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Editorial Results (free)

1. House Passes Ryan Budget With Big Cuts -

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Republicans rallied behind a slashing budget blueprint on Thursday, passing a non-binding but politically imposing measure that promises a balanced federal ledger in 10 years with sweeping budget cuts and termination of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

2. Obama Signs Actions Taking Aim at Gender Pay Gap -

WASHINGTON (AP) – In a concerted election-year push to draw attention to women's wages, President Barack Obama signed directives Tuesday that would make it easier for workers of federal contractors to get information about workplace compensation. He seasoned his move with a sharp rebuke of Republicans whom he accused of "gumming up the works" on workplace fairness.

3. Manufacturing Grew More Quickly in March -

U.S. manufacturing grew at a slightly faster pace in March compared with February as factory output recovered from disruptions caused by severe winter weather. Manufacturers also received more orders, suggesting that production could strengthen a bit in the months ahead. The Institute for Supply Management, a group of purchasing managers, said Tuesday that its manufacturing index increased to 53.7 from 53.2 in February. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

4. US Trade Deficit Hits $42.3 Billion in February -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. trade deficit climbed to the highest level in five months in February as demand for American exports fell while imports increased slightly.

The deficit increased to $42.3 billion, which was 7.7 percent above the January imbalance of $39.3 billion, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

5. US Manufacturing Grew More Quickly in March -

U.S. manufacturing grew at a slightly faster pace in March compared with February as factory output recovered from disruptions caused by severe winter weather. Manufacturers also received more orders, suggesting that production could strengthen a bit in the months ahead.

6. School Board Approves $52.6 Million Capital Ask -

Shelby County Schools board members have approved 25 sets of attendance zone changes for the first school year of the demerger and sent a $52.6 million capital “ask” for the current fiscal year to the Shelby County Commission for consideration.

7. US Factory Output Rebounds in February -

U.S. factory output rebounded strongly in February after harsh winter storms caused a steep drop-off in production in January. Manufacturers produced more autos, home electronics and chemicals.

The Federal Reserve said Monday that factory production surged 0.8 percent, nearly reversing a 0.9 percent plunge in January that was due mainly to weather. February’s gain was the largest in six months.

8. US Home Construction Falls for 3rd Month in Feb. -

U.S. home construction fell for a third month in February, but in a hopeful sign, applications for building permits rose to their highest level in four months.

Builders started work on 907,000 homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in February, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was down a slight 0.2 percent from January, when construction had fallen 11.2 percent. The declines have been blamed in large part on severe winter weather in much of the country.

9. ‘Memphis Message’ -

During the recent Trans-Pacific Maritime conference in Long Beach, Calif., Memphis business leaders like Neely Mallory and Buzz Fly extolled the virtues of doing business in the Bluff City.

When FedEx founder, chairman and CEO Fred Smith addressed the crowd, the Greater Memphis Chamber’s logo was featured prominently on the large screen to his left.

10. US Home Construction Falls for 3rd Month in February -

U.S. home construction fell for a third month in February, but in a hopeful sign, applications for building permits rose to their highest level in four months.

Builders started work on 907,000 homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in February, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was down a slight 0.2 percent from January, when construction had fallen 11.2 percent. The declines have been blamed in large part on severe winter weather in much of the country.

11. US Homebuilder Confidence Edges Higher in March -

U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market edged higher this month, reflecting improved demand for new homes as the traditional spring home-selling season ramps up.

But the outlook for sales of single-family homes over the next six months dimmed slightly as builders continue to grapple with a shortage of skilled workers, ready-to-build land and rising building materials costs.

12. US Factory Output Rebounds in February -

U.S. factory output rebounded strongly in February after harsh winter storms caused a steep drop-off in production in January. Manufacturers produced more autos, home electronics and chemicals.

The Federal Reserve said Monday that factory production surged 0.8 percent, nearly reversing a 0.9 percent plunge in January that was due mainly to weather. February's gain was the largest in six months.

13. Producer Prices Dip 0.1 Percent in February -

The prices companies receive for their goods and services fell slightly in February, the latest sign that inflation is tame.

The producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, dropped 0.1 percent in February, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s the first decline since November. A sharp fall in the price markups by wholesalers and retailers pushed down the index. Producer prices rose 0.9 percent from 12 months ago. That’s the smallest 12-month increase since last May.

14. Blast of Winter Weather Can't Faze US Employers -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Brutal winter weather snarled traffic, canceled flights and cut power to homes and factories in February. Yet it didn't faze U.S. employers, who added 175,000 jobs, far more than the two previous months.

15. US Home Prices Rose at Solid Pace in January -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices rose in January after three months of declines as a tight supply of properties likely supported prices despite slower sales.

Real estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that prices rose 0.9 percent in January after dipping 0.1 percent in December. Over the past 12 months, home prices have risen 12 percent, the biggest year-over-year gain in more than eight years.

16. US Manufacturing Boosted by Orders and Stockpiles -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing expanded more quickly last month as companies received more orders and boosted their stockpiles.

A measure of production fell to its lowest level in nearly five years, likely a casualty of severe winter weather. But the rise in orders raises the possibility that factory output will rebound in coming months, economists said.

17. Next Step: Innovate Open Young Minds -

Our last Let’s Grow column focused on an outgrowth of our efforts with some sharp peers, the Memphis Innovation Bootcamp.

One objective of the Bootcamp is to build a community of innovators. The more we socialize these methods and tools, the larger the social and business problems can be met with creativity, empathy and the widest range of possible solutions.

18. How to Fight the Flat -

Markets have regained their composure after a sharp, but necessary, sell off in early January. Sentiment has now retreated from the euphoric levels reached toward the end of last year, to more neutral levels.

19. Shelby Forest Parents Applaud Rezoning Proposal -

The first reviews of the tentative Shelby County Schools rezoning plan for students were positive, with the plan winning applause Monday, Feb. 24, from parents in the Shelby Forest area.

The set of public hearings moves Wednesday, Feb. 26, to nearby Woodstock Middle School.

20. Transcripts Show Fed at Times Slow to Grasp Crisis -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve agonized in 2008 over how far to go to stop a financial crisis that threatened to cause a recession and at times struggled to recognize its speed and magnitude.

21. Women Prove Mettle in Tough CRE Industry -

When Rosemarie Fair first entered the world of commercial real estate in the early 1980s, it was still a largely male-dominated profession and she felt the biting sting of disrespect.

“When you’re in property management as a female and you’re developing a Downtown mixed-use project, when you walked into a construction site the contractors and subcontractors just assumed here comes the owner’s wife, or the secretary,” said Fair, owner of One Source Commercial Inc. “The old adage back then was you had to work twice as hard to be thought of half as much and back then it was absolutely true. I had to start below zero and prove myself. And I did, and I was successful.”

22. US Consumer Prices Rose 0.1 Percent Last Month -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumer prices barely rose last month as a sharp increase in energy costs was offset by cheaper clothing, cars and air fares. The figures indicate inflation remains mild.

23. Lenders Repossessed Fewer US Homes in January -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Lenders repossessed fewer U.S. homes in January, bringing the number of completed foreclosures down to the lowest level in more than six years.

Even so, many states posted sharp increases in the number of homes entering the foreclosure process for the first time, a trend that raises the likelihood that those states will see a surge in foreclosed homes later this year.

24. Late-Payment Rate on Mortgages Falls in 4th Quarter -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – U.S. homeowners are doing a better job of keeping up with mortgage payments, a trend that has reduced the rate of late payment on home loans to the lowest level in more than five years.

25. Fears of Slowdown Sharpen Focus on US Jobs Report -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fears of an economic slowdown are heightening anticipation of what Friday's U.S. jobs report for January might reveal.

Stock markets have sunk after signs of weaker growth in the United States, Europe and China. Turmoil in developing countries has further spooked investors. The upheaval has renewed doubts about the Federal Reserve's next steps.

26. Survey: US Companies Add 175,000 Jobs in January -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A private survey shows that businesses added jobs at a modest pace in January, a sign that hiring may have rebounded after a disappointing figure in December.

Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that companies added 175,000 jobs last month. That's down from 227,000 in December, which was revised lower. But it was much better than the government's official figure of just 74,000 new jobs in December.

