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Editorial Results (free)

1. US Home Sales Surged in June to Fastest Pace in 8-Plus Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans bought homes in June at the fastest rate in over eight years, pushing prices to record highs as buyer demand has eclipsed the availability of houses on the market.

2. Unemployment Fell in 21 US States in June -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rates fell last month in 21 U.S. states and were unchanged in 17, as widespread job growth and a shrinking workforce reduce the ranks of those out of work.

3. Fed Directs 8 Biggest US Banks to Hold Extra Capital -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are directing the eight biggest U.S. banks to hold capital at levels above industry requirements to cushion against unexpected losses and reduce the chances of future taxpayer bailouts.

4. Rising Gas Prices Push Inflation Up Modestly in June -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Rising gasoline prices pushed inflation up modestly in June, leaving overall consumer prices higher than they were a year earlier for the first time since December.

Economists say the tick up in consumer prices makes it more likely the Federal Reserve will end a policy of keeping short-term interest rates near zero for more than six years. "Rebounding inflation combined with solid employment growth will likely lead the Fed to raise rates in September," said Gregory Daco, head of U.S. macroeconomics at Oxford Economics.

5. Fed Survey Finds Economic Growth in All Regions of US -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy was expanding in all regions of the country in the late spring, aided by strong sales of autos and other consumer goods.

In its latest survey of business conditions, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday that some of its regions reported that lower energy prices were encouraging consumers to shop and eat out more. Growing sales of homes and commercial real estate also boosted the economy.

6. Yellen: First Fed Rate Hike Likely Later This Year -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday she is encouraged by signs that the economy is reviving after a brutal winter. And if the improvements stay on track, the Fed will likely start raising interest rates later this year.

7. Yellen: Fed Still on Track to Raise Rates This Year -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the Fed is on track to start raising interest rates later this year but expressed multiple concerns over headwinds that are still holding back the U.S. economy.

8. $10 Bill Change Rankles Descendant of Alexander Hamilton -

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Doug Hamilton is just fine with plans to put a woman's portrait on U.S. paper money, but he'd prefer that the Treasury Department leave the $10 bill alone – particularly the prominent visage of his great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Alexander Hamilton.

9. Lew Sticking With Plan to Put Woman on $10 Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is sticking with his plan to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill with a woman.

10. Fed Officials Still Cautious in June About Rate Hikes -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve policymakers last month saw signs that the economy was healing after its winter slump but still wanted more signs of improvement before they began raising interest rates.

11. US Job Openings Stay High, But Actual Hiring Falters in May -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Job openings stayed close to a 15-year high in May. It's a sign that companies are expecting continued economic growth, but the level of advertised jobs hasn't driven the same kind of increase in actual hiring.

12. US Unemployment Falls to 7-Year Low, But Wages are Flat -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. unemployment fell to a seven-year low of 5.3 percent and employers hired at a solid pace in June, but other gauges of the job market drew a bleaker picture: A wave of people stopped looking for work, and paychecks failed to budge.

13. Experts Give Their Take on Jobs, Fed and Financial Markets -

NEW YORK (AP) – If investors hoped Thursday's U.S. jobs report would give them clarity, they were probably disappointed.

The report, one of the most-watched pieces of news in financial markets, painted a mixed picture for U.S. employment. And it left a key question hanging over stocks and bonds: When and how quickly will the Federal Reserve raise interest rates?

14. US Manufacturing Growth Improves in June; Hiring Jumps -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing growth improved in June, helped by a jump in employment.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its manufacturing index rose to 53.5 last month from 52.8 in May. Manufacturing activity matched January's level for the highest this year. Any reading above 50 signals expansion.

15. Here's Why Home Sales Are Finally Surging -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Real estate has gotten hot again.

Home sales are on pace for their best year since 2007. First-time buyers are streaming back into the market. Prices are skyrocketing, aided by a stronger job market and tantalizingly low mortgage rates that are creating pressure for buyers to act fast.

