DJIA: 17,712.66  +34.43 (0.19%) | NASDAQ: 4,891.219  +27.857 (0.57%) | S&P 500: 2,061.02  +4.87 (0.24%) Markets closed

  • Show Article Details

    Often before I patronize a business or buy a product, I go online to see what others experienced. I don’t always take every word as the truth, but the tales of woe and praise help in my decision to spend my money.Online reviews can be helpful, but for some businesses, a bad review can lead to losses. So, some businesses are fighting back and suing individual reviewers, writes The Washington Post’s Justin Jouvenal.“Lawsuits over negative reviews have risen in recent years with the popularity of sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, TripAdvisor (TRIP) and others that allow users to rate and provide feedback on businesses,” Jouvenal writes. “The reviews have become an increasingly important factor in generating new customers — or sending them fleeing.”Jouvenal profiles one such customer who wrote a negative review about a dog obedience class. The dog owner, Jennifer Ujimori, was hit with a $65,000 defamation lawsuit.The Virginia woman is fighting the lawsuit to make a point: “People should be free to express their feelings about their service providers. Companies using the legal system to silence their critics has a chilling effect on First Amendment rights,” Ujimori said.The customer in this case hopes to get Virginia legislators to pass what is known as an anti-SLAPP law, which allows judges to quickly dismiss cases that involve First Amendment rights. SLAPP stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” according to Cornell University Law School.Many states have adopted anti-SLAPP laws in “the interest of protecting free speech” and to “provide for speedy hearings of the claims and the possibility of the defendant recovering legal fees and punitive damages,” the law school’s Web site says. The District, Maryland and more than half of the states have anti-SLAPP laws, Jouvenal reported.This is a fascinating story, and if you frequently write reviews, you should read it.Color of Money Question of the WeekDo you think customers have the right — with immunity — to voice their complaints online if they are unhappy with a service or product? Send your comments to colorfomoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. I’m not a fan of anonymous comments.Live chat canceledI’m so sorry, but today’s regularly scheduled online chat is canceled. Please join me next week, and check out the transcript of last week’s chat if you missed it. We had some really good discussions.Sales begoneFrequent retail sales may be going the way of the dinosaur, writes Sarah Halzack, The Post’s national retail reporter.When the economy tanked, retailers enticed customers into their stores by holding more sales. But the deep discounts didn’t end as the economy picked up. Why?“Shoppers had become hooked on deals and weren’t ready to give them up,” Halzack writes.But the super sale ride may be over. As Halzack writes, a stronger economy is causing some retailers to “put the brakes on their years-long promotional ride in hope that they can retrain shoppers to buy things at full price.”But will it work?Experts don’t think so, Halzack says, “Retailers are likely going to face a serious challenge in weaning consumers off the drug of promotional pricing.”But keep this in mind even when you buy things on sale: You never save when you spend. You may spend less, but you are not actively saving.Don’t show me the moneyI was touched last week by a number of stories about professional football players who have decided to take a knee and quit the game despite their multimillion-dollar contracts. They walked for a number of reasons, including concerns about their health.So I asked: If you had an opportunity to make millions, could you walk away from the money like those guys did?Devon Brown from Stuttgart, Germany, wrote: “For the sake of my health and how this would affect my family, I would definitely walk away from the opportunity to make millions. But before doing so I would get all my financial affairs together and have a plan on how my family and I would adjust our lifestyles, since we might have a significant drop in discretionary funds. Lastly, I would become an advocate for other individuals looking to make this decision in case they needed personal testimony or guidance moving forward.”Loved that comment. It’s definitely what I would suggest, which is learn to live below your new means.Troy Miller from Nebraska had a different take. “Would not walk away,” he wrote. “Love the game. Risk versus benefits is a no-brainer.”Even just three years in the National Football League versus 30-plus years in a factory seems worth the risk, Miller said. But he acknowledges, “I grew up and live in rural Nebraska, so football is like breathing.”Wrote Norman St. Amour of Harrisburg, Pa.: “I would walk away if the conditions were illegal or the risk to life and limb was too high. A million dollars and the financial security it could buy, if you manage it right, would be very hard to refuse.”One reader really understands the decision to stop playing football.Lorna Gilkey of Alexandria, Va., wrote: “My perspective is unique in that I worked for the NFL Players Association in the 1990s and have a son who played football, and he suffered a serious concussion that 10 years later is still adversely affecting his health. Having millions of dollars (If you manage it wisely!) is great. However, it cannot buy you good health. I’ve seen far too many players, and my own child, suffer due to the harsh realities of football injuries. So, yes, I could walk away from the millions in protection of my health. Being alive and healthy means you can find other ways to legitimately make millions. But once you’ve hurt your brain to the level these players do on the field, no amount of millions will give you the quality of life you need later on.”Readers may write to Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20071, or michelle.singletary@washpost.com. Personal responses may not be possible, and comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer’s name, unless otherwise requested. To read previous Color of Money columns, go to www.postbusiness.com.




