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  • WASHINGTON, April 28- Hailing the U.S.- Japan partnership as "indestructible," President Barack Obama on Tuesday hosted Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a visit to showcase deeper defense ties and advance a Pacific trade pact as the two allies seek to counter China's growing power in the region. But while Japan moves to loosen restrictions on its post- war...

  • US consumer confidence slides in April Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 | 10:13 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— U.S. consumer confidence fell this month to the lowest level in four months, knocked down by a slowdown in hiring. Lynn Franco, the Conference Board's director of economic indicators, blamed "the recent lackluster performance of the labor market." Also weighing on consumers' spirits: Gasoline prices, which tumbled to a nationwide average low of $2.03 a...

  • April 28- The United States and Japan have made "significant progress" on bilateral trade talks and will work towards a "swift" conclusion of a broader agreement on the 12- country Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, the two countries said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

  • So, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief Mark Rosekind asked for ideas Tuesday from auto companies and safety advocates on how to boost what he called unacceptable completion rates. One case that troubles Rosekind is Takata Corp. In the past three years, 17 million vehicles have been recalled because air bag inflators made by the Japanese...

  • Seeking answers on getting recalled cars fixed quickly Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 | 9:23 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Frustrated that cars recalled for serious safety defects aren't getting fixed quickly enough, the nation's auto safety chief will host a gathering of automakers Tuesday to search for solutions. In some recalls for problems as serious as air bags that can spew shrapnel into drivers or fuel tanks that can rupture in a rear-end crash, completion...

  • US home prices accelerated in February as sales rise Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 | 9:00 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— U.S. home prices climbed at a faster pace in February than the previous month, driven by higher sales and a limited supply of available houses. The Standard& Poor's/Case-Shiller 20- city home price index rose 5 percent in February from 12 months earlier, S&P said Tuesday. "While slow and steady growth throughout the country may sound like an...

  • Ahead of the Bell: US consumer confidence Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 | 6:37 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The Conference Board releases its April index on U.S. consumer confidence Tuesday at 10 a.m. Eastern. And gasoline prices, which tumbled to a nationwide average low of $2.03 a gallon in late January, have bounced back up to $2.54 a gallon, according to AAA, possibly dampening the desire and ability of Americans to go shopping. Still, gasoline prices were...

  • MOUNT HOLLY, N.J.— The name of Jenn Tompkins' company sends customers into fits of laughter. In two years, Pennsylvania- based Rent The Chicken has expanded to three other states, plus Toronto. "As a society, we don't really like commitment," Tompkins said while visiting an affiliate in Mount Holly, New Jersey.

  • TOKYO, April 28- Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari played down the prospect of substantial progress in trade talks being announced after a summit meeting between Japan and the United States on Tuesday. President Barack Obama in Washington. Japanese public broadcaster NHK said a joint statement after the meeting would probably refer to "substantial...

  • WASHINGTON, April 28- President Barack Obama will host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for White House talks on Tuesday to showcase newly strengthened defense ties and advance a long-delayed Pacific trade deal as the two allies seek to counter China's rising influence in Asia. A deal between economic power houses Japan and the United States is vital to...

  • WILMINGTON, Delaware, April 28- Brazilian oil company Petrobras' $17 billion write-down, announced last week, may have been meant to close the accounting on a sprawling corruption scandal, but could instead provide fresh ammunition for a U.S. class action lawsuit. The case, filed in Manhattan federal court in December by a group of large investors, alleges $98...

  • WASHINGTON— On a trip to Australia in 2012, Hillary Rodham Clinton lavished praise on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, calling it the "gold standard" in efforts to create open and fair trade. The 12- nation Trans-Pacific Partnership under negotiation by Obama has divided the Democratic Party, leaving Clinton caught between angry liberal activists...

  • Obama welcomes Abe to White House with high ceremony Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 | 12:54 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Tuesday with full pomp and ceremony on a bright, dewy morning at the White House, calling the state visit a "celebration of the ties of friendship" and praising the alliance the U.S. and Japan have built over time. "Prime Minister Abe is leading Japan to a new role in the world stage," Obama...

  • SAO PAULO, April 27- Private-equity firm Carlyle Group LP agreed on Monday to pay 1.75 billion reais for a stake in Rede D'Or São Luiz SA, Brazil's largest hospital chain, a source with direct knowledge of the deal said. Washington, D.C.- based Carlyle acquired the stake through a capital increase, with controlling shareholder and Chairman Jorge Moll and Grupo BTG...

  • Rates mixed at weekly US Treasury bill auction Monday, 27 Apr 2015 | 5:22 PM ET

    The Treasury Department auctioned $24 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.020 percent, down from 0.025 percent last week. Another $24 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.095 percent, up from 0.090 percent last week. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,999.49, while a six-month bill sold for $9,995.20.

  • WASHINGTON— Reports about a Senate cafeteria worker who makes so little money he is homeless are prompting calls for change from Democrats on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers led by the No. 2 Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, released a letter Monday urging the Senate Rules Committee, which oversees Senate services, to provide a preference to contractors that pay...

  • *Euro gains on Greece optimism. *Gold jumps more than 2 percent. NEW YORK, April 27- Wall Street shares fell on Monday, dragged lower by biotech and healthcare stocks, while European shares and the euro advanced on optimism over talks between Greece and its lenders after Greece reshuffled its negotiating team.

  • WASHINGTON— The GOP chairman of the House Armed Service Committee on Monday recommended a $604 billion defense budget for 2016 that challenges the White House because it includes lethal weapons for Ukraine, makes it harder for the president to empty the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and restores funding for the A-10 fleet. Adam Smith, D- Wash., the ranking...

  • Figures on government spending and debt Monday, 27 Apr 2015 | 4:08 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Figures on government spending and debt.

  • WASHINGTON— The Food and Drug Administration says Medtronic must stop most sales of its implantable drug pumps after years of uncorrected problems. The FDA has filed a court order against Medtronic that says the medical device giant must halt most production and distribution of its Synchromed II drug pumps, which are implanted devices used to treat patients...