27. US Consumer Spending Up 0.4 Percent in December -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans increased their spending at a solid pace for the second straight month in December even though their income was flat.

Consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in December, compared with November when spending had increased an even stronger 0.6 percent, the Commerce Department reported Friday. That was the best gain in five months.

28. January 31-February 6: This week in Memphis history -

1974: A nine-member delegation from the Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce began a visit to four cities in Japan at the invitation of the Japanese government. The visit to Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyoto and Nara led to the opening of the Sharp manufacturing plant in Hickory Hill four years later.
The four-city visit was billed as a chance to exchange opinions “on a broad range of matters and problems of mutual interest.” But Chamber chief executive officer Ronald E. Leigh also had talks scheduled, according to The Daily News, “with one corporation that has had representatives here on four occasions,” including the week before the Memphis delegation left for Japan.
That corporation was Sharp Corp. The plant, which in the beginning made color televisions, was a breakthrough for direct foreign business investment in Tennessee and Memphis.

29. Empowering Programs -

On a recent Thursday night in January, 10 young girls enjoyed assorted cheeses, crab cakes, fruits and desserts at Napa Café in East Memphis.

While the girls, all members of Girls Inc. of Memphis, loved the food, it was their discussions with female employees from CB Richard Ellis Memphis that nourished their imaginations and ambitions.

30. Sharp’s Exit From Solar Part of Industry Trend -

Sharp Corp.’s announcement last week that it would end solar panel production at its Memphis plant is the latest indication of how volatile the solar energy industry has become.

31. Sharp to End Solar Panel Production in Memphis -

Sharp Corp. will stop making solar panels at its Memphis manufacturing plant by the end of March, leaving more than 300 employees out of a job.

The company's notice to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development says 311 workers will lose their jobs as of March 22.

32. US Wholesale Costs Rose Last Month on Gas Prices -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. wholesale prices increased in December, pushed up by rising gasoline prices and energy costs. But overall inflation remained mild.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that the producer price index, which measures costs before they reach the consumer, rose 0.4 percent last month from November. That ends three straight months of falling wholesale prices.

33. Beebe Proposes $5 Billion Budget -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' public schools and prisons would get funding boosts under a $5 billion budget plan Gov. Mike Beebe unveiled Tuesday. But his administration warned that the state could face a sizable hole in the budget if lawmakers follow through with a plan to halt an expansion of Medicaid.

34. Surprisingly Weak Jobs Report Puzzles Economists -

WASHINGTON (AP) – It came as a shock: U.S. employers added just 74,000 jobs in December, far fewer than anyone expected. This from an economy that had been adding nearly three times as many for four straight months – a key reason the Federal Reserve decided last month to slow its economic stimulus.

35. US Services Index Slips on Sharp Fall in Orders -

U.S. service companies expanded at a steady but slightly slower pace in December as sales dipped and new orders plunged to a four-year low. The report suggests economic growth may remain modest in the coming months.

36. Southwest Traffic, Revenue Figure Jump in December -

DALLAS (AP) – A key revenue figure for Southwest Airlines Co. soared in December on stronger passenger traffic, a sharp turnaround from November that may have reflected the unusually late Thanksgiving holiday.

37. US Services Index Slips On Sharp Fall in Orders -

U.S. service companies expanded at a steady but slightly slower pace in December as sales dipped and new orders plunged to a four-year low. The report suggests economic growth may remain modest in the coming months.

38. Ex-Senate Staffer Appears in Court on Porn Charges -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The fired chief of staff for Sen. Lamar Alexander made his first court appearance Thursday on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography.

Ryan Loskarn answered softly, "Yes, sir," when U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola asked Loskarn whether he understood that he was charged with serious offenses.

39. Scartozzi Named Sales Director at Hilton Memphis -

Heidi Scartozzi has joined the Hilton Memphis, managed by Davidson Hotels & Resorts, as director of sales. Scartozzi is a 15-year hospitality veteran, most recently serving as a regional director of sales for JQH Hotels and Resorts, servicing 13 hotels on the West Coast.

40. Tiny Bag to Big Box -

ONE SCREW. ONE CENT. ONCE UPON A TIME.

Saturday at 491 South Highland.

