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In Critical Week, Retail Looks Lackluster

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (UPI) — Retail sales at U.S. chain stores fell 0.1 percent in the week ending Friday, a trade group reported. Although receipts were up 2.9 percent compared to the same week of 2010, sales fell in the second consecutive week-to-week comparison, the International Council of Shopping Centers said. In surveys around the […]

OPEC To Keep Production Quotas Unchanged

VIENNA, Dec. 14 (UPI) — The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Wednesday in Vienna it would keep production levels unchanged because of uncertain market conditions. At the 160th meeting of the OPEC conference, the world’s largest oil cartel said production among members would remain at 30 million barrels per day “in light of the […]

Las Vegas Hilton Takes A New Name

LAS VEGAS, Dec. 8 (UPI) — The 2,950-room Las Vegas Hilton said it’s changing its name to the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, without explaining how it lost its rights to the Hilton brand name. “We are extremely excited as we move into this next phase of our journey. Guests can experience the new look […]

Wells Fargo Agrees To $60 Million Settlement

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 8 (UPI) — U.S. banking giant Wells Fargo agreed to pay more than $60 million to settle charges of fraud and bid rigging, the Department of Justice said. The case is part of a $148 million settlement involving various banks that engaged in anti-competitive practices in the municipal bond derivatives market, The […]

Smartphones Becoming Shopping Aids

CHICAGO, Dec. 8 (UPI) — Many smartphone owners use the devices as shopping tools, increasing pressure on physical stores to compete instantaneously with online retailers, analysts say. Two-thirds of owners shop from their mobile devices, a report released Wednesday by comScore Inc., a digital research firm based in Chicago, said. One of the most common […]

U.S. Household Wealth Fell In 3rd Quarter

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 (UPI) — Assets owned by U.S. households dropped an average of $7,800 in value in the third quarter because of a sharp decline in stock prices, officials said Thursday. The total decline of $2.2 trillion in household wealth, reported by the Federal Reserve, was the largest since the fourth quarter of 2008, […]

Ford To Pay Dividend In March

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 9 (UPI) — Ford Motor Co.’s decision to resume paying a dividend of 5 cents a share next year shows confidence in the Detroit automaker’s recovery, analysts said. The dividend payment, payable in March, is the company’s first since September 2006 and the first paid on common stock by any automaker since […]

Walmart Conducts Corrupt Practices Probe

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Dec. 9 (UPI) — Walmart Stores Inc. said it is investigating whether some of its employees violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a U.S. law banning bribery overseas. The world’s largest retailer said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday it uncovered potential improprieties during an internal review on how […]

CEO Departures Slow Down In November

CHICAGO, Dec. 7 (UPI) — For the year to date 1,095 chief executive officers have left their jobs at U.S. companies, a private research firm said Wednesday. Challenger, Gray & Christmas said a low number of CEO departures in November kept the year to date total 2.8 percent lower than the 1,127 CEO departures January […]

ECB Lowers Benchmark Lending Rate

FRANKFURT, Germany, Dec. 8 (UPI) — The European Central Bank said it would lower its key lending rate from 1.25 percent to 1 percent to add liquidity to the economy. The expected move reverses the bank’s mid-summer interest rate hike, which was enacted as the economic upturn in the early months of the year was […]

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