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Business/Economy

  • Stocks fall sharply as Europe worries deepen

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell sharply in morning trading Tuesday as worries deepened about Europe's debt crisis and the weak U.S. economy. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell and gold rose as investors sought safety.

    An hour after the opening bell, the Dow was down 274 points, or 2.4 percent, to 10,961. All 30 stocks that make up the Dow average fell.

    The S&P 500 lost 30, or 2.6 percent, to 1,143. The Nasdaq composite fell 56, or 2.3 percent, to 2,424.

  • Obama halts controversial EPA regulation

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is sacking a controversial proposed regulation tightening government smog standards, bowing to the demands of congressional Republicans and some business leaders.

    In a statement Friday, Obama said he had ordered Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the proposal, in part because of the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and uncertainty for businesses at a time of rampant uncertainty about an unsteady economy.

    The announcement came shortly after a new government report on private sector employment report showed that businesses essentially added no new jobs last month — and that the jobless rate remained stuck at a historically high 9.1 percent.

  • Employers add no net jobs in Aug.; first time since 1945

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers stopped adding jobs in August, an alarming setback for an economy that has struggled to grow and might be at risk of another recession.

    It was the weakest jobs report since September 2010. The unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent.

    Stock futures plunged on the news. In the 15 minutes after the report was released, Dow futures fell 94 points, from 11,401 to 11,318.

    A strike by 45,000 Verizon workers lowered the job totals. Those workers are now back on the job.

    The weakness in employment was underscored by revisions to the jobs data for June and July. Collectively, those figures were lowered to show 57,000 fewer jobs added. The downward revisions were all in government jobs.

  • Government sues to block AT&T, T-Mobile merger

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department filed suit Wednesday to block AT&T's $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile USA on grounds that it would raise prices for consumers.

    The government contends that the acquisition of the No. 4 wireless carrier in the country by No. 2 AT&T would reduce competition.

    At a news conference, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said the combination would result in "tens of millions of consumers all across the United States facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for mobile wireless services."

    The lawsuit seeks to ensure that everyone can continue to receive the benefits of competition, said Cole.

  • Biz consultant rates Los Alamos

    The first thing that struck a business consultant visiting Los Alamos recently was that the town has “huge potential.”
    “I already knew that this is a community with many professional people and many highly educated people with strong incomes,” said Jon Schallert of The Schallert Group in Colorado. “I think the biggest challenge is that the business people here aren’t hungry like most of the rest of the country. I found many of the businesses doing ok — not thriving but not starving — so many are complacent and not doing the cutting edge kinds of marketing technologies that most of the country is doing.”

  • Obama faces tight restraints in crafting jobs plan

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Hamstrung by budget cuts and a tight debt ceiling, President Barack Obama is preparing a September jobs package with limited tools at his disposal to prime the economy and crank up employment.

    At a minimum, the president's plan will call on Congress to extend current payroll tax cuts and jobless benefits, spend money for new construction projects and offer incentives to businesses to hire more workers. But economists say that while that would eliminate some drag on the economy and maintain the status quo, it won't be enough to propel it to new heights.

  • Economic growth at a virtual standstill in Q2

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a meager 1 percent annual pace this spring, slower than previously estimated. The downward revision will likely increase fears that the economy is at risk of another recession.

    Fewer exports and weaker growth in business stockpiles led the Commerce Department to lower its estimate for the April-June quarter from its previous rate of 1.3 percent growth. That means the economy expanded only 0.7 percent in the first six months of the year.

  • Foreclosures made up 31 pct. of home sales in 2Q

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Foreclosures made up roughly one-third of all home sales this spring. While that's a smaller share of sales from the previous quarter, it's six times the percentage of foreclosures in a healthy housing market.

    Foreclosure sales, which include homes purchased after they received a notice of default or that were repossessed by lenders, accounted for 31 percent of the market in the April-June quarter, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

  • Feds approve key expansion of NM nuclear plant

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A federal commission announced approval Wednesday for a uranium enrichment plant in southeastern New Mexico to begin operating more of its massive processing system, which would double the facility's capacity to process nuclear fuel.

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has authorized Urenco USA and subsidiary Louisiana Energy Services to bring online two additional sequential enrichment systems, known as cascades. Although Urenco is tightlipped about its technology and its customers, the enriched uranium it produces can be used to supply fuel for nuclear power plants domestically and overseas.

  • Trinity Project slow but steady

     Several members of the Trinity Site Revitalization Project Advisory Committee attended last night’s council meeting to express strong support for county staff negotiations to continue with North American Development Group (NADG) for the development of the Trinity Site.
    Acting County Administrator Randy Autio presented the staff briefing.