That meant, if you couldn’t get out the door and out of earshot fast enough, you’d be working for Dad. “I need a #2 this or that,” he’d say – staring at the repurposed wooden Philadelphia Cream Cheese box in his hand that no longer held cream cheese and, evidently, not a single #2 this or that either – “Run down to the hardware store.”

41. US New-Home Sales Jump in October -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans ramped up purchases of new homes in October after three months of soft sales, evidence that the housing recovery is improving fitfully.

Sales of new homes grew 25.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 444,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That was the largest monthly percentage increase since May 1980.

42. Consumer Confidence Falls to 7-Month Low -

U.S. consumers’ confidence in the economy fell in November to the lowest level in seven months, dragged down by greater concerns about hiring and pay in the coming months.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its index of consumer confidence dropped to 70.4 from 72.4 in October. The October reading was higher than initially reported, but still well below the 80.2 reading in September.

43. US Home Prices Rose More Slowly in September -

U.S. home prices rose more slowly in September than in August, a sign that weaker sales are preventing the kinds of sharp price gains that occurred earlier this year.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 0.7 percent from August to September, down from a 1.3 percent gain from July to August. That figure isn’t adjusted for seasonal variations, so the change reflects, in part, slower buying in late summer and fall.

44. US Home Prices Rose at Slower Pace in September -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices rose more slowly in September than in August, a sign that weaker sales are preventing the kinds of sharp price gains that occurred earlier this year.

45. US Consumer Confidence Falls to 7-Month Low -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumers' confidence in the economy fell in November to the lowest level in seven months, dragged down by greater concerns about hiring and pay in the coming months.

46. US Retail Sales Rise Solid 0.4 Percent in October -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Consumers shrugged off the 16-day partial government shutdown and spent more on autos, clothing and furniture in October, boosting U.S. retail sales by the most in four months.

47. Flipping the Switch -

Tim Bolding, executive director of United Housing Inc., had become increasingly interested over the years in energy efficiency, sustainability and alternate energy sources when he saw homes in New Orleans being rebuilt with solar panels.

48. Children’s Services Posts Records on Child Deaths -

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services has begun posting on its website records related to child death investigations.

The Tennessean reports the agency has posted more than 3,600 pages of documents about deaths or severe injuries suffered by 64 children during the last six months of 2012.

49. US Home Prices Rise Slightly in September -

A measure of U.S. home prices rose only slightly in September from August, a sign that prices are leveling off after big gains earlier this year.

Real estate provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that home prices increased 0.2 percent in September from the previous month. That’s sharply lower than the 0.9 percent month-over-month gain in August and well below the 1.8 percent increase in July.

50. Grizz Proving They Have a Lot to Prove -

To the question, how patient are Grizzlies fans willing to be, we now have a definitive answer.

Their patience broke as the third quarter ended Wednesday, Nov. 6, at FedExForum. Their Grizzlies – that gritty, lovable bunch that won 56 games last season and went to the Western Conference Finals – trailed the New Orleans Pelicans by 22 points.

51. US Home Prices Rise Slightly in September -

A measure of U.S. home prices rose only slightly in September from August, a sign that prices are leveling off after big gains earlier this year.

Real estate provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that home prices increased 0.2 percent in September from the previous month. That's sharply lower than the 0.9 percent month-over-month gain in August and well below the 1.8 percent increase in July.

52. Outside Drop in Autos, US Retail Spending Rises -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A sharp drop in auto sales caused largely by a calendar quirk lowered U.S. retail spending in September. But Americans spent more on most other goods, showing some confidence in the economy before much of the government shut down.

53. Europe Mulls Sanctions Against US Over Spying -

BERLIN (AP) – The United States could lose access to an important law enforcement tool used to track terrorist money flows, German officials said Monday, as Europe weighs a response to allegations that the Americans spied on their closest European allies.

54. Dixon: Bulletins to Serve as Family Passes to Exhibit -

The Dixon Gallery and Gardens is letting church bulletins serve as a free pass for visitors and their families during the entire run of the exhibit “Ashe to Amen: African Americans and Biblical Imagery.”

55. Dixon: Bulletins to Serve as Family Passes to Exhibit -

The Dixon Gallery and Gardens is letting church bulletins serve as a free pass for visitors and their families during the entire run of the exhibit “Ashe to Amen: African Americans and Biblical Imagery.”