16. Wunderlich’s Hogan Offers Latest Read on Economy -

A little more than a year ago, Wunderlich Securities Inc. chief market strategist Art Hogan stood before an audience of business leaders assembled by The Daily News – part of the paper’s regular seminar series – and offered his take on an economic recovery that looked different depending on where a person stood.

17. County Commission Faces Red Ink in Final Budget Votes -

Shelby County Commissioners try again Monday, June 22, to approve the county’s various budgets and a property tax rate before the July 1 start of the fiscal year.

The commission’s budget deliberations have centered on how county government should use a $6 million surplus, and budget committee sessions Wednesday, June 17, provided the best indicator of how things might go on the 13-member body.

18. Current Account Trade Deficit Widens to $113.3 Billion -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The deficit in the broadest measure of U.S. trade increased in the January-March quarter to the highest level since the spring of 2012 as American exports declined.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that the deficit in the current account increased to $113.3 billion in the first quarter, up 9.9 percent from a fourth quarter deficit of $103.1 billion. It was the largest imbalance since a $118 billion deficit in the second quarter of 2012.

19. Feds Charge Joe Armstrong With Fraud, Tax Evasion -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Democratic state Rep. Joe Armstrong of Knoxville has been indicted on federal fraud and tax evasion charges connected to an increase in the state's cigarette tax in 2007.

20. Fed Sees Stronger Economy, Leaves Key Rate at Record Low -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy has strengthened since a slump early this year, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday, but it wants to see further gains in the job market and higher inflation before raising interest rates from record lows.

21. Fed Likely to Signal Coming Rate Hike If Economy Strengthens -

WASHINGTON (AP) – With evidence that the U.S. economy is rebounding from a winter slump, the Federal Reserve will likely signal this week that an interest rate increase is coming – just not quite yet.

22. Investors, Mind Your Footing -

Bonds Can Lose Money After All. Heightened Fed concerns mixed with rising inflation indices in the U.S. and Europe have continued to press interest rates higher across the curve.

As a consequence, the vast majority of bond market indices have turned negative on the year. The Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Market index has shed 0.73 percent, while the longer dated U.S. Treasury 20+ Year index has fallen more than 7 percent through June 11.

23. US Factory Output Down In May, Hurt by Oil Refining Cuts -

U.S. factory output slipped in May, hurt by a decline in oil refining that overshadowed solid gains by automakers.

The Federal Reserve said Monday that manufacturing output declined 0.2 percent last month, as productivity has basically been flat since January.

24. US Wholesale Prices Jump in May, Led By Eggs, Gasoline -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Prices at the wholesale level rose at the fastest pace in nearly 3 years in May, pushed higher by a sharp jump in the cost of gasoline and a record increase in the price eggs related to an outbreak of avian influenza. But outside of increases in volatile food and energy costs, core inflation remained moderate.

25. Average US Rate on 30-Year Mortgage Jumps to High for Year -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates jumped this week to their highest levels this year, with the key 30-year rate topping 4 percent for the first time since late 2014.

26. US Household Wealth Reaches New High: Nearly $85 Trillion -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A rising stock market and climbing home prices boosted Americans' net worth to a new high in the first three months of the year.

The Federal Reserve said Thursday that the value of Americans' stock holdings, real estate and other assets rose to $84.9 trillion from $83.3 trillion in the final three months of last year. Stock portfolios rose $487 billion, home values by $503 billion.

27. Number of US Job Openings Jumped to a 15-Year High in April -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers advertised the most open jobs in April than at any time in the 15 years that the government has tracked the data, a sign that this year's steady hiring will likely continue.

28. Do More Jobs Mean More Economic Security? Not for Some -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy is churning out a lot of jobs these days but not a lot of financial security for many of the people who hold them.

Pay growth, though improving, remains tepid. Many workers have few opportunities to advance. Others have taken temporary, part-time or freelance jobs, with little chance of landing full-time permanent work with benefits.

29. Shelby County Mortgage Market Up 16 Percent in May -

Lending has ticked up at Memphis-area banks, mortgage rates are still low and the supply of new homes remains limited.

