AP Business NewsBrief at 5:03 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) US household wealth regains pre-recession peakWASHINGTON (AP) _ It took 5 1/2 years. Surging stock prices and steady home-price increases have finally allowed Americans to regain the $16 trillion in wealth they lost to the Great Recession. The gains are helping support the economy and could lead to further spending and growth.
Boeing 787 battery fire was difficult to controlWASHINGTON (AP) _ Firefighters and mechanics tried repeatedly to put out a battery fire aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner through smoke so thick they couldn't see the battery, according to documents released Thursday that portray the incident as more serious than previously described. The Jan. 7 fire at Boston's Logan International Airport is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety board, which released laboratory analyses, interviews and other data it has gathered so far. It still hasn't been able to pinpoint the cause.
Fed says 18 biggest US banks in stronger positionWASHINGTON (AP) _ The nation's largest banks are more prepared to withstand a severe U.S. recession and a global downturn than at any time since the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve says. The Fed's annual "stress tests" showed Thursday that as a group, the 18 banks hold fewer bad loans compared with last year, helped by a stronger economy. The Fed will announce next week whether it will approve the banks' plans to issue dividends or repurchase shares.
Fed says 18 biggest US banks in stronger positionWASHINGTON (AP) _ The Federal Reserve says the nation's largest banks are more prepared to withstand a severe U.S. recession and a global downturn than at any time since the 2008 financial crisis . The Fed's latest annual "stress tests" show that the 18 banks hold fewer bad loans compared with last year, helped by a stronger economy. The Fed will announce next week whether it will approve the banks' plans to issue dividends or repurchase shares.
Stocks gain for fifth day on unemployment reportNEW YORK (AP) _ The Dow pushed further into record territory Thursday, having surpassed its previous all-time high two days ago. The catalyst was the latest evidence that hiring is picking up. Stocks started higher after the Labor Department reported that the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell by 7,000 last week, driving the four-week average to its lowest in five years. The drop is a positive sign ahead of Friday's employment report.
US consumer debt up $16.2 billion in JanuaryWASHINGTON (AP) _ Americans stepped up borrowing in January to buy cars and attend school, while staying cautious about using their credit cards. Consumer borrowing rose $16.2 billion in January from December to a total of $2.8 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. That's the highest level on record.
Illinois deal on fracking could be national modelCHICAGO (AP) _ After years of clashing over the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," the oil industry and environmentalists have achieved something extraordinary in Illinois: They sat down together to draft regulations both sides could live with. If approved by lawmakers, participants say, the rules would be the nation's strictest. The Illinois model might also offer a template to other states seeking to carve out a middle ground between energy companies that would like free rein and environmental groups that want to ban the practice entirely.
Boeing 787 battery fire was difficult to controlWASHINGTON (AP) _ An investigation of a battery fire aboard a Boeing 787 shows mechanics and firefighters made repeated, unsuccessful attempts to put out the blaze through smoke so thick they couldn't see the battery. The documents released Thursday by the National Transportation Safety Board paint a more dangerous picture of the Jan. 7 fire than previously portrayed.
Facebook brings a more personal touch to News FeedMENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) _ Facebook has redesigned its social network to address complaints that the News Feed on its website has turned into a jumble of monotonous musings and random photos. In an attempt to breathe new life into Facebook's News Feed, the company will introduce controls that allow people to sort streams of photos and other material into organized sections.
Icahn proposes alternative to Dell buyoutBillionaire investor Carl Icahn wants Dell Inc. to remain a public company and proposed rewarding shareholders with a large dividend payment instead of becoming private in a $24.4 billion buyout. He says the amount being offered by a group led by Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell substantially undervalues the slumping PC maker.
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