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Business/Economy

  • Despite drop in jobless claims, unemployment remains at 9.6 percent

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people applied for unemployment aid last week, the third drop in four weeks and a sign that more employers are hiring while layoffs are falling.

    If the decline continues, it could signal more hiring in the near future. The report comes after the Labor Department said last week that private employers in October added the most jobs in six months.

  • Council green lights developer

    The long-awaited Trinity Site retail development became one step closer to fruition Tuesday night as the Los Alamos County Council gave the green light for county officials to begin negotiations with North American Development Group.

  • GM reports $2B 3Q profit ahead of stock offering

    DETROIT (AP) — Strong profits on new cars and trucks helped General Motors Co. earn $2 billion in the third quarter, enhancing the company's appeal as it nears next week's initial public stock offering.

    The third-quarter earnings of $1.20 per share nearly match what GM made in the first two quarters of the year combined, aided by profits from overseas and healthy revenue from North America, the company said Wednesday. The earnings were boosted by higher prices from newly introduced models such as the Buick LaCrosse, a midsize luxury sedan.

  • Companies in Oct. added most jobs since April

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies created more net new jobs in October than in any month since April, evidence that businesses are shedding their previously cautious attitude toward hiring.

    But the unemployment rate remained stuck at 9.6 percent for the third straight month.

  • Fed to spend $600B in latest bid to help economy

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve will sink $600 billion into government bonds in a bold plan that it hopes will drive interest rates even lower than they already are and start the chain reaction that finally creates jobs and invigorates the economy.

    The Fed said Wednesday that it would buy the bonds at a rate of about $75 billion a month through the middle of next year. The idea is to encourage people to spend more money and stimulate hiring, both ways of accelerating economic growth.

  • Deal or punt decision on Bush tax cuts is Obama's

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Will Congress extend the Bush tax cuts into 2011 in the weeks after Tuesday's election or let the automatic increase start cutting into most people's paychecks early next year?

    It's really pretty much up to President Barack Obama.

    Despite the punishment his fellow Democrats are expected to take from voters, Obama has shown no sign of retreating from his insistence that families and small businesses with incomes above $250,000 return to higher, Bill Clinton-era tax levels starting Jan. 1.

  • AP survey: Painfully slow economic gains into 2011

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The job market and the economy will improve only slightly next year, according to an Associated Press survey of leading economists whose outlook for 2011 has dimmed over the past three months.

    The latest quarterly AP Economy Survey shows economists are pushing back their estimates of when key barometers of economic health — hiring, spending, expansion — will signal strength.

  • AP survey: Painfully slow economic gains into 2011

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The job market and the economy will improve only slightly next year, according to an Associated Press survey of leading economists whose outlook for 2011 has dimmed over the past three months.

    The latest quarterly AP Economy Survey shows economists are pushing back their estimates of when key barometers of economic health — hiring, spending, expansion — will signal strength.

  • Tab for Fannie, Freddie could soar to $259B

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The government spelled out Thursday just how much the most expensive rescue of the financial crisis will end up costing taxpayers — as much as $259 billion for mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    That figure would be nearly twice the amount Fannie and Freddie have received so far. To date, the rescue of the two companies has cost taxpayers $135 billion. They have repaid $13 billion to the Treasury Department as dividends.

  • Toyota recalling 1.53 million cars globally

    TOKYO (AP) — Toyota is recalling 1.53 million Lexus, Avalon and other models, mostly in the U.S. and Japan, for brake fluid and fuel pump problems, the latest in a string of quality lapses for the world's No. 1 automaker.

    Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it will call back for repairs about 740,000 cars in the U.S. and 599,000 in Japan. The remainder are in Europe and other markets around the world.