56. US Jobless Claims Jump to 374,000 Due to Backlog -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits jumped by 66,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 374,000. But the spike was largely because California processed a huge backlog of claims and the partial government shutdown prompted some companies to cut jobs.

57. Growth at US Service Firms Slows From 8-Year High -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Growth at U.S. service companies slowed in September from an eight-year high in August, as sales fell sharply, new orders dipped and hiring weakened.

The Institute of Supply Management said Thursday that its service-sector index fell to 54.4 in September, down from 58.6 in August. August's reading was the highest since December 2005. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

58. US Manufacturing Expands at Best Pace in 2.5 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – US factory activity expanded last month at the fastest pace in 2.5 years, an encouraging sign that manufacturing could lift economic growth and hiring in the coming months.

59. US Pending Home Sales Fall for 3rd Straight Month -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy U.S. homes in August, the third straight decline. The drop could mean that higher mortgage rates are starting to deter some buyers.

60. US Home Prices Rise 12.4 Percent, Most in 7.5 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices rose 12.4 percent in July compared with a year ago, the most since February 2006. An increase in sales on a limited supply of available homes drove the gains.

61. One Week to Go Until Government Shutdown Deadline -

WASHINGTON (AP) – With a week left to hammer out a deal to avoid a government shutdown, some lawmakers seem resigned – if not rushing – to that end.

Most say they don't want the first government shutdown since 1996. But if the government happens to shut down, so be it. Republicans say it is part of their effort to dismantle Democrats' health care overhaul, while Democrats defending the law recall that similar standoffs gave them political gains.

62. US Builder Confidence Steady, Rates a Concern -

U.S. homebuilders’ confidence in the housing market held this month at its highest level in nearly eight years. But builders are starting to worry that sales may slow if mortgage rates continue to rise.

63. US Home Sales Hit 6.5-Year High but Could Slow Soon -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home sales rose last month to the highest level since February 2007 as buyers rushed to close deals before mortgage rates increased further.

Yet the gain could represent a temporary peak if higher rates slow sales in coming months.

64. US Builder Confidence Steady, Rates a Concern -

U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market held this month at its highest level in nearly eight years. But builders are starting to worry that sales may slow if mortgage rates continue to rise.

65. Obama Economic Adviser Leaving, Successor Picked -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama will replace Gene Sperling, his chief economic adviser and West Wing workaholic, with Jeffrey Zients, a top aide who has filled in as acting budget director and who led a White House effort to streamline government.

66. Who You Calling ‘Hillbilly’? -

In a Huffington Post article with the dateline of Venice, Italy, actor Scott Haze says he spent three months living in the Tennessee mountains to prepare for a role in a film. Losing 45 pounds, eating a piece of fish and an apple each day, and sleeping in caves, Haze hardened himself to the role of a deranged killer for “Child of God,” which is about to premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

67. Pace of US Manufacturing Hit 2-Year Peak in August -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. factories expanded last month at the fastest pace since June 2011 on a jump in orders. The report signals that manufacturing output could strengthen in coming months.

68. Mississippi Casino Revenue Again Drops Sharply in July -

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A sharp drop in coastal casino revenue contributed to a 6 percent drop in Mississippi gambling revenue in July.

Mississippi Department of Revenue figures show statewide casino revenue fell 6 percent to $192.1 million.

69. Hardy Pushes Intermodal Sites for New Jobs -

Carolyn Hardy admits she pushed hard to get the intermodal container yard that opened this week in Hickory Hill completed faster than the two years many contractors told her it would take.

70. Sharp Wears Many Hats at CBRE Memphis -

CB Richard Ellis Memphis’ Mary Sharp never has a dull day as the chief operating officer and head of the company’s Asset Services division.

71. US Homebuilder Confidence Nears 8-Year High -

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders is at its highest level in nearly eight years, fueled by optimism that demand for new homes will drive sales growth into next year.

The brighter sales outlook is the latest sign pointing to a sustained pickup in construction in coming months and comes as applications for permits to build single-family houses are at a five-year high.

