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  • NEW YORK, Feb 4- About 12.7 million Americans signed up for 2016 health insurance coverage through the government insurance exchanges, surpassing its expectations, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said on Thursday. In 37 states, customers can buy these plans on HealthCare.gov, the federally run website, while the other states and...

  • WASHINGTON/ NEW YORK, Feb 4- Former drug executive Martin Shkreli smirked and brushed off questions about drug prices then tweeted that lawmakers were imbeciles on Thursday, when he appeared at a U.S. congressional hearing against his will. Shkreli, 32, sparked outrage last year among patients, medical societies and Democratic presidential front-runner...

  • The $10- per-barrel fee is expected face solid opposition from Republicans who control Congress and oppose new taxes and Obama's energy policies. The White House said the $10 fee would be phased in over five years. The White House said the tax would provide for the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund to ensure the nation maintains its infrastructure.

  • Robert Califf, President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration, said on Thursday the agency would reform its process for approving opioid painkillers. The FDA said it has agreed to convene a committee before approving any new opioid that does not have abuse-deterrent properties. Califf, who joined the FDA a year ago as a deputy...

  • Obama health care law posts respectable sign-up season Thursday, 4 Feb 2016 | 3:12 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Still facing political jeopardy, President Barack Obama's health care law beat expectations by earning solid sign-ups this year, according to figures released Thursday by the administration. "It's not the unequivocal success that Obamacare advocates had hoped for, but also not the disaster that critics thought could make it a talking point on...

  • LONDON, Feb 4- Iran on Thursday called on the United States to make a clear public pledge that it would not penalise European banks for legitimate trade with the Islamic Republic. "Rebuilding the confidence of the banks that the United States will not re-intervene in their relations with Iran may require some further assurance from the United States," Zarif said...

  • Business events scheduled for the coming week Thursday, 4 Feb 2016 | 1:39 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Commerce Department releases wholesale trade inventories for December, 10 a.m.; Labor Department releases job openings and labor turnover survey for December, 10 a.m.. PARIS— French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi reports 2015 earnings. WASHINGTON— Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims, 8:30 a.m.; Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, releases...

  • Business events scheduled for Friday Thursday, 4 Feb 2016 | 1:14 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Labor Department releases employment data for January, 8:30 a.m. Eastern. WASHINGTON— Commerce Department releases international trade data for December, 8:30 a.m.. WASHINGTON— Federal Reserve releases consumer credit data for December, 3 p.m..

  • David Detweiler, an attorney with law firm Clifford Chance, has been named executive vice president and general counsel at Volkswagen of America Group. VW also announced it is opening an office soon in downtown Washington, as it has in other world capitals. VW has been working to bolster its relationships with lawmakers and others in Washington in the face of the...

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 4- The federal government watchdog has determined that the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission violated government accounting principles by understating its leasing liabilities, a congressional source told Reuters. "It is deeply troubling that an agency charged with regulating some of the most complex financial products and...

  • EPS 19 cents vs est. To counter slowing sales growth, the company has been investing heavily to expand its reach and recently added Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and San Francisco to its network, which is present in more than 1,000 U.S. cities. "There is more competition in the space but their performance seems to suggest it's not materially negatively affecting...

  • WASHINGTON/ NEW YORK, Feb 4- Former drug executive Martin Shkreli laughed off questions about drug prices and tweeted that lawmakers were imbeciles on Thursday, when he appeared at a U.S. congressional hearing against his will. Shkreli, 32, sparked outrage last year among patients, medical societies and Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton...

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 4- Even as the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates in December its message was clear: it wanted to keep monetary conditions loose and felt the United States still needed accommodation to keep a modest recovery underway. Now, markets seem to have taken matters into their own hands. "That tightening has got to be taken into account because it...

  • Finance chiefs of the G20 bloc of big world economies will meet on Feb. 26-27 in Shanghai against the backdrop of apparent policymaker helplessness to calm markets, which have suffered one of the worst ever starts to a year. Oil's collapse, capital outflows from China and the prospect of yuan devaluation are all stoking fears of a global recession.

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 4- Volkswagen AG has replaced the head of its U.S. legal department with an outside lawyer as it works to win approval to fix nearly 600,000 vehicles with excess emissions, a person briefed on the matter said Thursday. David Detweiler, an attorney with law firm Clifford Chance, has been named the top attorney at Volkswagen of America Group.

  • WASHINGTON— Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell for the fifth straight week amid volatility in world financial markets. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30- year fixed-rate mortgage slid to 3.72 percent this week, down from 3.79 percent last week and the lowest since it averaged 3.68 percent in April 2015. To calculate average...

  • Orders to US factories fell sharply in December Thursday, 4 Feb 2016 | 10:10 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Orders to U.S. factories fell sharply in December, closing out a year in which demand for American manufactured goods retreated for the first time in six years. Factory orders dropped 2.9 percent in December, the fourth decline in the past five months, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Orders were down 6.6 percent for the full year, marking...

  • WASHINGTON/ New York, Feb 4- Former Turing Pharmaceuticals Chief Executive Officer Martin Shkreli invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and declined to answer questions on Thursday from U.S. lawmakers interested in why the company raised the price of a lifesaving medicine by 5,000 percent. Shkreli, 32, sparked outrage last year...

  • The company has been investing heavily to expand its reach and recently added Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and San Francisco to its network, which is present in 900 U.S. cities. The company forecast first-quarter revenue of $109 million- $112 million. The company's net income rose to $11.3 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $10.8 million a year...

  • Feb 4- Real estate investment trust Hersha Hospitality Trust said it would sell seven hotels in Manhattan for $571.4 million to a joint venture it is setting up with China's Cindat Capital Management Ltd.. The hotels include the Holiday Inn Express Times Square, the Candlewood Suites Times Square, the Hampton Inn Chelsea and the Holiday Inn Wall Street.