nation and world [Virginian - Pilot]
(Virginian - Pilot Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) what's a car cost? On average, $31,252
Americans are paying record prices for new cars and trucks, and they have only themselves to blame.
The average sale price of a vehicle in the U.S. hit $31,252 last month, up almost $1,000 over the same time last year. The sharp increase has been driven by consumers loading up cars with high-end stereos, navigation systems, leather seats and safety gadgets.
It's a buying pattern that began around two years ago with low interest rates that let buyers choose pricier cars while keeping monthly payments in check
But those conditions could soon change. Automakers say the next wave of buyers who replace older cars will be more cost-conscious, shunning expensive radios and cushy seats to reduce payments. Samsung smartwatch hits market Sept. 25
Samsung Electronics set the price of its Galaxy Gear at $299 as the biggest maker of smartphones beats Apple in unveiling a wristwatch device that can make phone calls, surf the Web and take photos.
The Gear will go on sale Sept. 25, Shin Jong-kyun, head of Samsung's mobile business, said at the company's headquarters in Suwon, South Korea. The device syncs with tablets and smartphones using Google Inc.'s Android software to make phone calls.
Sales will begin in 140 countries, with the U.S. and Japanese debut in October. The device works with about 70 applications, according to Samsung.
Apple has a team of designers working on a watch-like device, people familiar with the matter said in February.
China's currency joins top trading list
China's yuan has joined the ranks of the most traded currencies for the first time, underlining the growing might of the country's economy, the world's second-largest.
The yuan became one of the top 10 traded currencies in 2013, rising to No. 9 on the list because of a "significant expansion" in offshore trading, the Bank for International Settlements said.
Turnover in trades involving yuan surged to $120 billion a day on average in April 2013, three and half times more than the $34 billion in 2010. Still, that figure is dwarfed by the dollar, which accounted for about $4.7 trillion daily.
China's leaders want the yuan to become an international currency and have been promoting its use as an alternative to the dollar.
Ford CEO rebuts Microsoft rumor
Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally said Friday he intends to stay as head of the carmaker through next year, following reports that Microsoft Corp. may seek to recruit him.
"I love serving Ford and will continue serving Ford," Mulally said in an interview on Bloomberg Television.
Mulally, 68, has been talked about as a possible interim CEO at Microsoft, technology-news website AllThingsD reported Monday. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, 57, said on Aug. 23 that he plans to step down in the next 12 months.
Speculation on Ballmer's potential replacement has focused on Nokia CEO Stephen Elop following the Finnish manufacturer's $7.2 billion agreement this month to sell its mobile-phone unit to Microsoft
Bank of America has agreed to pay $39 million to settle claims of gender bias by women in its Merrill Lynch brokerage division.
Volkswagen and the United Auto Workers are cooperating to create a German-style works council at its Chattanooga, Tenn., assembly plant.
A Verizon Communications Inc. shareholder has gone to court to stop its acquisition of Vodafone Group's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless for $130 billion in what may be the first investor class action stemming from the deal.
Federal regulators have approved Celgene Inc.'s drug Abraxane to treat late-stage pancreatic cancer
- From wire reports
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