  • Show Article Details

    By Myra P. Saefong and Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch. Middle East tension, fall in global equities help lift gold above $1,200. SAN FRANCISCO-- Gold futures rallied past $1,200 an ounce on Thursday to settle at their highest level since early March as investors backed away from riskier assets amid a selloff for global equities and increased tension in the Middle East.

  • Show Article Details

    The information of greater wealth inequality continues to come in. The latest addition to this trend comes from Realty Trac, a provider of housing data, which leads off with a headline that "Home Price Appreciation Outpaces Wage Growth in 76 Percent of U. S. Markets During Housing Recovery." Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks.

  • Show Article Details

    The New York Federal Reserve officials tasked with prying interest rates off the floor have been meeting with bankers and traders to plot how best to do it, amid deep uncertainty over how much control they will really have over short-term lending markets.

  • Show Article Details

    President Barack Obama will tell college students in Alabama later Thursday that new rules proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to rein in payday lenders are "pretty common sense," according to excerpts provided by the White House. "If you're making that profit by trapping hard-working Americans in a vicious cycle of debt, then you need to find a new way of doing business," he will say, according to the excerpts. The CFPB is considering requiring that lenders make sure...

  • Show Article Details

    The "safety net" is a phrase that you hear a lot in politics, but most people probably don't encounter real safety nets often in their daily lives, so maybe it's worth remembering what they're used for: allowing people to do things that would otherwise be too risky.The governmental safety net works the same way, as Walter Frick reports in The Atlantic:One way to get more people to start companies, according to a growing body of research, is to expand the welfare state ...Many argue that welfare discourages work because working means giving up public benefits, making wages comparatively less attractive. Yet working for a wage is not an inherently risky proposition, the way starting a business is. If welfare reduces the relative rewards of running a successful business, it also reduces the risks of failure.Welcome to Wonkbook. To subscribe by e-mail, click here. Send comments, criticism or ideas to Wonkbook at Washpost dot com. Follow Wonkblog on Twitter and Facebook.What's in Wonkbook: 1) GOP budget passes House 2) Opinions, including Yglesias on O'Malley 3) How a trade deal in the Pacific could allow multinational firms to block all kinds of ordinary laws, and moreChart of the day: New Census data show that Americans are moving out to the suburbs again. Emily Badger in The Washington Post.1. Top story: House Republicans pass budgetDefense hawks won out over spending hawks, as House Republicans agree on a budget that would increase military spending. "That triumph for more military spending was an anomaly in the budget blueprint, which would cut spending $5.5 trillion over the next decade. ... To be sure, the congressional budget does not have the force of law. It sets overall spending levels for the coming fiscal year, and if the House and Senate can reconcile competing blueprints, a final budget can ease passage of future legislation — such as a repeal of the health care law that Republicans have promised, even though President Obama would veto it. But its specific policy prescriptions are aspirational, not binding." Jonathan Weisman in The New York Times.Getting the budget through has got to be a relief for Boehner. "House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) racked up a much-needed political victory Wednesday when the House passed a budget proposal after a very rocky first three months of the new Congress in which unruly conservative members seriously complicated the Ohioan's efforts to govern. For Boehner, the passage of the measure with majority Republican support was a welcome departure from weeks of discord in the GOP ranks that started with a long-shot attempt to displace him as speaker and escalated in a protracted fight over immigration and homeland security funding that left conservatives disgruntled and gave Democrats exactly what they demanded." Sean Sullivan in The Washington Post.The Senate's budget is up next, and members are being asked to vote on a slate of proposed amendments. "Their decisions on scores of amendments to the nonbinding budget blueprint will help political operatives in both parties craft a stream of commercials, press releases, and fundraising appeals. And that means the budget process could matter for politically vulnerable members facing reelection in 2016 as well as the GOP's presidential contenders. Already, both parties are hunting for ammunition among votes that have started on topics such as wages, environmental regulations, and Medicare." Ben Geman and Sarah Mimms in National Journal.KLEIN: The GOP budget hides big spending cuts with block grants. "If Republicans simply proposed cutting Medicaid by hundreds of billions of dollars, then the cuts would be described as, well, cuts, possibly with the word "draconian" in front of them. But tucking them behind block grants leads to gentler "saved." The reality is block grants don't save money. But they're routinely used to hide the thing that does save money, which is fixed funding formulas that require huge spending cuts. That's how the Republican budget actually saves money in Medicaid and food stamps." Vox.2. Top opinionsMEYERSON: A bill in Congress is a sensible plan for getting some of the money out of politics. "If candidates chose to limit contributions to their campaigns to no more than $1,000, every contribution they received of $150 or less from residents of their state would trigger a contribution of public funds at a 6-to-1 ratio: A $100 donation would yield $600 in public funds; a $150 donation, $900. To qualify for matching funds, candidates would also have to reject contributions from political action committees... It wouldn’t remove the ability of big money to sway