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Business/Economy

  • Money Watch: Financial education summit seeks to build wealth

    Too many New Mexicans are novices when it comes to handling their money, making them easy pickings for predatory lending companies, expensive check-cashing services and other scams that can easily be avoided.
    The fifth annual Summit on Financial Education is set for 8 a.m.-3 p.m. April 15 at the Hotel Albuquerque, 800 Rio Grande Blvd. N.W. The free conference aims to increase the financial knowledge of New Mexicans so that they can make sound decisions about their money and avoid fraud and questionable investments.

  • Rotarians recognize top business--video extra

    Dan Sena has given away more than 600,000 free scoops of ice cream over the lifetime of his business endeavors in Los Alamos. He’s also giving to a local group the $250 check that he received Tuesday as part of his recognition as the Rotary Club of Los Alamos’ 2011 Sonny Brown Small Business Award winner.

    “Every time I do this – give something like this away – believe me it comes back seven fold,” Sena told the crowd gathered for the lunchtime event at Central Avenue Grill.

    Sena’s employees are primarily high school students. He works with them to ensure that their grade point averages stay strong and schedules them appropriately.

  • Stocks higher after payroll report, pharma deal

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose Wednesday as a strong payroll report and a big pharmaceutical deal overshadowed concerns about the nuclear crisis in Japan and the battle for control of Libya.

    The ADP National Employment Report said 201,000 new private sector jobs were added in March. That is roughly in line with the 210,000 analysts had expected, but investors were encouraged by a strong gain in small business hiring.

  • AP Newsbreak: NM Gov looks at line-item veto of tax

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is looking at an option once used by her predecessor, Democrat Bill Richardson, to reject a tax increase approved by the Legislature.

    Martinez is considering using her line-item veto powers to eliminate a $128 million tax increase on businesses in a measure to shore up the state's unemployment compensation program.

    Taking that approach allows the governor to eliminate the higher taxes but preserve nearly $80 million in cost savings through benefit reductions. However, Democratic lawmakers question whether that action would be legal and it could trigger a lawsuit.

  • Stocks struggle higher despite weak housing news

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged higher Tuesday, overcoming earlier losses from weak reports on consumer confidence and home prices.

    Home Depot Inc. rose 2.7 percent, the most of the 30 large companies in the Dow Jones industrial average. The retailer said it would buy $1 billion of its own stock with cash from selling bonds.

    Stocks started lower after a report showed that home prices fell in 19 of the 20 large U.S. cities tracked by the S&P/Case-Shiller index. Washington was the only city in which prices rose. Prices have fallen 3 percent in the past year.

  • Home prices falling in most major US cities

    NEW YORK (AP) — Home prices are falling in most major U.S. cities, and the average prices in four of them are at their lowest point in 11 years. Analysts expect further prices declines in most cities in the coming months.

    The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city index released Tuesday shows price declines in 19 cities from December to January. Eleven of them are at their lowest level since the housing bust, in 2006 and 2007. The index fell for the sixth straight month.

    Home values in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Detroit and Cleveland are now below January 2000 levels.

    The only market where prices rose was Washington, where homes prices gained 0.1 percent month over month.

  • New Mexico job market remains stagnant

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal labor statistics show most states have seen positive job growth over the past year, but New Mexico and several others remain on the negative side of the curve when it comes to the job market.

    There haven't been any sizable layoffs in the past year by big employers in New Mexico, but business leaders say small businesses — from plumbing contractors and car dealerships to real estate companies and architectural firms — have been forced to lay off handfuls of workers, and those numbers are adding up.

  • Japan disaster set to be world's costliest

    TOKYO (AP) — Japan's government said the cost of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the northeast could reach $309 billion, making it the world's costliest natural disaster on record.

    The extensive damage to housing, roads, utilities and businesses across seven prefectures (states) has resulted in losses of between 16 trillion yen ($198 billion) and 25 trillion yen ($309 billion), according to a Cabinet Office estimate Wednesday. That could drag the economic growth rate down by 0.5 percent this year.

    The losses figure is considerably higher than other estimates. The World Bank on Monday said damage might reach $235 billion. Investment bank Goldman Sachs had estimated quake damage of as much as $200 billion.

  • Business Watch: Social Security looms for Baby Boomers

    Talk about a stampede: The first wave of Baby Boomers begins turning age 65 in 2011, which means they’ll soon be tapping Social Security retirement benefits, if they haven’t already. If you’re a Boomer and haven’t yet investigated how this program works, this may be a good time to learn the ropes.
    When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn up to four “credits” per year based on net income. In 2011, it takes $1,120 in income to earn one credit. You must accumulate at least 40 credits over your lifetime to qualify for a benefit; however, those who haven’t earned sufficient credits sometimes qualify based on their spouse’s work record.

  • General Motors lays off workers at NY plant due to Japan crisis

    DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. on Monday is halting some production and temporarily laying off workers at a Buffalo, N.Y., engine plant, another sign that Japan's disaster is affecting automakers around the globe.

    GM is suspending production of engines built at its Tonawanda plant for the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon compact pickups, which are assembled at a GM factory in Shreveport, La. GM shut down its Shreveport operation this week because of a shortage of parts from Japan.

    GM doesn't know when production will resume at either plant.