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Business/Economy

  • Oil drops as international reserves are tapped

    NEW YORK (AP) — Oil plunged nearly 5 percent Thursday after the International Energy Agency said it will release 60 million barrels of oil from its reserves to make up for a loss of Libyan exports in global oil markets.

    The IEA, which includes the U.S., will release 2 million barrels per day over the next 30 days. Half of that will come from U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which currently holds 727 million barrels in underground caverns along the Gulf Coast.

  • Unemployment applications jump by most in a month--video extra

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week rose by the most in a month, signaling growing weakness in the job market.

    Applications rose by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 429,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the second increase in three weeks and the 11th straight week that applications have been above 400,000.

    The four-week average for unemployment benefit applications, a less volatile measure, was unchanged at 426,250 last week.

  • Internet minders OK vast expansion of domain names

    SINGAPORE (AP) — Internet minders voted Monday to allow virtually unlimited new domain names based on themes as varied as company brands, entertainment and political causes, in the system's biggest shake-up since it started 26 years ago.

    Groups able to pay the $185,000 application can petition next year for new updates to ".com" and ".net" with website suffixes using nearly any word in any language, including in Arabic, Chinese and other scripts, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers decided at a meeting in Singapore.

  • Marine reservist in custody after Pentagon scare--video

    ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — A Marine Corps reservist carrying a backpack containing what authorities said were suspicious materials briefly fled police Friday before he was detained in the middle of the night near the Pentagon.

    Yonathan Melaku, 22, of Alexandria, Va., was discovered after 1 a.m. Friday inside Arlington National Cemetery, hours after it had closed. He was detained for trespassing after becoming uncooperative, authorities said, though he has not yet been charged with anything. Authorities believe Melaku acted alone.

  • Health care law waivers stir suspicion of favors

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Call it the Department of Waivers and Adjustments. It's doing a brisk business with the new health care law.

    President Barack Obama's administration has granted nearly 1,400 waivers easing requirements of the new health care law, and some critics on the right say Obama is giving his political allies a pass from burdensome requirements everyone else will have to live with.

    But what if the waivers work more like a safety valve? What if during the transition to a new system they can prevent unintended consequences — such as people with bare-bones insurance losing their current coverage, or insurers closing shop in a particular state?

  • SBA seeks feedback at event

    Janice Lucero was convinced people would pay a little more to renew their driver’s license or car registration if they could do it quickly from a convenient location with friendly service. Lucero turned her conviction into MVD Express, a $5 million company that serves 22,000 customers a month from its 11 New Mexico locations.
    Lucero’s success and community involvement led the U.S. Small Business Administration to name her the New Mexico Small Business Person of the Year. The award earned Lucero a trip to Washington D.C. where she’s in the running for national recognition.

  • Use financial windfalls wisely

    If you’re lucky enough to win a multimillion-dollar lottery, you don’t need this column; you need a team of legal and financial experts to make sure you don’t blow your chance for lifetime financial security. But if you receive a considerably smaller monetary windfall, whether a tax refund, divorce settlement, inheritance or work bonus, there are actions you can take to positively impact on your current financial situation.
    First, take a breath. Before going on a spending spree, stash the money in a savings account until you’ve examined your total financial picture. Weigh existing debts, upcoming expenses and future needs to make sure you apply the money where it’s needed most.

  • Advocacy offices help businesses

    One of the first initiatives of Governor Susana Martinez and Cabinet Secretary-designate Jon Barela was to create the Office of Business Advocacy, a place where business owners and entrepreneurs can get help navigating the state’s inherent bureaucracies. The office opened on January 10, 2011, just days after Barela began his job as Secretary of the New Mexico’s Economic Development Department.

  • Unemployment rate climbs to 9.1 percent

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers hired only 54,000 new workers in May, the fewest in eight months, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent.

    The Labor Department report offered startling evidence that the U.S. economy is slowing, hampered by high gas prices and natural disasters in Japan that have hurt U.S. manufacturers.

    The pace of hiring has weakened dramatically from the previous three months, when the economy added an average of 220,000 new jobs. Private companies hired only 83,000 new workers in May — the fewest in nearly a year.

    Stock futures plunged after the report was released.

    Local governments cut 28,000 jobs last month, the most since November. Nearly 18,000 of those jobs were in education.

  • Stocks sink on worries about economic recovery

    NEW YORK (AP) — The job market's already slow recovery looks to be losing momentum, and so is the manufacturing industry. New doubts about the economic recovery's strength on Wednesday knocked the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 100 points.

    Private employers added just 38,000 jobs in May, down from 177,000 in April, according to payroll processor ADP. It's the weakest result since September. The report may offer a preview of Friday's more comprehensive job report from the Labor Department, which includes hiring by both private employers and the government.