close elections. The really big spending in today’s elections comes not from the candidates’ own campaigns but rather the campaigns that supportive groups and individuals run on their behalf. That said, thanks to the geographic sorting of voters by ideology and to the miracle of gerrymandering, most House candidates run in safe districts that the big-dollar independent campaigns routinely ignore. Financing their campaigns through small donations would be not just an ethically preferable option for them but an electorally viable one as well." The Washington Post.YGLESIAS: O'Malley is running the campaign people want from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). "If it's the ideas you're interested in, it's worth paying attention to former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley who is actually waging the campaign people want to see from Warren. ... These ideas would, if implemented, radically alter the role of finance in American society. Large financial institutions would have to act in an extremely risk-averse (and not-so-lucrative) manner and likely become substantially smaller besides. The Obama administration — and mostly likely Clinton — would argue that this is unnecessary for financial stability and risky for the economy as a whole. But to populists, that's precisely the point. These ideas would move beyond a narrow focus on the stability of the financial system to a broader attack on finance's role as one of the commanding heights of the American economy." Vox.SORKIN: Mergers have allowed airlines to avoid competition and charge higher ticket prices. "The airline industry is increasingly looking like an uncompetitive oligopoly. For proof, look no further than airline ticket prices. ... Mergers over the last several years have left the nation with only four main airlines — Delta, United, Southwest (LUV) and American-US Airways — which deliberately don’t compete on some routes."The New York Times.The United States and Israel must attack Iran now, before it's too late, writes former U.N. ambassador John R. Bolton. "Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program. Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure. The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed." The New York Times.Quote of the day:Today, the global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-Earthers. It used to be, "It is accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat," and this heretic named Galileo was branded a denier.-- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), presidential candidate. Philip Bump in The Washington Post.3. In case you missed it The trade deal in the Pacific could allow foreign corporations to bypass U.S. courts. "An ambitious 12-nation trade accord pushed by President Obama would allow foreign corporations to sue the United States government for actions that undermine their investment 'expectations' and hurts their business, according to a classified document. ... Under the accord, still under negotiation but nearing completion, companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations. ... Conservatives are likely to be incensed that even local policy changes could send the government to a United Nations-sanctioned tribunal. On the left, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, law professors and a host of liberal activists have expressed fears the provisions would infringe on United States sovereignty and impinge on government regulation involving businesses in banking, tobacco, pharmaceuticals and other sectors." Jonathan Weisman in The New York Times.These trade negotiations have put Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in a tough spot. "He is the only Democrat negotiating with Republicans to speed up international trade deals. That's heresy for progressives... Wyden is the sole person who will make a fast-tracked Trade Promotion Authority happen, if he chooses, by striking a deal with Republicans that will attract only a handful of Senate Democrats. He believes in trade, so the pivotal role feels comfortable to him. But it's also natural that he would encounter anger from skeptics." Fawn Johnson in National Journal.Federal regulators set new rules for payday lenders. "The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday unveiled a new plan that it said would help rein in the $50 billion payday lending industry and prevent low-income borrowers from facing spiraling levels of debt. The proposal, which still must face months of review, marks the first attempt by the federal government to regulate payday lenders, whose loans — designed to help borrowers in a pinch — often come with triple-digit annualized interest rates." Chico Harlan in The Washington Post.The crucial vote on the administration's rules for mercury emissions from coal and other plants is Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. "The issue comes down to what Congress meant when it ordered the EPA to study whether it was 'appropriate and necessary' to regulate the pollutants from power plants but was silent on whether that study should include the costs of regulation. ... The costs and benefits are a matter of vigorous dispute. The states and industries opposing the regulations say that the annual costs of compliance under the rule would be $9.6 billion but that the benefits of reduced emissions of hazardous air pollutants are only $4 billion to $6 billion. The EPA and environmental groups estimate the savings to be much more, from $37 billion up. Mercury can be especially dangerous to pregnant or breast-feeding mothers and young children, and some of the savings are calculated as coming from preventing as many as 11,000 deaths and more than a half-million lost days of work." Robert Barnes in The Washington Post.EVENT TODAY: Washington Post Live presents “Changing the Menu,” March 26 at Arena Stage. Steve Case, chairman and chief executive, Revolution & co-founder, America Online; Debra Eschmeyer, executive director, Let’s Move! Dan Kish, head chef, Panera; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and many other innovators and experts will look at food and wellness -- what we eat, how we move and how to ensure a healthy, well-fed America. Learn more about the event and register to attend.




