The nation's economic stress fell to a two-year low in April, thanks to the strongest private-sector hiring in five years and a dip in bankruptcy filings, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis. The improved picture for jobs and bankruptcy filings offset a slight rise in foreclosures.
WASHINGTON (AP) — It's Ben Bernanke's turn to assess how much the economy has weakened. Investors have pushed stock prices lower for four straight days in response to data showing weaker hiring in May, falling home prices and a drop in manufacturing. On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve chairman will offer his outlook.
SHANGHAI (AP) — A toxic chemical spilled into a river that supplies drinking water to the scenic city of Hangzhou in eastern China, knocking out supplies to more than half a million people and creating a run on bottled water. A tanker truck carrying 20 tons of carbolic acid overturned late Saturday night.
SHANGHAI (AP) — Foreign automakers are seeing mixed sales trends in China as the world's biggest market for new vehicles cools after years of torrid growth. General Motors Co. said Tuesday that its total sales in China fell 3 percent in May from a year earlier to 190,674 vehicles. Its sales in the first five months of the year edged up nearly 5 percent to 1.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — There was excitement at Boeing's Long Beach C-17 assembly plant on Monday after word that a $4 billion order from India for 10 of the giant cargo jets was hours away from two final signatures. "The plant is abuzz. We knew the order was in the works. The extra planes will get us through 2012.
LEBANON, Mo. (AP) — Detroit Tool and Metal Products is nearing completion of its first expansion, which is creating 125 jobs. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said in a release that the company, based in Lebanon, is planning a second expansion that will add 75 more jobs. Detroit Tool and Metal Products' first expansion consolidated a former facility in Iowa with its existing operation in Lebanon.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Federal grants will help clean up and redevelop 214 polluted sites such as abandoned gas stations and shuttered factories in 40 states, Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson said Monday. Three tribal nations also will receive federal money under the EPA's "brownfield" program, which is designed to spur growth in cities where contaminated industrial and commercial sites have been a drag on the economy while contributing to joblessness and crime, agency officials said.
BERLIN (AP) — In their second major retraction in a week, German officials said initial tests provided no evidence that sprouts from an organic farm in northern Germany were the cause of the deadly E. coli outbreak. One U.S. expert called the German investigation "a disaster." The surprise U-turn came only a day after the same state agency, Lower Saxony's agriculture ministry, held a news conference to announce that sprouts from the organic Gaertnerhof farm in the northern village of Bienenbuettel were suspected to be the cause of the outbreak.
TOKYO (AP) — Facing a summer power crunch, some Tokyo city government employees began working an hour earlier Monday to conserve energy amid shortages caused by damage to a tsunami-hit nuclear plant. City workers on the earliest shift will start at 7:30 a.m. and be allowed to leave at 4:15 p.
HAYWARD, Calif. (AP) — Generic drugmaker Impax Laboratories Inc. said Monday that it received a warning from the Food and Drug Administration about manufacturing practices at its plant in Hayward. Impax said the warning letter came Friday. It said during a review, FDA inspectors found problems in the company's sampling and testing, its production record review, and the process it used to determine why manufacturing batches did not meet quality specifications.
FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (AP) — The main phase of a massive dredging project designed to rid the upper-Hudson River in New York of PCBs began Monday after weeks of delays due to high waters. General Electric Co., officials said two dredges began operations in the river about 40 miles north of Albany at Fort Edward early Monday.
ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — A recreational vehicle component manufacturer is considering a move into a vacant factory in northern Indiana where it could hire 180 workers in the next few years. The steel fabrication company Lippert Components of Marvin, N.C., has asked the Elkhart City Council for tax incentives if it moves into a factory formerly owned by the now-defunct Monaco Coach Corp.
NEW YORK (AP) — It's not easy being the most optimistic guy in the room. Most companies are hoarding cash after two-plus years of cost-cutting. The members of the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index are sitting on a record $960 billion in cash on their balance sheets. All told, companies now have more than 10 percent more cash than the previous peak in 2004.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Germany's Daimler AG and Britain's Rolls-Royce have won control of Tognum AG after their joint takeover offer gave them control of a 59.87 percent stake in the German-based maker of heavy-duty engines. Daimler said Tuesday there are still two more weeks for remaining shares to be tendered under the euro26 per share offer.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — That's not smoke coming out of Cliff Phillips' mouth. But that hasn't stopped others from cringing, making remarks, waving their hands in their faces and coughing at the sight of the vapor from his electronic cigarette. "They're just conditioned if they see you inhale and exhale something, it's got to be smoke and it's going to stink.
NEW YORK (AP) — News last week that an arm of the World Health Organization said cellphones might raise the risk of brain cancer has been greeted by Americans mostly with a shrug of the shoulder — one that's pinning a cellphone to the ear. Google searches for "cancer" and "cellphones" spiked this week.
HONOLULU (AP) — Korean electric car company CT&T made a splash in three states when it rolled shiny, tiny vehicles off big rigs and announced with smiling governors that it would hire hundreds of Americans to build them in new factories. But those plans have stalled in Hawaii, Pennsylvania and South Carolina without anyone hired, any plantsconstructed or any electric cars assembled.
MIAMI (AP) — A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss lawsuits filed by thousands of Colombians against produce seller Chiquita Brands International over its payments to a right-wing paramilitary group responsible for killing and terrorizing civilians during Colombia's lengthy civil conflict.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal agency investigating a fatal fire at a Middle Tennessee chemical plant said a corroded pipe leaking hydrogen gas caused an explosion that ignited combustible iron dust there. A total of four workers have died this year after being critically burned in fires at the Hoeganaes (HAY'-gan-eez) plant in Gallatin, with the latest one occurring last week.
BIG FLATS, N.Y. (AP) — Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is laying off nearly 400 workers at its factory in upstate New York because of what the company says is a lull in orders for military helicopters. The announcement Thursday by the Stratford, Conn.-based subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. didn't divulge the number of jobs being cut, but a notice filed with the state Department of Labor lists the number of layoffs as 386.