Greek stock market bloodbath as exchange reopens
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece suffered its worst stock market bloodbath in decades on Monday, when it opened after a forced five-week closure, and new data showed a dismal outlook for the bailout-dependent country's shrinking economy.
The main stock index shed over 22 percent just minutes into the opening, as investors got their first opportunity since late June to react to the latest twists in the country's nearly six-year economic drama.
The index closed 16.2 percent lower, with bank shares hitting or nearing the daily trading limit of a 30 percent loss. Collectively, Greek-listed companies lost about a sixth of their market value — almost 8 billion euros ($8.7 billion).
AT&T, as new owner of DirecTV, offers TV-wireless discount
NEW YORK (AP) -- AT&T customers will save $10 a month and get a single bill for their TV and wireless services under a new package the company is offering after its $48.5 billion purchase of satellite TV company DirecTV 10 days ago.
Under the new package, customers will get a single number to call for customer service. And employees at AT&T stores will be able to set up customers' phones so they can start watching TV through apps right away, even before service is installed in the living room. But the content on phones — a subset of what's available on regular TVs — won't differ from what DirecTV customers have already been able to get on their apps.
US auto sales strong in July on SUV, luxury demand
DETROIT (AP) -- More Americans are buying cars that say "look at me."
Luxury vehicles like Audis and Volvos drove off dealer lots at a furious pace in July and, combined with sizzling demand for SUVs, helped the auto industry roll on toward its best annual sales since before the recession. July sales rose 5 percent to more than 1.5 million, according to Autodata Corp.
Climate change: Obama orders steeper cuts from power plants
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Aiming to jolt the rest of the world to action, President Barack Obama moved ahead Sunday with even tougher greenhouse gas cuts on American power plants, setting up a certain confrontation in the courts with energy producers and Republican-led states.
In finalizing the unprecedented pollution controls, Obama was installing the core of his ambitious and controversial plan to drastically reduce overall U.S. emissions, as he works to secure a legacy on fighting global warming. Yet it will be up to Obama's successor to implement his plan, which reverberated across the 2016 presidential campaign trail.
Misery deepens for those in Puerto Rico who can't leave
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Most tables are empty at Walter Martin's coffee shop in San Juan's colonial district. His brow is furrowed with concern and glistens with sweat in the sweltering Caribbean morning.
He's turned off the air conditioning to lower his power bill. With fewer customers, he's cut staff hours and tried to make up the lost income by raising some prices. But Puerto Rico's entrenched economic crisis is leading people to either cut their personal spending to the basics or flee to the mainland to search for jobs, contributing to the struggles of those left on the island.
US consumer spending edges up in June
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Consumer spending in June rose by the smallest amount in four months as shoppers cut back on purchases of cars and other big-ticket items.
Consumer spending edged up 0.2 percent in June, the poorest showing since a similar increase in February, the Commerce Department reported Monday.
The modest advance followed a revised 0.7 percent rise in spending in May. The increase had been driven by heavy spending on autos. But in June, auto sales slowed. Overall purchases of durable goods, the category that covers autos, fell 1.3 percent in June.
US construction spending rose a slight 0.1 percent in June
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. construction spending increased in June by the smallest amount in five months as a big drop in nonresidential building activity offset a third straight increase in home building.
Construction spending edged up a slight 0.1 percent in June following a 1.8 percent increase in May and a 3.8 percent rise in April, the Commerce Department said Monday. Even with the June slowdown, construction spending advanced to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.06 trillion, the best pace in seven years.
US manufacturing growth slows in July
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. factories were a little less busy last month.
The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index slipped to 52.7 last month from 53.5 in June. Economists had expected the index to remain unchanged. Any reading above 50 indicates growth.
The index had risen in May and June before slipping last month. It hit a 12-month high of 58.1 last August.
Factories' exports are contracting, partly because a strong dollar makes U.S. goods more expensive.
US Treasury estimates $552 billion in borrowing this year
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Treasury Department on Monday estimated that it will end up borrowing $552 billion for the current budget year, the lowest total in eight years.
The Treasury's borrowing estimate covers the budget year that began last October and will end on Sept. 31. The figure would be a drop of 17.6 percent from last year's $670 billion and represent the smallest annual amount since the government borrowed $150 billion in 2007.
Delta says it's banning shipment of hunting 'trophies'
NEW YORK (AP) -- Delta Air Lines had a major change of heart about shipping hunting trophies, announcing Monday afternoon that it would no longer accept lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies.
As recently as May, the Atlanta-based airline had said that it would continue to allow such shipments — as long as they were legal. At the time, some international carriers prohibited such cargo.
The move comes after an American dentist killed a well-known lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe last month in an allegedly illegal hunt, setting off a worldwide uproar. The dentist, Walter James Palmer, lives in Minnesota, which is a major hub for Delta.
Drivers weigh in on Uber boom in NYC
NEW YORK (AP) -- On a muggy summer evening, a woman stood on a midtown Manhattan street corner and switched between raising her hand for a taxi and glancing at her phone, possibly for an Uber car.
While New York City riders have increasingly more choices in how to get from here to there with the rise of e-hailing apps — and lawmakers grapple with how to regulate the booming industry — the drivers who keep cars moving are stuck in the middle.
Alpha is latest coal producer to seek bankruptcy protection
NEW YORK (AP) -- Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country's biggest coal producers, became the latest in a string of coal companies to seek bankruptcy protection amid an historic shift in the electric power sector brought on by cheap natural gas and stricter pollution regulations.
Alpha operates about 60 coal mines, many in parts of Appalachia that have seen the sharpest declines in coal demand and coal prices as electric power customers have switched to natural gas. It is the fourth U.S. coal company to seek bankruptcy protection in the last 15 months.
Get Started: Employee or freelancer? Govt issues opinion
It may become harder for businesses to classify workers as freelancers rather than employees following a Labor Department opinion issued last month.
The opinion written by David Weil, administrator of the department's Wage and Hour Division, broadened the definition of what an employee is, and concluded that most workers are employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Workers cannot be classified as freelancers, or independent contractors, unless the circumstances of a job show they're economically independent of an employer, Weil said.
Unless circumstances show workers are truly in business for themselves, they're employees, he said.
By The Associated Press=
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 91.66 points, or 0.5 percent, to 17,598.20. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 5.8 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,098. The Nasdaq composite slipped 12.90 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,115.38.
Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.95, or 4.1 percent, to close at $45.17 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, was declined $2.69, or 5.2 percent, to $49.52 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 9.8 cents to $1.675 a gallon. Heating oil fell 5.8 cents to $1.531 a gallon. Natural gas rose 3.2 cents to close at $2.748 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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