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Tonight: Mostly cloudy and not as cold with a low in the lower 40s. A light south wind.
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Dolly Tells Don About Her New Resort
Dolly Tells Don About Her New ResortMonday, August 26 2013, 01:08 PM EDT
More Business News
Last Update on March 14, 2014 07:28 GMT
HONG KONG (AP) -- Asian stocks followed Wall Street lower today on lingering concerns about weakness in the Chinese economy and tensions in Ukraine.
Regional benchmarks took their lead from the Dow Jones industrial average, which had its worst day in six weeks.
Worries that world's No. 2 economy is entering a deeper slowdown were heightened after data released Thursday showed Chinese industrial production and retail sales grew slower than analysts expected. At the same time, Premier Li Keqiang (lee kuh-TYAHNG') signaled that China's leaders are "not preoccupied" with hitting the official 7.5 percent economic growth target.
Investors are also retreating from risky investments such as stocks ahead of a public referendum in Crimea on Sunday to decide whether to break away from Ukraine and become part of Russia.
The dollar lost ground against the euro and the yen.
Benchmark crude oil edged up to remain just above $98 a barrel.
ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
Major business and economic reports today
WASHINGTON -- There's only one major government report due out. The Labor Department will release the Producer Price Index for February. In January, the cost of producing goods and services rose slightly, with higher food prices partly offset by cheaper gas. Overall, inflation remained mild. The PPI, which tracks prices before they reach consumers, rose 0.2 percent. In the past year, producer prices have risen just 1.2 percent, well below the Federal Reserve's preferred target.
SAC CAPITAL-ANALYST SETTLEMENT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- An analyst who worked for an affiliate of SAC Capital Advisors, the firm at the center of one of the biggest insider-trading cases in history, is being barred from the securities industry to settle civil charges of profiting from confidential information.
Ronald Dennis also agreed to pay $203,000 in the settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Thursday. The SEC said Dennis got details on coming announcements by Dell and Foundry Networks and used the information to make illegal trades in the companies' stock.
Dennis neither admitted nor denied the allegations.
SAC Capital, the hedge fund owned by Steven A. Cohen, pleaded guilty in November to fraud charges. Eight portfolio managers and research analysts have been convicted or pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the case.
GULF OIL SPILL-GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The oil company behind the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history can once again perform work for the federal government.
Under an agreement announced Thursday, more than two dozen BP entities and its Houston-based oil production and exploration arm can secure new government contracts. The company had been suspended from performing any new government work since November 2012. That's when BP agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges involving the death of 11 workers and lying to Congress about how much oil was spilling into the Gulf of Mexico.
For five years, BP will have to abide by a series of ethics, safety and other requirements. An independent auditor will also verify its compliance with the deal.
The company also agreed Thursday to drop its lawsuit challenging the suspension.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress is sending President Barack Obama a bill to ease big flood insurance premium increases faced by hundreds of thousands of homeowners and allow below-market rates to be passed on to people buying homes with taxpayer-subsidized policies.
The measure breezed through the Senate and on to Obama's desk Thursday on a 72-22 vote. The House passed it last week.
The legislation significantly rewrites a major overhaul of the flood insurance program passed two years ago. The 2012 changes were aimed at weaning hundreds of thousands of homeowners off of subsidized rates and required extensive updating of flood maps used to set premiums.
But its implementation has stirred anxiety among many homeowners along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and in flood plains, many of whom are threatened with unaffordable rate increases.
FOR PROFIT COLLEGES
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration is proposing new rules designed to protect students at for-profit colleges from amassing huge debt they can't pay off.
Previous rules wound up being thrown out by a federal judge
The latest version would penalize programs that produce graduates without the training needed to find a job with a salary that will allow them to pay off their debt. All schools, for-profit or not, that don't comply would lose access to the federal student aid programs.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan says too many of the programs failed to provide proper training and do it at taxpayer's expense.
The regulations, which would take effect in 2016, will face a vigorous fight from the for-profit college lobby.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he's called President Barack Obama to express his frustration over what he says is long-lasting damage caused by the U.S. government's surveillance programs.
Posting on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg wrote Thursday that he's "been so confused and frustrated by the repeated reports of the behavior of the U.S. government." He adds that when Facebook's "engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we're protecting you against criminals, not our own government."
The post comes a day after the news site Intercept reported that the National Security Agency has impersonated a Facebook server to infect surveillance targets' computers and get files from a hard drive. The NSA says the report is "inaccurate."
White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden confirmed that the president spoke with Zuckerberg.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Jurors in the first criminal trial to result from Bernard Madoff's epic fraud may soon start weighing whether five of his former employees were his conspirators or his dupes.
A Manhattan federal jury could start deliberating as soon as Friday in the five-month-long trial. Closing arguments are expected to wrap up, followed by lengthy legal instructions and possibly the start of deliberations.
Madoff has said he acted alone in cheating thousands of investors out of nearly $20 billion in a decades-long Ponzi scheme. But federal prosecutors say five back-office subordinates gave him vital help in weaving his financial fiction.
The defendants say they, like Madoff's investors, were fooled by a master at deceit.
Madoff pleaded guilty and is serving a 150-year prison sentence.
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