Those are some of the reasons lenders cite when explaining why mortgage lending in Memphis continues to hum along above last year’s totals. Last month continued that trend, new figures show, with mortgage volume countywide getting a 16 percent boost in May compared to May 2014, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

30. 5 Reasons Why US Employers are Showing Confidence in Economy -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Employers last month delivered a vote of confidence in the U.S. economy.

They added 280,000 jobs – a surprisingly robust total at a time when consumers are hesitant to spend and the economy appears less than fully healthy. Some key industries, from energy to manufacturing, have been struggling. And economic troubles overseas have put investors on edge.

31. US Consumer Borrowing Up $20.5 Billion in April -

Consumer borrowing surged again in April, helped by the largest gain in credit card borrowing in a year.

The Federal Reserve says consumer borrowing expanded by $20.5 billion in April, down only slightly from a gain of $21.3 billion in March which was the biggest increase in eight months. The strong gains pushed consumer credit to a fresh record of $3.38 trillion.

32. Memphis Banks Report Modest First Quarter -

Absent a few individual challenges, Memphis-area banks as a collective gave off encouraging signs about their health and outlook in the first quarter, according to Federal Reserve figures.

Some of the most important metrics, like profitability, always come with a reminder by regulators that any change in performance at First Tennessee Bank, Memphis’ largest bank, can overshadow results at the rest of its smaller peer institutions. That was certainly true in the first quarter, when First Tennessee’s parent company took a loss, driven by a mortgage-related legal settlement, which resulted in the bank showing almost $65 million worth of red ink for the quarter.

33. Fed Sees Moderate Economic Growth Around Country This Spring -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy was growing at a moderate pace in most regions of the country in April and May, as consumers ramped up spending at retailers and auto dealers, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

34. Survey: US Business Hiring Picks Up in May to 201,000 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. companies stepped up hiring in May, a private survey found, evidence that employers remain confident in the economy even after it contracted at the start of the year.

35. More Older Americans are Being Buried by Housing Debt -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Al and Saundra Karp have found an unconventional way to raise money and help save their Miami-area home from foreclosure: They're lining up gigs for their family jazz band.

36. Fuel and Potential Fires for the US Economy Ahead -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The US economy should get better after a sputtering first quarter, but how much better? It's complicated.

Steady hiring and low gas prices should help power solid growth through the rest of 2015. The harsh winter and a labor dispute that slowed trade at West Coast ports are both over. Home sales and construction are rebounding, along with business investment.

37. Yellen: 1st Rate Hike Likely By Year End If Economy Improves -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday she expects to begin raising interest rates later this year – if the job market improves and the Fed is confident inflation will climb closer toward its target rate.

38. US Consumer Prices Ticking Up as Fed Weighs First Rate Hike -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Core consumer prices outside of food and energy posted the biggest increase in April in more than a year, suggesting that an improving U.S. economy is finally starting to lift prices. That could prompt the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates later this year.

39. Fed Minutes Indicate June Rate Hike Unlikely -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve policymakers largely agreed when they met last month that June would be too early to start raising interest rates, as they debated whether the economy's winter weakness would fade or persist.

40. Banks Fined More Than $5 Billion, To Plead Guilty to Market Rigging -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Four of the world's biggest banks agreed Wednesday to pay more than $5 billion in penalties and plead guilty to rigging the currency markets – a rare instance in which federal prosecutors have wrung an admission of criminal wrongdoing from a major financial institution.

41. US Industrial Output Falls for 5th Month on Lower Drilling -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A plunge in energy-related drilling and sluggish manufacturing sent U.S. industrial output down for a fifth straight month in April.

Overall industrial production slid 0.3 percent in April after a drop of the same size in March, the Federal Reserve said Friday. The figures suggest that weakness in manufacturing and mining is weighing heavily on the economy.

42. US Household Debt Levels Held Back By Cautious Consumers -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. household debt levels were mostly unchanged in the first three months of this year, held back by tight mortgage credit standards and consumer reluctance to borrow heavily.

43. US Economy Rebounding With Solid, If Unspectacular, Job Gains -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Rebounding from a dismal start to the year, the U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in April, a solid gain that suggested that employers are helping fuel a durable if still subpar recovery.