72. Wholesale Prices Unchanged in July -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Falling energy prices kept a lid on U.S. wholesale inflation in July after a jump in gasoline boosted prices in June.

The Labor Department reported Wednesday that wholesale prices showed no change last month compared with June, when they rose 0.8 percent. That was the most in nine months.

73. Triumph Bank Reports Profitable Second Quarter -

Triumph Bank doubled its profit in the second quarter compared to the second quarter of 2012.

The bank reported almost $780,000 in profit for the quarter ended June 30, up from $388,164 during the same period in 2012.

74. Smaller US Trade Gap Could Lift Second-Quarter Growth -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A sharp decline in the trade deficit with other nations suggests the U.S. economy grew this spring at a faster pace than previously estimated, helped by a record level of exports.

75. Miller: Grizzlies ‘Right There’ on Path to Winning Championship -

Mike Miller had several teams interested in his 3-point shooting as a possible missing link for a long playoff run. It didn’t take him long to figure out where he wanted to be: Memphis.

76. Carpenter Comeback in Jeopardy -

There was a moment, albeit a fleeting one, when it looked like Chris Carpenter was on the way back to St. Louis.

77. Dell's Founder Boosts Offer to Buy the Company -

NEW YORK (AP) – A group led by Dell's founder raised its offer for the struggling computer maker Wednesday in hopes of attracting more shareholder support for its plan to take the company private.

78. Senate Moves Forward on Transportation Spending -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A $108 billion measure that would boost funding for infrastructure projects and housing subsidies for the poor is moving ahead in the Senate.

The measure cleared a procedural hurdle by a bipartisan 73-26 vote Tuesday, and that sets up days of debate with the goal of passing the measure next week.

79. Political Indecision Weighs on Economic Forecasts -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Politicians and economists are straining to get a clearer view of what the economy will look like a year from now, when midterm political campaigns are heating up. Republicans see the glass as half empty; Democrats view it as half full. And the economists aren't sure.

80. Study: Later Retirement May Help Prevent Dementia -

BOSTON (AP) – New research boosts the "use it or lose it" theory about brainpower and staying mentally sharp. People who delay retirement have less risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, a study of nearly half a million people in France found.

81. Minutes of Fed Policy Meeting Show Sharp Divisions -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve officials seem far from a consensus on the question that's consumed investors for months: When will the Fed slow its bond purchases?

Minutes of their June policy meeting show many members felt the job market's improvement would have to be sustained before the Fed would scale back its bond purchases, which have fueled spending and growth, lifted stocks and kept mortgage rates near record lows?

82. Gasoline Prices Begin Summer Slide -

NEW YORK (AP) – Gasoline prices are on a summer slide, giving U.S. drivers a break as they set out for the beach and other vacation spots for the Fourth of July.

The national average for a gallon has fallen for 21 days straight and is now below $3.50 for the first time since February. The reason: Oil prices have been relatively stable, and refineries are turning out more gasoline after completing springtime maintenance.

83. Investors Flooding Into Floating-Rate Funds -

NEW YORK (AP) — For most bond mutual funds, rising interest rates are kryptonite.

Higher rates on newly issued bonds make the lower yields on older bonds in their portfolios less attractive, and the price of those bonds declines. Many investors are worried about interest rates because the yield on the 10-year Treasury note has been rising. It hit 2.35 percent Wednesday, its highest level in 15 months.

84. World Looks to Bernanke to Clarify Stimulus Plans -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Is the era of ultra-low interest rates nearing an end? That's the question – and the fear – Chairman Ben Bernanke will face this week when he takes questions after a Federal Reserve policy meeting.

85. Microsoft Brings Office to iPhone, but Not Tablets -

NEW YORK (AP) – Even as a pared-down version of Microsoft's Office software package arrived on the iPhone, the company is holding out on extending that to the iPad and Android devices as it tries to boost sales of tablet computers running its own Windows system.

86. US Wholesale Prices Rise 0.5 Percent in May -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A rise in food and gas costs drove a measure of wholesale prices up sharply in May. But outside those volatile categories, inflation was mild.

The Labor Department said Friday that the producer price index rose 0.5 percent in May from April. Gas prices rose 1.5 percent last month, and food costs increased 0.6 percent.