  • Show Article Details

    The "safety net" is a phrase that you hear a lot in politics, but most people probably don't encounter real safety nets often in their daily lives, so maybe it's worth remembering what they're used for: allowing people to do things that would otherwise be too risky.The governmental safety net works the same way, as Walter Frick reports in The Atlantic:One way to get more people to start companies, according to a growing body of research, is to expand the welfare state ...Many argue that welfare discourages work because working means giving up public benefits, making wages comparatively less attractive. Yet working for a wage is not an inherently risky proposition, the way starting a business is. If welfare reduces the relative rewards of running a successful business, it also reduces the risks of failure.What's in Wonkbook: 1) GOP budget passes House 2) Opinions, including Yglesias on O'Malley 3) How a trade deal in the Pacific could allow multinational firms to block all kinds of ordinary laws, and moreChart of the day: New Census data show that Americans are moving out to the suburbs again. Emily Badger in The Washington Post.1. Top story: House Republicans pass budgetDefense hawks won out over spending hawks, as House Republicans agree on a budget that would increase military spending. "That triumph for more military spending was an anomaly in the budget blueprint, which would cut spending $5.5 trillion over the next decade. ... To be sure, the congressional budget does not have the force of law. It sets overall spending levels for the coming fiscal year, and if the House and Senate can reconcile competing blueprints, a final budget can ease passage of future legislation — such as a repeal of the health care law that Republicans have promised, even though President Obama would veto it. But its specific policy prescriptions are aspirational, not binding." Jonathan Weisman in The New York Times.Getting the budget through has got to be a relief for Boehner. "House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) racked up a much-needed political victory Wednesday when the House passed a budget proposal after a very rocky first three months of the new Congress in which unruly conservative members seriously complicated the Ohioan's efforts to govern. For Boehner, the passage of the measure with majority Republican support was a welcome departure from weeks of discord in the GOP ranks that started with a long-shot attempt to displace him as speaker and escalated in a protracted fight over immigration and homeland security funding that left conservatives disgruntled and gave Democrats exactly what they demanded." Sean Sullivan in The Washington Post.The Senate's budget is up next, and members are being asked to vote on a slate of proposed amendments. "Their decisions on scores of amendments to the nonbinding budget blueprint will help political operatives in both parties craft a stream of commercials, press releases, and fundraising appeals. And that means the budget process could matter for politically vulnerable members facing reelection in 2016 as well as the GOP's presidential contenders. Already, both parties are hunting for ammunition among votes that have started on topics such as wages, environmental regulations, and Medicare." Ben Geman and Sarah Mimms in National Journal.KLEIN: The GOP budget hides big spending cuts with block grants. "If Republicans simply proposed cutting Medicaid by hundreds of billions of dollars, then the cuts would be described as, well, cuts, possibly with the word "draconian" in front of them. But tucking them behind block grants leads to gentler "saved." The reality is block grants don't save money. But they're routinely used to hide the thing that does save money, which is fixed funding formulas that require huge spending cuts. That's how the Republican budget actually saves money in Medicaid and food stamps." Vox.2. Top opinionsMEYERSON: A bill in Congress is a sensible plan for getting some of the money out of politics. "If candidates chose to limit contributions to their campaigns to no more than $1,000, every contribution they received of $150 or less from residents of their state would trigger a contribution of public funds at a 6-to-1 ratio: A $100 donation would yield $600 in public funds; a $150 donation, $900. To qualify for matching funds, candidates would also have to reject contributions from political action committees... It wouldn’t remove the ability of big money to sway close elections. The really big spending in today’s elections comes not from the candidates’ own campaigns but rather the campaigns that supportive groups and individuals run on their behalf. That said, thanks to the geographic sorting of voters by ideology and to the miracle of gerrymandering, most House candidates run in safe districts that the big-dollar independent campaigns routinely ignore. Financing their campaigns through small donations would be not just an ethically preferable option for them but an electorally viable one as well." The Washington Post.YGLESIAS: O'Malley is running the campaign people want from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). "If it's the ideas you're interested in, it's worth paying attention to former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley who is actually waging the campaign people want to see from Warren. ... These ideas