Wednesday, April 1, 2015

US consumer spending edges up 0.1 percent in February

WASHINGTON — U.S. consumers spent just slightly more in February even though their income rose by a healthy amount. But economists hope bigger paychecks will give spending a bigger boost in the coming months. Consumer spending edged up a tiny 0.1 percent following declines of 0.2 percent in both January and December, the Commerce Department […]

UnitedHealth bulks up for prescription drug cost battle

The nation’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealth, will muscle up for its fight against rising prescription drug costs by spending more than $12 billion to buy pharmacy benefits manager Catamaran Corp. Pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs, help negotiate the prices that customers pay for prescription drugs. They are seen as a key component in the push […]

March 31, 2015 | Posted in Business and Real Estate | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Business forecasters boost 2-year outlook for US economy

A business economics group has boosted its outlook for U.S. economic improvement this year and next, particularly for job growth. The March report from the National Association for Business Economics forecasts more hiring, a lower unemployment rate, a lower inflation rate and more growth in consumer spending in 2015, compared to the group’s forecast in […] offering to help get jobs done around the house

SEATTLE — is introducing a referral service to help people to get projects and chores done around their homes. The recommendation system, called Amazon Home Services, marks the e-commerce company’s latest attempt to expand its empire beyond online shopping. It debuted Monday across the U.S. after several months of testing in New York, Los […]

McDonald’s to test all-day breakfast beginning in April

NEW YORK — A McMuffin for dinner? It might happen, as McDonald’s plans to test an all-day breakfast at some locations in the San Diego area starting next month. The company said in a statement that the test is in response to customers who have said they’d like to eat breakfast foods outside the typical […]

SEC files fraud charges against Lynn Tilton, firms

WASHINGTON — Federal regulators filed civil fraud charges against prominent Wall Street executive Lynn Tilton and her investment firms, who are accused of concealing the poor performance of fund assets linked to loans to distressed companies. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the action Monday against Tilton and her Patriarch Partners group of investment firms […]

US university, foundation invested in frozen Chinese stocks

WASHINGTON — The University of Michigan, defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. and a foundation helping Appalachian children all own stakes in an Asian investment fund backing two major Chinese companies, which froze their stocks late last week after failing to file their financial statements on time. The U.S. groups invested in the $1.4 billion fund […]

Regulators plan to drop case at closed California nuke plant

LOS ANGELES — Federal regulators intend to close a lingering case involving the installation of faulty equipment at the now-shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant in Southern California. The environmental group Friends of the Earth had asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to review whether plant operator Southern California Edison sidestepped rules when it replaced steam […]

Bernanke rejects charge of Fed ‘throwing seniors under bus’

WASHINGTON — Ben Bernanke no longer leads the Federal Reserve, but he’s hardly letting up in his defense of the ultra-low-rate policies he engineered — and his successor, Janet Yellen, has continued. In his first post as a new blogger Monday, Bernanke struck back at critics who he said had charged the Bernanke Fed with, […]

Michigan entrepreneur claiming idea for Heinz Dip & Squeeze

PITTSBURGH — A Michigan food entrepreneur claims the “Little Dipper” condiment package he patented in 1997 led H.J. Heinz Co. to develop its Dip & Squeeze ketchup packets, which it rolled out in February 2010, lawyers in opening statements told a federal court jury in Pittsburgh on Monday. The trial, expected to last through Thursday, […]

Entertainment Calendar: March 27, 2015

ART EXHIBITS Arts Benicia: Open studios preview, April 8 through May 3, open studios, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 2-3; open noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday during exhibitions, 991 Taylor St., Suite 114, Benicia. Free. 747-0130, Benicia Plein Air Gallery: Craig Britton is March’s featured artist; Iris Sabre is April’s featured artist, reception […]

Sports on TV/Local sports for Thursday, March 26, 2015

TV sports Auto racing •Formula One, practice for Malaysia Grand Prix, at Kuala Lumpur, NBCSN, 11 p.m. Baseball College •Alabama at Florida, SEC, 4 p.m. •Mississippi at Arkansas, ESPNU, 4:30 p.m. Spring Training •Baltimore vs. Detroit, MLB, 10 a.m. •Seattle vs. Kansas City, MLB, 1 p.m. •L.A. Angels vs. Chicago Cubs, at Mesa, Ariz, ESPN, […]

This date in sports history for March 26, 2015

March 26 1944 — St. John’s, coached by Joe Lapchick, cruises by DePaul 47-39 to become the first back-to-back winner of the National Invitation Tournament. 1946 — Hank Iba’s Oklahoma A&M Aggies beat North Carolina 43-40 for their second straight NCAA men’s basketball title. Bob Kurland scores 23 points, including the first two dunks in […]

This date in sports history for March 25, 2015

March 25 1934 — Horton Smith wins the first Masters, beating Craig Wood by one stroke. 1947 — Holy Cross, led by George Kaftan, defeats Oklahoma 58-47 in the NCAA basketball championship. 1958 — Sugar Ray Robinson regains the middleweight title for a record fifth time with a 15-round decision over Carmen Basilio. 1961 — […]

TV sports Baseball College •Cincinnati at Tennessee, SEC, 4 p.m. Spring Training •N.Y. Mets vs. N.Y. Yankees, MLB, 10 a.m. •Oakland vs. Milwaukee, MLB, 1 p.m. •Kansas City vs. Chicago White Sox, MLB, 6 p.m. Basketball College men •NIT, quarterfinal, Murray St. at Old Dominion, ESPN2, 4 p.m. •NIT, quarterfinal, Louisiana Tech at Temple, ESPN2, […]