44. Daily News Seminar Brings Focus to Economy -

As part of his keynote address during The Daily News’ latest seminar, this time focused on the economy, Century Wealth Management president and founder Jay Healy pointed to a photo depicting a crowd a decade ago assembled near St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

45. Fed Chair Yellen Says Stock Market Prices 'Quite High' -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday described stock market valuations as high and said the central bank was carefully monitoring their impact on financial stability.

46. Extra Schools Funding Request Gets Good First Reviews -

Shelby County Schools officials took a request Wednesday, May 6, for $14 million in new funding to Shelby County Commissioners and got lots of general support.

But the budget committee session probably means more specific questions to come through emails and phone calls before a majority on the commission considers putting up the extra money. “We have made the tough choices,” SCS board member Chris Caldwell told commissioners, referring to 17 school closings in the last three years. “There’s a method to our madness. We’re not just saying we need more money.”

47. Warren Buffett Says Economy Continues to Improve Steadily -

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Investor Warren Buffett? says the economy continues to steadily improve, but the strong dollar has already hurt U.S. exports.

Buffett said in an interview on the Fox Business Network that he thinks the Federal Reserve should be careful about raising interest rates until Europe decides how to deal with its economic concerns.

48. US Wage Growth Shows Signs of Strength As Hiring Picks Up -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Paychecks for U.S. workers are rising at a faster pace as strong hiring in the past year has lowered the unemployment rate and increased competition for workers.

The employment cost index, which tracks wages, salaries and benefits, rose 2.6 percent in the first quarter compared with a year ago, the Labor Department said Thursday. Wages and salaries also rose 2.6 percent.

49. US Economy Barely Grew in First Quarter -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy skidded to a near halt in the first three months of the year, battered by a triple whammy of harsh weather, plunging exports and sharp cutbacks in oil and gas drilling.

50. Noting Slower Economy, Fed Not Closer to Rate Hike -

The Federal Reserve downgraded its assessment of the U.S. economy Wednesday after a winter in which growth nearly stopped. It offered no sign that a rate increase might be coming soon.

On a day when the government said the economy barely grew in the January-March quarter, the Fed appeared no closer to raising its benchmark rate from a record low. The Fed noted in a statement that growth has slowed, business investment has softened and exports have declined.

51. With Economy Uncertain, No Fed Rate Hike is Seen Before Fall -

WASHINGTON (AP) – For 6½ years, the Federal Reserve has held its key interest rate near zero, and for nearly that long the financial world has speculated about when the Fed will start raising it.

52. Commission Likely to Question Extras in Schools Budget -

Shelby County Commissioners have the $14 million list of extras the Shelby County Schools system wants in its budget request for the coming fiscal year.

And once the county’s budget committee gets to the request, there should be plenty of questions about each of the 15 line items that include extra teacher, guidance counselor and social worker positions.

53. Shelby County Schools Seeks New Funding for Classroom Investments -

The bottom line on the Shelby County Schools budget proposal headed to Shelby County Commissioners is $973.5 million, but the dollar figure commissioners will be considering is $14 million.

That’s the amount of new funding the system is seeking from county government for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Otherwise, the school system’s budget is balanced.

54. School Board Approves $973.5M Budget, Seeks $14M In New County Funding -

Shelby County Schools board members sent a $973.5 million operating budget proposal to the Shelby County Commission Tuesday, April 21, for funding.

The budget is $14 million in the red and includes a request for Shelby County government to fund the extra amount including a list of 15 items schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson has referred to as “high leverage investments.”

55. Memphis Budget Proposal Includes More Street Paving, Health Insurance ‘Overhang’ -

Street paving is the centerpiece of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s capital improvements budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Wharton is proposing a $656.5 million operating budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The administration is taking a $55 million capital improvements budget to the Memphis City Council that will include the most street paving the city has done since the federal stimulus fund of 2008, according to Wharton.

56. Why Banks Made More Money Last Quarter -

NEW YORK (AP) – Wall Street and Main Street gave banks a boost last quarter.

