US added unexpectedly strong 204,000 jobs in Oct.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A burst of hiring in October added a surprisingly strong 204,000 jobs to the economy in a month when the government was partly shut down for 16 days. And employers added far more jobs in August and September than previously thought.
The unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent in September, the Labor Department said Friday. But that was likely because furloughed federal workers were temporarily counted as unemployed.
The surge in jobs shows the economy was stronger in October than many economists had expected. Activity at service companies and factories also accelerated last month, an earlier report showed. The figures signal that many U.S. companies shrugged off the shutdown.
Bernanke: Fed has greater power to combat crises
WASHINGTON (AP) — Chairman Ben Bernanke says the Federal Reserve is drafting rules to close large insolvent banks without bringing down the broader financial system, one of many steps regulators must take to prevent another financial crisis.
Bernanke says the absence of a process to deal with systemically important institutions in 2008 left regulators facing the "terrible choices of a bailout or allowing a potentially destabilizing collapse." Bernanke is making the comments at a conference sponsored by the International Monetary Fund Thursday.
The financial overhaul law passed by Congress in 2010 gave regulators better tools to close down large financial institutions, he said. The Fed and other regulators are working to implement those rules now.
Home Depot apologizes for racist tweet
NEW YORK (AP) — Home Depot Inc. on Thursday apologized for a tweet that showed a picture of two African-American drummers with a person in a gorilla mask in between them and asked: "Which drummer is not like the others?"
The tweet, from Home Depot's official Twitter account, was part of a "College Gameday" college football promotion on ESPN. It was quickly pulled, but not before people took screen shots of it and it was widely circulated on social media. NBC and CNBC, among others, reported on the Tweet.
Retailer Home Depot said Friday that it has fired the person and outside agency that was responsible for the tweet, but did not disclose their names.
SAC Capital pleads guilty in NY in $1.8B deal
NEW YORK (AP) — SAC Capital Advisors has pleaded guilty to criminal fraud charges in a record $1.8 billion deal with the government.
The company's longtime general counsel Peter Nussbaum entered the plea to wire fraud and securities fraud Friday in Manhattan. But a federal judge didn't immediately accept the plea, saying she'd wait until a probation report is made.
The plea comes four days after the federal government announced it had reached a deal requiring the largest penalty ever for insider trading. The deal requires the Stamford, Conn.-based hedge fund to close its business to outside investors. It also allows prosecutors to continue its criminal investigation and spares no individuals from scrutiny, including its founder, Steven A. Cohen.
Cohen was accused by federal regulators over the summer in a civil action of failing to prevent insider trading at the company. He has disputed the allegations.
US consumer spending slows to 0.2 percent gain
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers slowed their spending in September, even as overall income grew at solid pace for the second straight month.
Consumer spending rose 0.2 percent in September, after at 0.3 percent gain the previous month, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Americans cut spending on long-lasting manufactured goods 1.3 percent. That partly reflected a drop in auto sales. Labor Day weekend auto sales were counted in August.
Income rose 0.5 percent in September, matching the August gain. The increases in both months were the strongest since February. September's gain was helped by the end of government furloughs, which had reduced federal pay in the previous two months.
The gain in income and the slowdown in spending meant consumers saved 4.9 percent of their after-tax income, up from 4.7 percent in August.
US safety agency probes VW SUV lighting problem
DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators are investigating thousands of Volkswagen SUVs because the headlamps and other outside lights can fail with little warning.
The probe, announced Friday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, affects an estimated 61,000 VW Tiguans from the 2009 through 2011 model years.
The safety agency said in documents posted on its website that 26 drivers have complained about headlights, tail lights and turn signals going dark. Many said they found an overheated and melted fuse under the hood. The agency said the fuse controls several exterior light circuits. The complaints say the problem gets worse over time.
NHTSA said the problem hasn't caused any fires, crashes or injuries. Investigators will determine if it's bad enough to prompt a recall.
Volkswagen said it's committed to building safe vehicles and will comply with the NHTSA investigation.
By The Associated Press=
The Dow Jones Industrial average rose 167 points, or 1.1 percent, to close at 15,761. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 23 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,770. The Nasdaq composite rose 61 points, or 1.6 percent, to 3,919.
The price of oil rose 40 cents Friday to close at $94.60 a barrel. In other energy futures trading on Nymex, wholesale gasoline added 5 cents to $2.55 a gallon. Heating oil gained 3 cents to $2.87 a gallon. Natural gas advanced 4 cents to $3.56 per 1,000 cubic feet. Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil, rose $1.66 to $105.12 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.