UN women’s agency backs out of partnership with Uber

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. women’s agency has backed out of a partnership with the ride-sharing company Uber which had pledged to create jobs for 1 million women drivers by 2020 after a protest by trade unions and civil society groups. Brigitta Paas, vice president of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, said the unions and […]

Greek, German leaders seek to reboot relationship

BERLIN — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought Monday to reboot an increasingly sour relationship, saying they are looking for ways to help Athens reach a deal with creditors that will keep it from falling out of the euro. In his first visit to Germany since coming to power in […]

US home sales rebound slightly in February

WASHINGTON — Slightly more Americans bought homes in February, but tight inventories, affordability problems and nasty winter weather point to sluggish sales in the coming few months. Sales of existing homes rose 1.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million, a slight rebound after plunging in January yet still underperforming […]

Farmers fund research to breed gluten-free wheat

WICHITA, Kan. — Kansas farmers are paying for genetic research to figure out exactly why some people struggle to digest wheat. The hard science is aimed at developing new varieties of wheat at a time when the gluten-free industry is worth nearly a billion dollars a year in the U.S. alone. The Kansas Wheat Commission […]

March 24, 2015 | Posted in Business and Real Estate | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Fed Vice Chair Fischer: Rate hike is likely this year

NEW YORK — Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer says he expects the Fed to start raising interest rates sometime this year. Once that happens, though, rates won’t likely move in any predictable pattern, he added. Fischer’s remarks Monday built on a message the Fed sent last week after its latest policy meeting ended. The […]

Feds worry about contamination in bottles of sea-aged wine

CHARLESTON, S.C. — It seemed like a worthwhile experiment to a small winery: Submerge bottles of wine in sea water to see how they age. But a federal agency is concerned that ocean water could contaminate the wine. For two years, Napa Valley, California-based Mira Winery has been submerging bottles of wine in the harbor […]

Louisville Slugger maker announces deal to sell iconic brand

Over a century of family ownership of Louisville Slugger bats is going … going … nearly gone. The company that makes the iconic bats gripped by generations of ballplayers — from Babe Ruth to David Wright — announced a deal Monday to sell its Louisville Slugger brand to rival Wilson Sporting Goods Co. for $70 […]

US stock market starts the week with a small loss

NEW YORK — A late turn pulled the stock market to a loss on Monday, as major indexes wavered following a strong run last week. Kansas City Southern slumped 8 percent, the biggest fall in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, after the railroad operator trimmed its revenue estimates, pointing to falling fuel prices and […]

Sports on TV/Local sports for Monday-Tuesday, March 23, 24, 2015

Monday’s TV sports Baseball College San Diego at Stanford, PAC12, P12BA, 1 p.m. Spring Training •N.Y. Yankees vs. Nationals, MLB, 10 a.m. •A’s vs. Indians, MLB, 1 p.m. •Cincinnati vs. Texas, MLB, 6 p.m. (taped) Basketball NIT, second round •Louisiana Tech at Texas A&M, ESPN, 4 p.m. •Illinois State at Old Dominion, ESPNU, 5 p.m. […]

This date in sports history for March 23

March 23 1939 — Long Island University finishes the season undefeated after a 44-32 victory over Loyola of Chicago in the NIT championship. 1948 — Alex Groza and Ralph Beard combine for 26 points to lead Kentucky to a 58-42 win over Baylor in the NCAA basketball championship. 1956 — Bill Russell led San Francisco […]

Bowling report for Sunday, March 22, 2015

Notes: Anthony Callan placed first in the L division with a 648.  Next stop is the state Pepsi Tournament in Daly City. Congratulations. Congratulations to Steve McCulloch for rolling a 300 game (211-300-246-757). Stars Recreation Friday Twilighters: Ness Cruz 215, 220, Chris Cruz 202, Brandon Cruz 247, 247, Joe Farley 245, James Irvine II 246, […]

Hometown sports: BMX, bocce

North Bay BMX North Bay BMX in Napa held a USA BMX Single Points Race on Feb. 28. There were 13 Motos with a total of 50 Riders. These are the top 3 finishes from each division. 15 Cruiser 1. Cooper Miller (Napa). 2. Nicholas Wackford (Sacramento). 3. Michael Bennett (Napa). 41-45 Cruiser 1. Anthony […]

Stanford runs past Cal St Northridge 73-60 in 1st round

STANFORD — Early in the second half, Stanford found itself facing a six-point deficit on its home court against a less heralded team in the NCAA Tournament. That’s when Lili Thompson and Taylor Greenfield took the game over. Thompson and Greenfield each scored seven points in a game-changing, second-half run that helped fourth-seeded Stanford overcome […]

Texas’ McGee-Stafford, Cal’s Gray present key NCAA matchup

BERKELEY — Growing up in Los Angeles, Reshanda Gray and Imani McGee-Stafford crossed paths as opponents with their high school and travel teams. Later, they saw each other in USA Basketball. When Gray leads California to take on McGee-Stafford and Texas (23-10) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night, these two […]

This date in sports history for Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 21 1893 — The first women’s college basketball game is played at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. In this game, each basket is worth 1 point and the freshman class beats the sophomore class 5-4. The game takes place behind locked doors and men are prohibited from watching. 1941 — Joe Louis knocks out […]