Monday, July 28 2014 12:14 AM EDT2014-07-28 04:14:59 GMT
Fast food workers from across the country have voted in suburban Chicago to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation by including civil disobedience.More >>
Comparing their campaign to the civil rights movement, fast food workers from across the country voted Saturday to escalate their efforts for $15-an-hour pay and union membership by using nonviolent civil disobedience.More >>
Monday, July 28 2014 12:14 AM EDT2014-07-28 04:14:16 GMT
Fire crews were battling two fast-moving wildfires in California that threatened many homes and forced hundreds of evacuations, officials said.More >>
Firefighters in Northern California made progress Sunday against a wildfire that has destroyed 13 homes and forced hundreds of evacuations in the Sierra Nevada foothills, while a fire near Yosemite National Park that...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 3:56 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:56:06 GMT
A U.S. science advisory report says a key lesson from Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident is that the nation's nuclear industry needs to focus more on the highly unlikely but super-serious worst case scenarios.More >>
A U.S. science advisory report says Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident offers a key lesson to the nation's nuclear industry: Focus more on the highly unlikely but worst case scenarios.More >>
Saturday, July 26 2014 12:06 PM EDT2014-07-26 16:06:30 GMT
Lake Huron's fish populations are bouncing back after a collapse of two key species more than a decade ago. But state biologists and industry leaders say many anglers remain unconvinced.More >>
More than a decade after its prized chinook salmon crashed, Lake Huron is fertile fishing territory once more, with fast-growing populations of native species such as walleye and lake trout, biologists say. Now the...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 2:05 PM EDT2014-07-25 18:05:48 GMT
For the first time in more than 30 years, paleontologists are preparing excavate a sinkhole-type cave in northern Wyoming that contains the ancient remains of tens of thousands of animals.More >>
For the first time in three decades, scientists are about to revisit one of North America's most remarkable troves of ancient fossils: the bones of tens of thousands of animals piled at least 30 feet deep at the bottom...More >>
Monday, July 28 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-07-28 04:04:14 GMT
Authorities now say 14 people - including a 15-year-old - have been struck by lightning during rare summer thunderstorms that have swept through Southern California, injuring two critically.More >>
A 20-year-old man died Sunday after lightning struck 13 people at a popular Los Angeles beach and a golfer on Catalina Island during rare summer thunderstorms that swept through Southern California, authorities said.More >>
Sunday, July 27 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:44:19 GMT
Authorities say powerful storms crossing east Tennessee have destroyed 10 homes and damaged others, though there are no immediate reports of any deaths or injuries.More >>
Powerful storms that raked across several states in the eastern U.S. on Sunday destroyed at least 10 homes in Tennessee, but there were no immediate reports of any deaths or injuries, authorities said.More >>
Sunday, July 27 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:15:50 GMT
Authorities say a father was killed and his daughter seriously injured while walking on the sand when a small plane crash landed along Florida's Gulf Coast near Venice Beach.More >>
A father was killed and his 9-year-old daughter critically injured Sunday while walking along a Florida beach when a small plane crash landed on the Gulf Coast only feet from the surf, authorities said.More >>
Unaccompanied minors enroll in US schools, presenting opportunities and extra costsMore >>
Unaccompanied minors enroll in US schools, presenting opportunities and extra costsMore >>
By ALEX VEIGA AP Business Writer
The Federal Reserve's latest take on the U.S. economy put many investors into sell mode Tuesday, sending stocks mostly lower after a brief upward turn early in the day.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen, speaking before Congress, said the U.S. economy has yet to recover fully, but raised the possibility the central bank could raise its key short-term interest rate sooner than currently projected.
The Fed also issued a report noting that valuations for stocks in some sectors, such as social media and biotech firms, appear to be stretched, sending shares in Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn lower.
By suggesting some stocks could be overvalued, the Fed is adding to a growing belief among some market watchers that stocks are due for a pullback, said Drew Wilson, an equity analyst at Fenimore Asset Management.
