WASHINGTON, July 23- The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday said it expects the U.S. economy to grow 1.7 percent in 2014, even more slowly than it predicted a month ago, as weakness in the first quarter offsets an expected pick-up in the second half of the year.» Read More
CURRENCY CRACKDOWN: Police threatened merchants who closed their shops in Tehran's main bazaar and launched crackdowns on sidewalk money changers on Wednesday as part of a push to halt the plunge of Iran's currency.
The groups have joined with the influential Working Families Party to meet Thursday in Manhattan to force a trade-off for public financing of campaigns in exchange for pay raises sought by legislators.
John Lynch has announced a cut in the unemployment insurance tax paid by 40,000 New Hampshire employers of. 5 percent. The reduction applies to taxable wages paid to employees during the fourth quarter of 2012, which started Monday. A second reduction is expected to go into effect Jan. 1.
NEW YORK-- Shares of Amarin Corp. PLC slipped Wednesday after a Wedbush analyst downgraded the stock, saying he thinks the chances of Amarin being acquired by a larger drugmaker are decreasing.
DALLAS-- A federal appeals court has ruled against American Airlines, which tried to block a union election among nearly 10,000 employees. It argued that the union didn't gather enough signed cards from employees to qualify for an election under new rules approved by Congress. In February, Congress raised the standard to 50 percent.
LOS ANGELES-- Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., the movie studio that is co-financing the upcoming James Bond film, "Skyfall," said Wednesday that Gary Barber will be the sole chairman and CEO of the studio, as Roger Birnbaum moves to the role of producer after sharing the MGM leadership role for almost two years.
HOUSTON-- Phillips 66, a refining and pipeline company that split from ConocoPhillips in May, is raising its quarterly dividend by 25 percent to 25 cents. The Houston company's previous payout was 20 cents. Shares fell $1.02, or 2.2 percent, to $45.40 in afternoon trading.
Union negotiators say workers and Connecticut Light& Power are still far apart on staffing and overtime issues and rejection of the proposed four-year agreement will automatically authorize a strike, though a work stoppage is by no means certain.
FRANKFURT, Germany-- The European Central Bank eased investors' fears about Europe's financial crisis when it said in September that help was at hand for countries struggling with their debts. Unemployment is at 11.4 percent, the highest since the shared euro currency was introduced by the European Union in 1999..
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.-- HanesBrands Inc. reaffirmed its 2012 financial guidance Wednesday, and its shares rose in trading. HanesBrands, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., sells underwear, socks, T-shirts and other products under brands such as Hanes, Champion and Playtex. Shares of HanesBrands increased 77 cents, roughly 2 percent, to $32.80 by early afternoon.
WASHINGTON-- Unemployment rates fell in August in nearly 90 percent of large U.S. metro areas, mainly because more people gave up looking for work. The Labor Department said Wednesday that unemployment rates dropped in 329 large cities, the most in four months.
Yiannis Stournaras said "fairly large" differences remain with debt inspectors from the so-called "troika" of the International Monetary Fund, European Union and European Central Bank. We shall see, "he told journalists after briefing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on the day's negotiations in Athens.
BARI, Italy-- Former Bari defender Andrea Masiello has reached a plea deal for a 22- month suspended sentence for match-fixing after admitting that he scored an own-goal to help Lecce stay in Serie A. In May 2011, Masiello's own-goal helped Lecce win a southern derby 2-0 to avoid relegation after Bari had already been relegated.
Bolt grabbed the camera from Jimmy Wixtrom, of Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, and snapped shots of the crowd and teammate Yohan Blake, who finished second. Wixtrom put the camera up for sale this week on e-Bay, saying the proceeds will go to the Swedish Cancer Society and Bolt's own foundation for children in Jamaica. eBay is owned by eBay Inc..
The Institute for Supply Management said its index of service companies rose to 55.1 in September, the highest level since March. The euro fell to $1.2899 in late trading Wednesday from $1.2917 late Tuesday. The dollar rose to 78.52 Japanese yen from 78.13 yen, to 0.9390 Swiss franc from 0.9364 Swiss franc and to 98.82 Canadian cents from 98.42 Canadian cents.
NEW YORK-- Boeing Co. and the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric Co. have agreed on a firm order for 85 737 s. With this order, GE Capital Aviation Services has ordered 580 airplanes directly from Boeing since 1995..
The price of oil plunged Wednesday on more evidence of slower growth in China. Benchmark oil fell $2.93, or 3.2 percent, Wednesday to $88.96 per barrel in afternoon trading in New York. China is the world's second largest economy and a huge importer of commodities like oil.
CHICAGO-- A consumer watchdog group says this summer's extreme heat boosted the bills of Commonwealth Edison customers by about $64 million. But the Citizens Utility Board also said Tuesday that customers could've reduced most of that increase by changing their habits.
BISMARCK, N.D.-- A national ratings agency says the state-owned Bank of North Dakota is in great shape. Standard& Poor's says the ratings could decline if the state's economy weakens, but it says North Dakota's economic prospects are good right now. Jack Dalrymple is chairman of the North Dakota Industrial Commission.
LINCOLN, Neb.-- Nebraska farmers and ranchers are being encouraged to apply for grants that will help them test out practices to deal with drought. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service has up to $5 million available for the grants.