Bertha Coombs is a general assignment reporter for CNBC, covering financial markets and business news stories throughout the business day programming. She is based at the network's global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
Her reporting at CNBC has ranged from coverage of the spying scandal on Hewlett-Packard's board and the criminal trial of former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and Mississippi, and the BP oil spill. She also serves as a substitute anchor on business day programs, including CNBC's "Worldwide Exchange," which is broadcast live from Europe, Asia and the United States.
Before joining CNBC, Coombs was a freelance anchor and reporter at CNNfn, and served as a financial markets reporter with Yahoo Finance Vision, which had been an online TV network.
Prior, Coombs served as an ABC News reporter and anchor, covering news stories for "ABC News One," and serving as a substitute anchor for "World News Now" and "World News This Morning." During her tenure at ABC News, she covered leading news stories such as the Clinton impeachment trial, the Kosovo crisis and Hurricane Floyd, as well as anchored the network's first special report on John F. Kennedy Jr.'s plane crash.
Coombs began her career in local general news. Her previous experience includes reporting and anchoring positions at WABC-TV in New York City, WPLG-TV in Miami and WFSB-TV in Hartford, Conn.
She is a member and former board member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Born in Havana, Cuba, she speaks fluent Spanish.
Coombs earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Yale University. Following graduation, she was the recipient of a Leo Beranek Reporter Training Fellowship.
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With the average price of regular gasoline now hovering near $3.80 a gallon nationally, prices at the pump are nearly a dollar higher than a year ago. For the average American who drives about about 15,000 miles a year and uses roughly 750 gallons of gas annually, that dollar increase per gallon has eaten about a $750 hole into the household budget per car.
Energy executives at the Howard Weil Energy conference in New Orleans are fairly upbeat about the outlook for global oil and gas exploration, despite ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and Africa, and their continuing frustration with the Obama administration's slow pace of issuing deepwater drilling permits for exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.
Blue chip companies are boosting dividends 35 percent this year. Yet, given the record levels of cash corporations are holding, are they being generous enough?
Businesses will be able to depreciate 100 percent of the cost of capital goods on their 2011 taxes, for equipment bought and placed in service between September 8, 2010 and December 31, 2011. That's up from 50 percent accelerated depreciation in 2010, and applies to property that is depreciated over 20 years or less.
The $858 billion tax plan approved by Congress in December included a surprise two percent reduction in payroll taxes for 2011, in what amounts to a $120 billion bet that Americans will spend the money and help juice the economy.
Goldman Sachs is bullish on the U.S. economy for 2011, and forecasts U.S. stocks will see their third straight year of gains.