"In this type of environment when you have a lot of uncertainty, essentially you have this equilibrium that's looking to be broken one way or another, and the Fed chair saying 'financial bubble' could do that," Wilson said.
Investors had plenty more to consider, including a mostly encouraging batch of corporate earnings and economic data.
The major U.S. financial market indexes were up slightly in premarket trading as JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson released quarterly results that exceeded Wall Street's expectations.
Separate reports on U.S. retail sales and manufacturing growth also gave the market an early lift.
But stock indexes diverged shortly after the market opened and then fully veered into the red about an hour into regular trading as investors began to tune into Yellen delivering the central bank's semi-annual economic report to Congress.
Stocks finished the day mixed, with the Dow Jones industrial average eking out a tiny gain on the day.
The Dow added 5.26 points, or 0.03 percent, to 17,060.68. The index is down slightly from its July 3 record of 17,068.65.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 3.82 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,973.28. The index is down 0.6 percent from its most recent all-time high of 1,985.44 set July 3.
The Nasdaq composite shed 24.03 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,416.39.
The three stock indexes are all up for the year.
Bond prices barely budged. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.55 percent.
Several tech stocks surged in after-market trading Tuesday.
Intel jumped $1.37, or 4.3 percent, to $33.08 after reporting strong second-quarter earnings and an increase to its stock buyback program. Apple and IBM rose after the former rivals announced they are teaming up to work on mobile applications in a bid to sell more iPhones and iPads to corporate customers. Apple rose $1.74, or 1.8 percent, to $97.06 in extended trading. IBM added $4.06, or 2.2 percent, to $192.55.
Meanwhile, Facebook fell 73 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $67.17, while Twitter slipped 43 cents, also 1.1 percent, to $37.88. LinkedIn fell $1.19, or 0.7 percent, to $158.51.
Yellen told Congress that the Fed intends to keep providing significant support to the U.S. economy to boost growth and improve labor market conditions, noting that the economic recovery is not yet complete.
Employers added 288,000 jobs last month, the fifth straight month of gains above 200,000. The national unemployment rate has slid to 6.1 percent, a 5 1/2-year low.
Yellen noted that if labor market conditions continue to improve more quickly than anticipated, the Fed could raise its key short-term interest rate sooner than currently projected.
"In light of corporate earnings being good, retail sales being good, manufacturing being good, even a data-driven Fed chairman is going to have to raise rates earlier than the market really wants," said Doug Cote, chief market strategist at Voya Investment Management. "So all the good fundamental data that should be good for the markets is also hawkish for rates."
Beyond the Fed, investors are mostly focused on company earnings this week, including quarterly reports from Bank of America, eBay and Yum Brands on Wednesday.
Bank earnings on Tuesday set a good tone for the latest earnings season.
JPMorgan, the nation's largest bank by assets, said its second-quarter earnings fell 9 percent as revenue at its investment banking and mortgage businesses dropped. The stock gained $1.98, or 3.5 percent, to $58.27. Goldman's profit rose 5 percent, helped by record results from investment banking. Goldman gained $2.17, or 1.3 percent, to $169.17.
Investors hammered companies whose quarterly results were less positive.
Shares in rent-to-own retailer Aaron's tumbled 9.5 percent after the company cut its profit and revenue outlook for the second quarter, partly citing performance of its core business. The stock shed $3.19 to $30.34.
Among other stocks in the news Tuesday:
- Cigarette maker Reynolds American said it plans to buy rival Lorillard for about $25 billion in a deal to combine two of the nation's oldest and biggest tobacco companies. Reynolds fell $4.34, or 6.9 percent, to $58.84, while Lorillard sank $7.05, or 10.5 percent, to $60.17. Other tobacco stocks also declined: Altria Group slipped $1.59, or 3.7 percent, to $41.76, while Philip Morris International fell $1.36, or 1.6 percent, to $84.59.
- Luxury goods retailer Michael Kors fell $6.23, or 7.3 percent, to $79.44 as some financial analysts cut their price target on the stock. Slowing sales growth even as the retailer cuts prices has worried some analysts.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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