while his other son, Lachlan, will become executive co-chairman, according to a person with direct knowledge with the matter.

Murdoch, 84, one of the world's most powerful media magnates, will become executive chairman and remain deeply involved in the company, while his sons are to run the business in a partnership, the person said.

The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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Union: Hackers have personnel data on every federal employee

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hackers stole personnel data and Social Security numbers for every federal employee, a government worker union said Thursday, saying that the cyber theft of U.S. employee information was more damaging than the Obama administration has acknowledged.

Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, said on the Senate floor that the December hack into Office of Personnel Management data was carried out by "the Chinese" without specifying whether he meant the Chinese government or individuals. Reid is one of eight lawmakers briefed on the most secret intelligence information. U.S. officials have declined to publicly blame China, which has denied involvement.

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Twitter's Dick Costolo stepping down as CEO

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is stepping down and co-founder Jack Dorsey is temporarily taking the reins at the social networking service, which has seen an extended stock slide amid poor financial performance.

Dorsey will serve as interim CEO while Twitter looks for a permanent replacement, the San Francisco company said Thursday.

Investors reacted positively to the move. Twitter shares were up nearly 6 percent in late trading after the announcement. The stock ended regular trading at $35.84, down slightly for the day.

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Whole Foods: New chain to be named for '365' store brand

NEW YORK (AP) — Whole Foods says it will name its new chain of smaller stores with lower prices after its "365 Everyday Value" house brand.

Co-CEO Walter Robb tells The Associated Press that the chain will be named "365 by Whole Foods Market," a nod to the brand already sold by the grocery chain.

He said that while 365 products will anchor the stores, the chain will also have other items, including national brands.

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Unlimited concerts, films or gym classes — for a monthly fee

NEW YORK (AP) — Sip on all the cappuccinos you want, hop from one fitness class to the next, catch a new flick at the movie theater daily or rock out at a concert every night — as long as you pay a monthly fee.

That's the idea behind subscription services Cups, ClassPass, MoviePass and Jukely. They're like Netflix, but for coffee shops, gyms, movie theaters or concerts.

Subscribers pay a monthly fee, and the companies work with the venues, paying them each time a member picks up a coffee or catches a concert.

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US retail sales jump in a sign of more confident consumers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans stepped up their spending at retailers in May, especially for autos, clothes and building materials, in a sign that strong job growth has begun to boost store sales.

Retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent after a 0.2 percent gain in April, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Over the past 12 months, sales have risen a solid 2.7 percent.

The upswing in shopping reflects greater confidence in an economy still shaking off the ravages of a recession that officially ended six years ago. Employers have added more than 3 million jobs over the past year. Yet until last month, many workers appeared to be saving as much of their paychecks as they could.

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Applications for US jobless aid remain low at 279,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose slightly last week, yet remained at a historically low level that points to a healthy job market.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for jobless aid increased 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 279,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 3,750 to 278,750.

Even with the increases, both figures remain at very low levels. The average fell to a 15-year low last month. Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the figures suggest that few Americans are losing their jobs.

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US businesses boost stockpiles 0.4 percent in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses increased their stockpiles in April by the largest amount in nearly a year while their sales posted a second straight healthy advance.

Inventories held by businesses rose 0.4 percent in April compared to March when stockpiles had risen a much smaller 0.1 percent, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. It was the largest increase since a 0.5 percent rise in May 2014.

Total business sales rose 0.6 percent in April following a similar 0.6 percent rise in March. The March performance had been the first sales increase after seven consecutive monthly declines.

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Average US rate on 30-year mortgage jumps to high for year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates jumped this week to their highest levels this year, with the key 30-year rate topping 4 percent for the first time since late 2014.

Rates have been surging amid signs of improvement in the economy, which have pushed bond prices lower and bond yields higher. Mortgage rates often follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which reached a high for the year of 2.49 percent Wednesday. That was up from 2.37 percent a week earlier.

The increase in mortgage rates has come during the height of the spring home buying season.

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Acura recall shows glitch in automatic braking system

Acura has recalled two models because the automatic emergency braking systems can malfunction and put the vehicles at risk of a collision.

The recall involves just under 48,000 MDX SUVs and RLX sedans worldwide from the 2014 and 2015 model years and shows how even sophisticated safety technology can be prone to real-world glitches.

Acura's "Collision Mitigation Braking System" uses radar to scan conditions in front of the vehicles. If it determines the vehicle might hit an object, it automatically applies the brakes, slowing the vehicles to reduce damage and injuries.

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Johnson & Johnson starts project to prevent Type 1 diabetes

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson has begun a research partnership to find the root cause of Type 1 diabetes and stop the hormonal disorder in its tracks. It's the health care giant's first project under its ambitious initiative to prevent or at least intercept and reduce harm from many diseases.

In a collaboration with immunologist and Washington University professor Dr. Emil Unanue and his colleagues, researchers at J&J's Janssen Pharmaceuticals will explore how specific immune system cells are involved in the initiation and progression of Type 1 diabetes.

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In with the old: Apple restores former bank for new store

NEW YORK (AP) — To create the newest Apple store to sell iPhones, smartwatches and other modern gadgetry, Apple took a look back at the 1920s.

The new store on New York's Upper East Side occupies part of a Beaux Arts building that originally housed the U.S. Mortgage & Trust bank. Apple sought to restore some of the building's old grandeur by reproducing the original chandeliers seen in old photographs, restoring marble floors and pilasters and turning a bank vault into a VIP showroom.

It's all part of Apple's effort to keep its stores distinct — not just from other retailers but from each other.

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Court says net neutrality rules will go into effect Friday

NEW YORK (AP) — An appeals court says it won't block net neutrality rules, which will go into effect Friday as a result.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit says the United States Telecom Association, the plaintiffs, did not satisfy the requirements for a stay. The ruling is a setback for the industry, but the litigation against the rules will go on.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said the ruling is a huge win for consumers.

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By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average increased 38.97 points, or 0.2 percent, to 18,039.37. The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 3.66 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,108.86. The Nasdaq composite rose 5.82 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,082.51.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 66 cents to close at $60.77 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil used by many U.S. refineries, fell 59 cents to close at $65.11 in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 0.8 cent to close at $2.138 a gallon. Heating oil fell 2.5 cents to close at $1.921 a gallon. Natural gas fell 6.6 cents to close at $2.825 per 1,000 cubic feet.


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