87. ‘Lefty’ Highlights 2013 Golf Tournament Field -

The biggest name at this weekend’s FedEx St. Jude Classic signed autographs as he came off the ninth green at TPC Southwind after his pro-am round and then stopped to chat with reporters.

Phil Mickelson – the man more commonly known as, simply, “Lefty” – was wearing his trademark black cap and shirt, looking tan and fit, and sounding eager for his scheduled 7:27 a.m. starting time Thursday, June 6, on the 10th tee.

88. Eurozone Unemployment Heading for 20 Million -

LONDON (AP) — The unemployment rate across the 17 European countries that use the euro hit a record 12.2 percent in April, and the number of unemployed is on track to reach 20 million by year's end.

89. OPEC Keeps Oil Output Target at 30 Million Barrels -

VIENNA (AP) — OPEC oil ministers reached quick agreement Friday on keeping output targets steady but deferred solutions on how to deal with surging U.S. shale oil production and internal rivalries denting the organization's image of unity.

90. Ousted IRS Chief Regrets Treatment of Tea Party -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The ousted head of the Internal Revenue Service apologized to Congress on Friday for his agency's tougher treatment of tea party and other conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. He said they resulted from a misguided effort to handle a flood of applications, not political bias.

91. Gauge of US Economy’s Future Health Up in April -

A measure of the U.S. economy’s future health rose solidly in April, buoyed by a sharp rise in applications to build homes and a better job market.

The Conference Board said Friday that its index of leading indicators increased 0.6 percent last month to a reading of 95. That followed a 0.2 percent decline in March.

92. US Housing Starts Fell in April but Permits Surged -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. builders broke ground on fewer homes in April, one month after topping the 1 million mark for the first time since 2008. But most of the decline was in apartment construction, which tends to vary sharply from month to month.

93. US Wholesale Prices Fall 0.7 Percent -

Sharp drops in fuel and food costs reduced a measure of U.S. wholesale prices in April by the most in three years. Outside those volatile categories, inflation stayed tame.

The producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, fell a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in April from March, the Labor Department said Wednesday. It was the second straight monthly decline and the steepest since February 2010.

94. Editorial: Memphis in May Events Still Deliver -

Watching the evolution of the Memphis in May International Festival, it is easy to lose sight of who is in the crowds by the river with us.

It turns out a lot of them aren’t from Memphis, strictly speaking. The irony is for all of our more high-profile efforts to bring in visitors from the larger region, we have built quite the model for nearly 40 years while we were having what many of us regarded as our annual big party for ourselves by the river.

95. Late-Payment Rate on Mortgages Tumbled in First Quarter -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A resurgent housing market, rising home values and steady job gains are helping more U.S. homeowners stay on top of their mortgage payments.

The percentage of mortgage holders at least two months behind on their payments fell by 21 percent in the first three months of this year versus the same period in 2012, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Wednesday.

96. US Job Postings Fell in March; Hiring Slowed -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers posted fewer job openings in March compared with February and slowed overall hiring, underscoring a weak month of job growth.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that job openings fell 1.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted 3.8 million jobs. Total hiring declined 4.3 percent to 4.3 million.

97. US Jobless Claims Fall to 5-Year Low of 324,000 -

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to seasonally adjusted 324,000, the lowest since January 2008. The drop points to fewer layoffs and possibly more hiring.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications fell 18,000, the second straight sharp drop. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, plummeted 16,000 to 342,250, close to a five-year low.

98. US Jobless Claims Fall to 5-Year Low of 324,000 -

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to seasonally adjusted 324,000, the lowest since January 2008. The drop points to fewer layoffs and possibly more hiring.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications fell 18,000, the second straight sharp drop. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, plummeted 16,000 to 342,250, close to a five-year low.

99. US Home Prices Up Most in Nearly 7 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices rose 9.3 percent in February compared with a year ago, the most in nearly seven years. The gains were driven by a growing number of buyers who bid on a limited supply of homes.

100. Brighter View on Jobs and Pay Lifts US Confidence -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans are more optimistic the job market is healing and will deliver higher pay later this year. That brighter outlook, along with rising home prices, cheaper gasoline and a surging stock market, could offset some of the drag from the recent tax increases and government spending cuts.