would, if implemented, radically alter the role of finance in American society. Large financial institutions would have to act in an extremely risk-averse (and not-so-lucrative) manner and likely become substantially smaller besides. The Obama administration — and mostly likely Clinton — would argue that this is unnecessary for financial stability and risky for the economy as a whole. But to populists, that's precisely the point. These ideas would move beyond a narrow focus on the stability of the financial system to a broader attack on finance's role as one of the commanding heights of the American economy." Vox.SORKIN: Mergers have allowed airlines to avoid competition and charge higher ticket prices consumers. "The airline industry is increasingly looking like an uncompetitive oligopoly. For proof, look no further than airline ticket prices. ... Mergers over the last several years have left the nation with only four main airlines — Delta, United, Southwest (LUV) and American-US Airways — which deliberately don’t compete on some routes."The New York Times.The United States and Israel must attack Iran now, before it's too late, writes former U.N. ambassador John R. Bolton. "Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program. Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure. The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed." The New York Times.Quote of the day:Today, the global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-Earthers. It used to be, "It is accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat," and this heretic named Galileo was branded a denier.-- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), presidential candidate. Philip Bump in The Washington Post.3. In case you missed it The trade deal in the Pacific could allow foreign corporations to bypass U.S. courts. "An ambitious 12-nation trade accord pushed by President Obama would allow foreign corporations to sue the United States government for actions that undermine their investment 'expectations' and hurts their business, according to a classified document. ... Under the accord, still under negotiation but nearing completion, companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations. ... Conservatives are likely to be incensed that even local policy changes could send the government to a United Nations-sanctioned tribunal. On the left, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, law professors and a host of liberal activists have expressed fears the provisions would infringe on United States sovereignty and impinge on government regulation involving businesses in banking, tobacco, pharmaceuticals and other sectors." Jonathan Weisman in The New York Times.These trade negotiations have put Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in a tough spot. "He is the only Democrat negotiating with Republicans to speed up international trade deals. That's heresy for progressives... Wyden is the sole person who will make a fast-tracked Trade Promotion Authority happen, if he chooses, by striking a deal with Republicans that will attract only a handful of Senate Democrats. He believes in trade, so the pivotal role feels comfortable to him. But it's also natural that he would encounter anger from skeptics." Fawn Johnson in National Journal.Federal regulators set new rules for payday lenders. "The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday unveiled a new plan that it said would help rein in the $50 billion payday lending industry and prevent low-income borrowers from facing spiraling levels of debt. The proposal, which still must face months of review, marks the first attempt by the federal government to regulate payday lenders, whose loans — designed to help borrowers in a pinch — often come with triple-digit annualized interest rates." Chico Harlan in The Washington Post.The crucial vote on the administration's rules for mercury emissions from coal and other plants is Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. "The issue comes down to what Congress meant when it ordered the EPA to study whether it was 'appropriate and necessary' to regulate the pollutants from power plants but was silent on whether that study should include the costs of regulation. ... The costs and benefits are a matter of vigorous dispute. The states and industries opposing the regulations say that the annual costs of compliance under the rule would be $9.6 billion but that the benefits of reduced emissions of hazardous air pollutants are only $4 billion to $6 billion. The EPA and environmental groups estimate the savings to be much more, from $37 billion up. Mercury can be especially dangerous to pregnant or breast-feeding mothers and young children, and some of the savings are calculated as coming from preventing as many as 11,000 deaths and more than a half-million lost days of work." Robert Barnes in The Washington Post.EVENT TODAY: Washington Post Live presents “Changing the Menu,” March 26 at Arena Stage. Steve Case, chairman and chief executive, Revolution & co-founder, America Online; Debra Eschmeyer, executive director, Let’s Move! Dan Kish, head chef, Panera; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and many other innovators and experts will look at food and wellness -- what we eat, how we move and how to ensure a healthy, well-fed America. Learn more about the event and register to attend.




