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U.S. Trade Gap Widened In 2012

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 (UPI) — The U.S. trade deficit widened considerably in 2011 from 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau said Friday. The trade gap tacked on an additional $58 billion to reach $558 billion for the year. Exports in 2011 reached $2.1 trillion, while imports reached $2.6 trillion. For the year, the trade deficit in […]

Cruise Lines Revamp Safety Drill Standards

ROME, Feb. 10 (UPI) — Three cruise line trade associations said the foundering of the Costa Concordia in Italy in January had prompted adoption of new passenger safety drills. In a joint statement, the Cruise Lines International Association, European Cruise Council and Passenger Shipping Association said before ships set sail passengers would be obliged to […]

Video Game Sales Crashed In January

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 10 (UPI) — U.S. video game sales dropped sharply in January compared to a year earlier, industry research firm NPD Group Inc. said. Sales for game devices, also fell. The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that revenue from games and consoles fell 34 percent from the same month a year earlier to […]

Banks Not Free Of Foreclosure Crisis

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 (UPI) — Officials and industry observers said U.S. banks are not free and clear from foreclosure problems despite a $25 billion settlement announced Thursday. “Banks are not going to see the bright sunlight for some time to come,” said securities law professor James Cox of Duke University. The Los Angeles Times reported […]

UAW To Train Members To Protest

DETROIT, Feb. 10 (UPI) — United Auto Workers chief Bob King said U.S. workers’ rights are being trampled by “right-wing Republicans” and “1-percenters” and it’s time to take action. King said the union would train members to take part in demonstrations, even illegal ones, The Detroit News reported Friday. “It will take direct action. It […]

More Small Firms Indicate Hiring Plans

PRINCETON, N.J., Feb. 8 (UPI) — U.S. small business owners are expressing more optimism about hiring than they have since January 2008, a Gallup poll indicates. In a survey conducted Jan. 9-13, 22 percent of small business owners said they were likely to take on new employees this year, while 8 percent indicated they were […]

First-Time Jobless Claims Down By 15,000

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) — Initial unemployment claims fell by 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 358,000 for the week ending Feb. 4, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. The previous week’s figure was revised from 379,000 to 373,000, the department said in a release. At 366,250, the four-week moving average held to less than 400,000 […]

Toyota To Build More Highlanders In U.S.

CHICAGO, Feb. 9 (UPI) — Toyota Motor Corp. said it plans to invest $400 million in its Princeton, Ind., plant to increase production of Highlander hybrid sport utility vehicles. The investment will add 400 jobs at the plant — known as Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana Inc. or TMMI, Yoshimi Inaba, president of Toyota Motor North […]

Mortgage Rates Up Slightly In Week

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) — Average fixed mortgage interest rates for long-term contracts rose slightly or held even in the week, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said Thursday. Rates for 30-year contracts held steady at 3.87 percent with 0.8 points for the week. A year earlier, 30-year mortgage rates averaged 5.05 percent. The 15-year […]

Five Banks, 49 States Strike Foreclosure Deal

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) — President Obama hailed a $25 billion agreement among 49 states, the U.S. government and the five biggest mortgage servicers. “We have reached a landmark settlement with the nation’s largest banks” which will “begin to turn the page on an era of recklessness,” Obama said. The bad lending practices and foreclosure […]

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