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Business/Economy

  • LANB expands Albuquerque office

    Los Alamos National Bank is moving its 600 square-foot Albuquerque loan production office into a 1,600-square-foot facility at 6801 Jefferson NE.
    LANB has maintained the loan production office for four years in Albuquerque’s Uptown sector and this move will allow the bank to provide additional lenders as well as teller and deposit services, President Steve Wells said.
    “We believe in New Mexico and we believe lending to small business is the solution to economic recovery and we think there’s a lot of opportunity for lending in Albuquerque,” Wells said.
    Ten onsite and eight auxiliary employees will service the bank’s Albuquerque customers when the doors to the new facility open Nov. 14.

  • Apps for unemployment benefits dip; job growth remains elusive

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell last week, though the decline isn't enough to signal improvement in the job market.

    Weekly applications dropped by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 423,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

    The four-week average, a less volatile figure, rose slightly for the fifth straight week to 421,000.

    Applications typically need to fall below 375,000 to signal sustainable job growth. They haven't been that low since February.

    "September is shaping up to be another difficult month for the job market," said Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody's Analytics.

  • Forecasts point to modest holiday growth

    NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers just got an early Christmas gift: Americans are expected to spend more than they did last year during the holidays.

    Retail revenue in November and December is expected to be up 3 percent during what is traditionally the biggest shopping period of the year, according to research firm ShopperTrak said Tuesday.

    The sales prediction, which matches the outlook from the International Council of Shopping Centers on Friday, would be below last year's 4.1 percent spike — and the 5-plus percent gains during boom economic times. But it's still above the 2.6 percent average gain over the last 10 years and is considered respectable growth given the down economy.

  • Dow falls 391 on worldwide fears about economy--video extra

    NEW YORK (AP) — Investors began giving in to fears Thursday that a global recession is already under way, and stock markets shuddered around the world. Selling started in Asia, picked up speed in Europe and sent Wall Street near its worst finish of the year.

    The Dow Jones industrial average lost 391 points and at one point was down more than 500, a return to the volatility that gripped the market this summer.

    One financial indicator after another showed that investors are losing hope that the global economy can keep growing. The price of oil and metals such as copper, which depend on economic demand, fell sharply. Traders bought Treasury bonds and the dollar for safety.

  • Feds declare LA disaster area

    Eight northern New Mexico counties that suffered economic devastation by this summer’s Las Conchas Fire are eligible for assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

    The SBA acted under its own authority to declare the region a disaster area following a Sept. 9 request from Gov. Susana Martinez. The federal disaster declaration enables the SBA to offer low-interest, federal disaster loans to local small businesses and private, non-profit organizations that were economically impacted by the fire, which officially burned from June 26-Aug. 3.  

  • Obama admin reworked Solyndra loan to favor donor--video extras

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration restructured a half-billion dollar federal loan to a troubled solar energy company in such a way that private investors — including a fundraiser for President Barack Obama — moved ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of a default, government records show.

    Administration officials defended the loan restructuring, saying that without an infusion of cash earlier this year, solar panel maker Solyndra Inc. would likely have faced immediate bankruptcy, putting more than 1,000 people out of work.

    Even with the federal help, Solyndra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month and laid off its 1,100 employees.

  • Stocks rally on support plan for European banks

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rallied Thursday after central banks in Europe and the U.S. announced a joint move to support European banks. Markets in Europe soared. Gold dropped and Treasury yields rose as traders moved out of the safest investments.

    The European Central Bank, the U.S. Federal Reserve and three other central banks said Thursday they would provide European banks with dollars in three loan installments.

  • Unemployment benefit requests jump to 428K

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for unemployment benefits jumped last week to the highest level in three months.

    The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications rose by 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 428,000. The week included the Labor Day holiday.

    Applications typically drop during short work weeks. In this case, applications didn't drop as much as the department expected, so the seasonally adjusted value rose. A Labor spokesman said the total wasn't affected by Hurricane Irene.

    Still, applications appear to be trending up. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose for the fourth straight week to 419,500.

  • MainStreet makes the grade

    In recognition of its commercial district revitalization efforts, the Los Alamos MainStreet program has earned national accreditation by meeting the performance standards set by the National Trust MainStreet Center.

    “Being recognized on a national level makes of feel very proud and it lets the community know that we are working hard to revitalize downtown Los Alamos and everything that encompasses,” said Los Alamos MainStreet Manager Suzette Fox. “Our goal for this program is to support a vibrant downtown through events, promotions, participation and planning and design projects and through our business assistance activities.”

  • Census: US poverty rate swells to nearly 1 in 6

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The ranks of the nation's poor swelled to nearly 1 in 6 people last year, reaching a new high as long-term unemployment woes left millions of Americans struggling and out of work. The number of uninsured edged up to 49.9 million, the biggest in over two decades.