Fees from corporate mergers and commissions from trading fueled profits at big financial firms. But average Americans also helped by taking out more home loans and paying off their debts.

57. Hopson Wants New Funding After Closing Budget Gap -

The Shelby County Schools board likely will meet in special session Tuesday, April 21, to vote on a budget proposal to send to the Shelby County Commission.

As he announced that an earlier $15 million gap in school system revenue and expenditures had been bridged, schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson proposed last week adding $14.2 million to the budget proposal in “high leverage investments.”

58. Don't Panic, College Seniors: Jobs for Grads Likely to Grow -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The consulting and accounting firm EY is aggressively recruiting on college campuses this spring. The company formerly known as Ernst & Young plans to hire 9,000 graduates from U.S. universities this year, up from 7,500 in 2014. But recruiting isn't as easy as it used to be.

59. Average 30-Year Mortgage Rate Edges up to 3.67 Percent -

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week but remained close to historically low levels with the spring home-buying season underway.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the national average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage edged up to 3.67 percent from 3.66 percent last week.

60. Corporate Deals Appetite Hits 5-Year High -

LONDON (AP) – The current wave of corporate takeovers and mergers is set to grow, with the appetite for deals among executives hitting a five-year high thanks to a strong dollar and low oil prices, a global survey found Monday.

61. Fed Minutes: Officials Split Widely on Rate Hike Timing -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fed officials disagreed widely when they met last month on when they would be ready to lift interest rates from record lows.

Minutes of the March 17-18 meeting released Wednesday reveal that several policymakers predicted a rate hike in June, while others concerned about low inflation didn't think a rate hike would be warranted until later this year. Still others said the economy wouldn't be strong enough for an increase until 2016.

62. US Consumer Borrowing Climbs to Record High in February -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Consumers increased their borrowing to a record high in February, driven by a large jump in auto and student loans.

The Federal Reserve reported Tuesday that consumer borrowing expanded $15.5 billion in February following a $10.8 billion gain in January. The February increase pushed borrowing to a fresh record of $3.34 trillion.

63. Scarboro Takes Reins at Regional Fed -

Douglas Scarboro has been named regional executive of the Memphis Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. In that role, Scarboro is responsible for working with business leaders and local communities in western Tennessee, northern Mississippi and eastern Arkansas to inform the setting of monetary policies.

64. End of Robust Hiring Streak Raises Doubts About Job Market -

WASHINGTON (AP) – For months, the U.S. economy's strength has been flagging.

Manufacturing slowed. Fewer homes were built. Cheaper gas failed to ignite consumer spending. Yet month after month, employers kept on hiring vigorously.

65. Business Forecasters Boost 2-Year Outlook for US Economy -

A business economics group has boosted its outlook for U.S. economic improvement this year and next, particularly for job growth.

The March report from the National Association for Business Economics forecasts more hiring, a lower unemployment rate, a lower inflation rate and more growth in consumer spending in 2015, compared to the group's forecast in December 2014.

66. Yellen: A Rate Increase May Be Warranted Later This Year -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday that continued improvement in the U.S. economy means an increase in the Fed's key interest rate could come later this year.

67. Applications for US Jobless Aid Barely Rose Last Week -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits basically held steady last week, as the job market continues to outpace broader economic growth.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment aid rose slightly by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 291,000. Jobless claims have been subdued for the past two weeks after winter storms caused them to spike at the end of February due to closed schools and construction sites.

68. Fed Chair Warns That Wages Might Not Rise Much -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says the broad pay increases usually associated with job growth may not occur anytime soon.

Yellen said the Fed will not necessarily wait for wages to rise at a faster pace before it raises a key interest rate from its current near-zero level.

69. Fed: No Rate Hike Until Job Market Improves, Inflation Rises -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it needs to see further improvement in the job market and higher inflation before it raises interest rates from record lows.

70. As Fed Weighs a Rate Hike, US Economy is Looking a Bit Paler -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Just as the Federal Reserve seems to be inching toward an interest rate hike because of the strengthening U.S. job market, its task is getting more complicated:

Several key sectors of the economy are flashing some signs of weakness.

