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  • LOS ANGELES— Los Angeles is the latest and biggest city to endorse a hike in the minimum wage, adding to a string of successes for unions and advocates for the poor who have made it a primary objective as American wages stagnate. But even those who backed the City Council's vote for a $15- an-hour wage by 2020— more than double the current federal minimum requirement—...

  • HOUSTON, May 20- U.S. oil companies, still smarting from the crude price rout, are attracting a wave of new investment from unlikely sources- hedge funds and private equity firms flocking to the energy market for the first time to bet on a rebound. "You've got generalist funds that have never invested in energy coming out of the woodwork," Michael Ames, an energy...

  • LOS ANGELES, May 19- The Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to increase the minimum wage in the nation's second-largest city to $15 an hour by 2020 from the current $9, in a victory for labor and community groups that have pushed for similar pay hikes in several U.S. municipalities. The council's 14-1 vote on the measure, which must come back before the panel...

  • LOS ANGELES— The Los Angeles City Council gave initial approval Tuesday to raising minimum pay in the nation's second-largest city to $15 an hour by 2020, a key step as wages in America have stagnated. If enacted, Los Angeles would join Seattle and San Francisco as some of the largest cities in the nation with phased-in minimum wage laws that eventually require...

  • WASHINGTON, May 19- The Federal Reserve's plan to raise interest rates this year, forged over months of strong jobs growth and a seemingly durable expansion, now faces an economy that no longer follows the script and may push the "liftoff" far into the future. "The Fed has been telling us for some time that they want to be data dependent, and the numbers are nothing to run...

  • May 19- Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Tuesday joined the list of U.S. retailers reporting disappointing quarterly results, saying consumers' pocketing tax refunds and savings from cheaper gasoline had dented its sales growth. The results illustrate the obstacles facing Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon, who took the job 15 months ago. Wal-Mart said sales at...

  • May 19- Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Tuesday became the latest U.S. retailer to report weaker-than-expected quarterly sales, saying consumers were pocketing tax refunds and savings from cheaper gasoline rather than buying unnecessary items. Wal-Mart said sales at stores open more than a year increased by 1.1 percent in the 13 weeks ended on May 1 from a year earlier.

  • Grain lower, livestock mostly lower Tuesday, 19 May 2015 | 10:58 AM ET

    CHICAGO— Grain futures were lower Tuesday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for July delivery was 8.75 cents lower at $5.13 a bushel; July corn was 6.50 cents lower at $3.6150 a bushel; July oats were unchanged at $2.5350 a bushel; while July soybeans gained 7.50 cents to 9.47 a bushel. June live cattle was. 23 cent lower at $1.5180 a pound; August...

  • *Q1 ex items $1.16/ share vs. *Sees full-year profit $5.24 to $5.27/ share. May 19- Home Depot Inc reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit and sales on Tuesday and raised its full-year earnings forecast as North American customers spent more on home repairs after a harsh winter.

  • WASHINGTON, May 19- UPS has agreed to pay $25 million to settle some allegations that it submitted false claims to the U.S. government in an attempt to hide late deliveries, according court documents unsealed on Tuesday and released by the U.S. Department of Justice. The federal government as well as nineteen states, the District of Columbia and the cities of...

  • May 19- Medtronic Plc on Tuesday said fourth-quarter revenue would be higher than expected, boosted by strong U.S. sales of its heart devices, and projected earnings would be at the upper end of its previously forecast range. The preliminary quarterly results are the first to include revenue generated by Covidien Plc, which Medtronic acquired in January for...

  • May 19- Wal-Mart Stores Inc reported lower-than-expected quarterly U.S. same-store sales growth, saying its customers were using their tax refunds and savings at the pump to pay down debt rather than spend on discretionary items. Wal-Mart forecast second-quarter earnings of $1.06- $1.18 per share, largely below the average analyst estimate of $1.17.

  • Wal-Mart 1st-qtr same-store sales miss estimates Tuesday, 19 May 2015 | 7:10 AM ET

    May 19- Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, reported lower-than-expected U.S. same-store sales growth, sending its shares down 2 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday. Net profit attributable to Wal-Mart fell to $3.34 billion, or $1.03 per share, in the first quarter ended April 30, from $3.59 billion, or $1.11 per share, a year earlier.

  • May 19- Home Depot Inc, the world's largest home improvement chain by sales, reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and sales as customers in North America spent more on home repairs after a harsh winter. Several northeastern parts of the United States experienced heavy snowfall this winter, with cities including New York, Chicago and Boston hit with...

  • Home Depot's profit rises 14.5 pct Tuesday, 19 May 2015 | 6:10 AM ET

    May 19- Home Depot Inc, the world's largest home improvement chain by sales, reported a 14.5 percent rise in quarterly profit as customers in North America spent more on home repairs after a harsher-than-usual winter. The company's net income rose to $1.58 billion, or $1.21 per share, from $1.38 billion, or $1.00 per share, a year earlier. Net sales rose to $20.89...

  • CHICAGO— The fate of a $10.1 billion class-action judgment against the nation's largest cigarette maker is in the hands of justices at the Illinois Supreme Court, who heard oral arguments Tuesday in Phillip Morris USA's appeal to have the on-again, off-again verdict struck down. The initial Madison County trial ended in 2003 with the multibillion dollar...

  • HONG KONG— For Americans, there are cheaper vacations in Europe and lower-priced imports. A Chinese factory is selling fewer goods in Europe. In Europe, many exporters have benefited because a stronger dollar tends to make their products cheaper in the United States.

  • Obama library foundation raised $5.4 million in 2014 Monday, 18 May 2015 | 7:12 PM ET

    The Barack Obama Foundation's largest contribution of $1 million came from Fred Eychaner, a major Democratic donor and founder of Chicago- based Newsweb Corp.. The library foundation announced last week that it would establish the library on the South Side of Chicago on a site proposed by the University of Chicago, after also entertaining bids made by...

  • A security researcher told federal agents he was able to hack into aircraft computer systems mid-flight numerous times through the in-flight entertainment systems, and at one point he caused a plane he was on to move sideways, according to an FBI agent's affidavit. The researcher, Chris Roberts, was questioned upon his arrival at the Syracuse, New York, airport...

  • Taxi medallions becoming unsellable Monday, 18 May 2015 | 1:58 PM ET
    A woman hails a taxi in New York.

    The slide in medallion prices has left many owner-operators and big fleet managers pessimistic about their assets, USA Today reports.