WASHINGTON— U.S. consumer prices edged down in August, the first monthly drop since the spring of 2013, as gasoline, airline tickets and clothing prices all fell. The Labor Department says consumer prices edged down 0.2 percent last month following a tiny 0.1 percent gain in July. It was the first decline since a similar 0.2 percent drop in April 2013.» Read More
LONDON-- Financial markets steadied Thursday ahead of another round of U.S. corporate earnings and despite a downgrade of Spain's sovereign credit rating. Standard& Poor's downgraded Spain's government debt late Wednesday from BBB+ to BBB-, the lowest investment grade level.
LISBON, Portugal-- Efforts to restore Portugal's financial health have kept the government up all night, with the Cabinet concluding a 20 hour meeting to draft a budget for next year. The meeting ended around 5 a.m. Thursday after starting at 8 a.m. the previous day. Portugal is in recession and struggling to reduce its debt load despite a 78 billion bailout last year.
JOHANNESBURG-- Striking miners killed one man by setting him on fire Thursday while another was shot and seriously wounded in rekindled labor unrest in South Africa that saw police firing tear gas and rubber bullets. The violence near an Anglo American Platinum mine has escalated since the company dismissed 12,000 striking miners on Friday.
ATHENS, Greece-- Unemployment in Greece hit a record high of 25.1 percent in July as the country's financial crisis continues to exact its heavy toll, official figures showed Thursday. All indications are that unemployment in Greece will continue to rise.
BERLIN-- Germany's environment minister says the country must overhaul the tax financing expansion of renewable energies to keep costs in check and ensure a smooth phasing out of nuclear power by 2022..
SEATTLE-- Kristine Nannini spent her summer creating wall charts and student data sheets for her fifth grade class _ and making $24,000 online by selling those same materials to other teachers.
TOKYO-- Toyota executives were unfazed Thursday by the overnight recall of 7.43 million vehicles over faulty power window switches that can cause fires, calling it a sign the Japanese company had learned from its mistakes and was becoming quicker and more transparent.
BERLIN-- Germany's leading economic research institutes have halved their prediction for the country's growth next year, saying the financial woes of other European nations continue to weigh heavily on the bloc's largest economy.
BANGKOK-- World stock markets were mixed Thursday, with Europe posting modest gains while Asia slumped after Spain, the fourth-largest euro economy, was slapped with a two-notch credit downgrade. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent to 5,791.79, Germany's DAX added 0.4 percent and France's CAC-40 advanced 0.3 percent to 3,375.40.
LONDON-- Luxury fashion house Burberry PLC, which issued a profit warning last month, says retail sales growth slowed in the second quarter as demand weakened in Britain and China. The company said sales at stores open more than a year rose 1 percent in the three months to Sept. 30, compared with 6 percent in the previous quarter.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday that financial reforms and other actions in response to the global crisis are yielding results, helping the U.S. economy to grow at a pace better than there was reason to expect.
As well as citing the deepening economic recession in Spain and rising levels of social discontent, the agency said the government's hesitation in requesting help was "potentially raising the risks to Spain's rating."
Late Wednesday, Standard& Poor's cut its rating on Spain's debt by two notches to BBB-, leaving the country on the cusp of junk status. The agency argued that the government's "hesitation" in requesting help was "potentially raising the risks to Spain's rating."
Royal Dutch Shell PLC long argued that the case, which was launched in 2008, should be heard in Nigeria and still maintains the Dutch court should not have jurisdiction. Four villagers and environmental group Friends of the Earth say Shell pipeline leaks fouled fish ponds, farmland and forests in three villages in the Niger Delta, Goi, Oruma and Ikot Ada Udo.
WASHINGTON-- Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney is promising to get tough on China to help American workers, but his plans could backfire. Romney is pledging, on his first day in office, to designate China a currency manipulator, a step no administration has taken against any country for 18 years.
CINCINNATI-- As Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic battled for the title at the Western& Southern Open north of Cincinnati, a small plane buzzed overhead, trailing a banner calling the sponsor a bunch of bullies.
PARIS-- Big box retailer Carrefour SA says revenue was up modestly in third quarter, driven by strong sales in its convenience stores and booming regions like Asia and Latin America. Recessions in Spain and Italy weighed on the company's performance in Europe, where sales slipped 2.2 percent.
The price of oil rose above $92 a barrel Thursday as growing tensions between Turkey and Syria caused worries about the future of Middle East crude supplies. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for November delivery was up 90 cents to $92.15 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The U.S. government said China has subsidized companies that are flooding the U.S. with low-cost panels. Both U.S. and China- based solar companies gained in afternoon trading. However, another big gainer was Canadian Solar Inc., which has operations in both the U.S. and China. Its shares rose 15 cents, or 5.7 percent, to $2.78.
Dean Foods Co. shares fell Thursday after a UBS analyst downgraded his rating on the company's shares, expressing concern about rising dairy prices. THE BIG PICTURE: Dean Foods is one of the nation's largest dairy processors and milk distributors.