71. Scarboro Tapped as St. Louis Fed Regional Executive in Memphis -

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has chosen Doug Scarboro as the new regional executive for the St. Louis Fed’s Memphis branch.

72. US Household Net Worth Reaches Record High of $83 Trillion -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fueled by higher stock and home values, Americans' net worth reached a record high in the final three months of 2014.

The Federal Reserve says household wealth rose 1.9 percent during the October-December quarter to nearly $83 trillion. Americans' stock and mutual fund portfolios increased $742 billion, while the value of their homes rose $356 billion.

73. County Commission Ponders Local Disaster Fund -

Shelby County Commissioners are considering matching a local disaster relief fund started by the Memphis City Council last year that would total $500,000.

But a resolution to formally join in the fund drew “concern” Monday, March 9, from Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.

74. Solid US Jobs Report: 295,000 Positions Added -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A burst of hiring in February underscored the resilience and confidence of U.S. businesses, which are adding workers at the fastest pace in 17 years. Yet the strong job gains did little to raise wages last month.

75. US Productivity Falls at Faster Pace, Labor Costs Rise -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. worker productivity was even weaker than first thought from October through December while labor costs rose at a faster rate.

Productivity declined at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, weaker than the 1.8 percent drop that was estimated a month ago, the Labor Department said Thursday. Labor costs rose at a 4.1 percent rate, faster than the 2.7 percent increase first estimated.

76. A Robust US Job Market is Expected to Keep Delivering -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Even after the most vigorous three-month hiring spree in 17 years, U.S. employers are showing few signs of letting up.

Job growth for February, to be reported Friday, might not match the furious pace of November through January, when 1 million positions were added. Harsh winter weather likely discouraged some hiring.

77. Transcripts Reveal Fed Confronting Chaotic Banking System -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Transcripts of Federal Reserve meetings in 2009 showed central bank officials struggling to contain the worst financial crisis in seven decades and searching for the right policies to halt a deepening economic downturn.

78. AP Survey: Why the Outlook for Global Economy Has Brightened -

WASHINGTON (AP) – From the United States to Asia to Europe, a global economy that many had feared was faltering appears poised for a resurgence on the strength of cheap oil and falling interest rates.

79. Financial Debate Looms at City Hall -

With Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. to present his budget proposal to the City Council in May, some on the council started to set the table this week for an election year challenge of Wharton’s methods for righting the city’s financial condition.

80. US Economic Growth in Q4 Revised Down to 2.2 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy slowed more sharply in the final three months of the year than initial estimates, reflecting weaker business stockpiling and a bigger trade deficit.

The Commerce Department said Friday that the economy as measured by the gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the October-December quarter, weaker than the 2.6 percent first estimated last month. It marked a major slowdown from the third quarter, which had been the strongest growth in 11 years.

81. Applications for US Jobless Aid Rise to 313,000 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – More Americans sought unemployment aid last week, though the number of applications was still consistent with steady hiring.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications rose 31,000 to a seasonally adjusted 313,000, the most in six weeks. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased 11,500 to 294,500.

82. GOP Lawmakers Accuse Yellen of Playing Politics -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has come under fire from House Republicans, who challenged the central bank's independence in her second day of testimony to Congress.

83. Yellen Reiterates Fed's Patience in Raising Rates -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday that the U.S. economy is making steady progress, but that for now the Fed is will remain patient about raising interest rates because the job market is still healing and inflation is too low.

84. Yellen Faces Lawmakers at Pivotal Time -

After years of sounding reassuring notes about the need to keep interest rates at record lows, the Federal Reserve is finding the shift to an era of pending rate hikes a tricky and complicated one.

85. Wal-Mart Raises Could Help Lift Pay in Lower-Wage Industries -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The modest raises that Wal-Mart has said it will give its lowest-paid workers provide a glimmer of hope for lower-wage workers in other companies and industries.

Other retailers and some fast food restaurants may now feel compelled to follow suit to retain their workers and attract others to fill openings, economists said.