  • Show Article Details

    WASHINGTON-- The International Monetary Fund on Thursday denied a report that officials view Greece as the most unhelpful country the organization had ever dealt with in its 70- year history. "There is no basis in fact for that contention. No such remark was made, "said IMF spokesman William Murray at a news conference.

  • Show Article Details

    Critical intelligence before the U.S. market opens. If it feels like forever since the S&P has knocked out a string of gains, that's because it's been about that long. The last time the broad-market managed back-to-back wins was Feb. 17-- a full 26 trading days.

  • Show Article Details

    By Myra P. Saefong, MarketWatch, Eric Yep. Turmoil in the Middle East raises supply worries. SAN FRANCISCO-- Oil futures jumped past $50 a barrel on Thursday, headed for their fifth straight daily gain as Saudi Arabian airstrikes in Yemen raised fresh concerns over potential disruptions to crude supplies.

  • Show Article Details

    Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart said on Thursday that the natural rate of unemployment in the United States was probably around 5 percent and might even be lower. "I think the natural rate of unemployment is probably around 5 percent and it may be lower than that," he told reporters after speaking to an investment education conference in Detroit.

  • Show Article Details

    The use of mobile phones to access bank accounts, credit cards or other financial accounts continued to increase in 2014, according to an annual Federal Reserve survey released Thursday. At the end of the year, 39% of adults with mobile phones reported using mobile banking, an increase from 33% in 2013. At the same time 22% of all mobile phone owners reported having made a mobile payment in the year, up from 17% in 2013. The survey found that 33% of consumers had scanned a barcode to...

  • Show Article Details

    Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank president Dennis Lockhart said on Thursday he is confident that recent weak economic data will prove temporary and do no not indicate the economy is downshifting to slower growth. Winter weather is partly to blame, Lockhart said at an investment education conference in Detroit.

  • Show Article Details

    Mortgage rates fell in the week ending March 26, with the 30- year fixed-rate mortgage falling to 3.69% from 3.78% the prior week, Freddie Mac said Thursday. The 15- year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 2.97% from 3.06%, the 5- year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.92%, down from 2.97%, while the 1- year Treasury-indexed ARM was steady at 2.46%. (END) Dow Jones Newswires 03-26-15 1000 ET Copyright (c) 2015 Dow Jones& Company, Inc..

  • Show Article Details

    Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank president Dennis Lockhart said on Thursday there was little risk of a misstep that would force the Fed to lower rates once it begins raising them. The economy is in solid shape to weather the upcoming turn to tightening monetary policy Lockhart, said at an investment education conference in Detroit.

  • Show Article Details

    The U.S. services sector expanded in March at its fastest pace since September, an industry report showed on Thursday. Financial data firm Markit said its preliminary, or "flash," reading of its Purchasing Managers Index for the service sector rose to 58.6 in March from a final reading of 57.1 in February. A reading over 50 signals expansion in economic activity.

  • Show Article Details

    Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said Thursday he was surprised how much the stronger dollar seemed to be impacting the economy. In an interview with CNBC, Lockhart said that he had, at first, downplayed the dollar's sharp rise as a factor because the U.S. economy was not export-driven. But now "the impact of the dollar is something I have upgraded in terms of importance," he said.

  • Show Article Details

    Stocks of oil refiners are hot, cheap and have greatly outperformed in the long run. Are you finally ready to make an investment in the oil sector? To hedge your bets, take a hard look at stocks of oil refiners because the group has outperformed major integrated oil companies and other energy subsectors.