- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
- Law firm that cleared N.J. Gov. Christie in ‘Bridgegate’ gave 10K to RGA, which he heads
- PETA ‘hopping mad’ at Michelle Obama for using real eggs at Easter Egg Roll
- Sneaky Nebraska toddler traps self inside claw machine game
- Biden to lead $600 million work force training effort
- Atheists’ Easter taunt to Christians: ‘Jesus is a myth’
- Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas City show
Crude settles higher, tops $109 a barrel
NEW YORK | Oil rose again Wednesday, passing $109 a barrel at one point, as the dollar weakened against major foreign currencies.
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate gained 49 cents to settle at $108.83 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It climbed as high as $109.15 earlier in the day — the highest since September 2008.
The dollar, which tends to move in the opposite direction from oil, lost ground against foreign currencies. The euro climbed to a 15-month high a day before the European Central Bank was expected to increase interest rates. Oil is priced in dollars, and tends to rise when the dollar falls and makes crude cheaper for investors holding foreign currency.
Gasoline pump prices in the U.S. climbed to a national average of more than $3.71 for a gallon of regular on Wednesday, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. Pump prices have increased nearly 64 cents per gallon since the beginning of the year.
Slow start to spring projected for retailers
NEW YORK | A late Easter, lingering cold weather and rising gas prices are squeezing discretionary spending this spring, according to data released Wednesday.
Figures from MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse show sales growth slowed in some categories last month. But consumers spent more on clothing and most other items from electronics to luxury goods than they did in March 2010.
SpendingPulse tracks spending across all payments including cash.
Growth in online sales, still less than 10 percent of all retail sales, accelerated last month as shoppers tried to save on gas, said Michael McNamara, vice president of research and analysis for SpendingPulse.
Online spending in all categories rose 16.1 percent, compared with lower rates in January and February and a 15.9 percent increase in March 2010.
Prices of Treasurys fall ahead of ECB meeting
NEW YORK | Investors sold Treasurys on Wednesday as inflation expectations grew a day before the European Central Bank’s meeting on interest rates.
The price of the 10-year note fell 57 cents per $100 invested in late trading. Its yield, which moves in the opposite direction, rose to 3.55 percent from 3.49 percent late Tuesday.
The ECB is expected to boost its interest rate to 1.25 percent from 1 percent to curb inflation. That is in sharp contrast to the Federal Reserve’s policy of keeping short-term interest rates near zero and buying government debt to keep borrowing rates low. Traders worry that rising oil prices will push inflation higher and the central bank eventually will have to raise rates.
Investors also sold Treasurys on expectations of more supply hitting the market next week.
CEO: US Airways last big merger candidate
TEMPE, Ariz. | The CEO of U.S. Airways Group Inc. said there’s really only one big airline merger that could still happen, and it would involve his airline.
Doug Parker runs the fifth-biggest U.S. airline. At a media event Wednesday, he said that if one of the big three airlines, United, Delta, or American, wants to make a deal, U.S. Airways is the last one left.
Mr. Parker said U.S. Airways could also continue as a stand-alone airline.
U.S. Airways missed out on the recent wave of airline mergers. It included Delta Air Lines Inc. buying Northwest in 2008, United and Continental merging into United Continental Holdings Inc. last year, and Southwest Airlines Co.’s planned purchase of AirTran.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports
TWT Video Picks
By returning to Christian roots, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- Ga. judge won't stop new Vidalia onion rule
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- EDITORIAL: Intolerance at Brandeis silences Muslim dissident Hirsi Ali
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.