86. Rate on 30-Year Mortgage Rises to 3.76 Percent -

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates have risen for a second straight week yet remained near historically low levels.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage jumped to 3.76 percent from 3.69 percent last week. The average rate is still at its lowest level since May 2013.

87. Philly Fed Factory Activity Improves at Slower Rate -

Manufacturers in the Philadelphia area expanded at a slower rate in February compared with the previous month. New orders have dipped, although shipments and hiring have improved.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia says its index of regional factory activity fell to 5.2 this month from 6.3 in January. A figure above zero indicates expansion.

88. Fed Officials in No Hurry to Raise Rates -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve officials struggled last month to assess when economic data might prompt them to raise interest rates from record lows – and how best to convey their intentions to investors.

89. US Factory Output Rises 0.2 Percent in January -

U.S. factory production edged up last month as manufacturers cranked out more computers, clothing and steel and other metals, offsetting declines in autos and aerospace.

Factory production increased 0.2 percent in January after a flat reading in December, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday. December’s reading was revised down from a 0.3 percent gain. The data suggests manufacturing is still supporting the economy, even though it is growing at a weaker pace than last year.

90. To Combat Fraud, Visa Wants to Track Your Smartphone -

NEW YORK (AP) – Those days of calling your bank to let them know that, yes, you really are in Thailand, and yes, you really did use your credit card to buy $200 in sarongs, may be coming to an end.

91. Data for Fed Digestion -

The recent weeks have seen a flurry of economic data that shed light on the United States economy. Here is a recap of two of those data points:

Gross Domestic Product. The first GDP release for fourth quarter 2014 (a data point that will be revised multiple times down the road) revealed an economy that grew by 2.6 percent in the quarter, down sharply from the 5 percent growth registered in the third quarter.

92. Haslam: "No Regrets" on Insure Tennessee, Problems Still Exist -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam opened his State of the State address Monday, Feb. 9, where the special legislative session on Insure Tennessee ended last week – the defeat in committee of his Medicaid expansion proposal.

93. Haslam: "No Regrets" on Insure Tennessee, Problems Still Exist -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam opened his State of the State address Monday, Feb. 9, where the special legislative session on Insure Tennessee ended last week – the defeat in committee of his Medicaid expansion proposal.

94. Lawmakers to Fed: We Want Details About Leak Probe -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Two Democratic lawmakers are asking the Federal Reserve for details on its reported probe of a leak of market-sensitive information about interest-rate policy.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland requested the information Thursday from Scott Alvarez, the central bank's general counsel. The Fed's investigation focuses on a 2012 leak of information on the closed-door internal deliberations of Fed policymakers, the lawmakers said in a letter. They cited several news reports in December.

95. Student Debt, Rising Rents Take Bite Out of Real Estate Market -

Hefty student loans are a major stumbling block for young Americans as they try to buy their first home, a National Association of Realtors’ annual survey shows.

In spite of an improved job market and low interest rates in 2014, the number of first-time homebuyers dipped to 33 percent, down 5 percent from the previous year and the lowest since the National Association of Realtors began tracking the rate in 1981.

96. Average US Rate on 30-Year Mortgage Rises to 3.66 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week after four straight weeks of declines, while remaining near historically low levels.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage edged up to 3.66 percent from 3.63 percent last week. The new average rate is still at its lowest level since May 2013.

97. Almost Half of US Households Exhaust Their Salaries -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve has declared economic growth "solid." But several new reports show most Americans are treading along a dangerous financial tightrope, where one slip could be devastating.

98. Fed Stays 'Patient' on Rates While Noting Improving Economy -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve reiterated Wednesday that it will be "patient" in raising interest rates from record lows even as the U.S. economy moves steadily closer to full health.

99. Low Inflation Likely to Keep Fed 'Patient' About a Rate Hike -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve ended 2014 with a pledge to be "patient" in raising interest rates from record lows. The way things are going, its patience may endure for a long while.

100. Average 30-Year Mortgage Rate Falls to 3.63 Percent -

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell for the fourth straight week, with the benchmark 30-year rate again marking its lowest level since May 2013. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, slipped further below 3 percent.