Last Update on December 10, 2013 08:27 GMT
MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- Asian stock markets were muted today amid some profit taking and ahead of Chinese data on industrial production and retail sales.
Evan Lucas, strategist as IG Markets in Melbourne, Australia, said some investors were locking in profits after two days of gains and also waiting for Chinese and U.S. economic data.
China is expected to release industrial production, auto sales and other indicators later today that should give an indication whether the third quarter's uptick in economic growth is continuing.
Benchmark crude oil rose above $97.50 a barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Among the economic reports due out later today: the Commerce Department releases wholesale trade inventories for October and the Labor Department puts out a report on job openings and labor turnover for October. This comes on the heels of a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics last Friday that the economy added over 200,000 jobs in November and the national unemployment rate dipped to 7 percent, its lowest level in five years. Later today, the Senate Finance Committee has a hearing on President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Internal Revenue Service and the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee has a hearing on online gambling. Meanwhile, H&R Block Inc. will report quarterly financial results after the market closes.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Prospects are dimming for a quick extension of soon-to-expire unemployment benefits as Republican officials say they will not agree to include a renewal in any year-end budget deal.
Some congressional Democrats insisted Monday they will continue to press to make additional benefits part of the measure, but it is unclear how strongly the White House will support them.
Without legislation, benefits for 1.3 million workers unemployed for longer than 26 weeks would expire on Dec. 28, and an additional 1.9 million would experience the same fate in the first half of 2014.
The cost of extending the program is about $25 billion for one year.
Republicans have balked at renewing the program, saying unemployment has fallen steadily. They argue that weekly unemployment checks are a poor economic stimulus.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Need a hand lifting something? An invention called the Titan Arm can help you carry an extra 40 pounds.
The robotic apparatus looks like something you might see on a superhero. But University of Pennsylvania engineering students say it's designed for ordinary people.
The device is essentially a battery-powered arm brace that's attached to a backpack.
Titan Arm's designers say it has the potential to prevent injuries in workers whose jobs require repetitive heavy lifting. It also could help rehab patients undergoing physical therapy.
The prize-winning prototype builds on existing research in the field of exoskeletons, an area that experts say will grow as the population ages.
Students say some current exoskeleton models can cost $100,000. They created Titan Arm for less than $2,000.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Silicon Valley is escalating pressure on the Obama administration to curb the U.S. government surveillance programs that vacuum personal information off the Internet and threaten the technology industry's financial livelihood.
A coalition that includes Google, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft lashed out in an open letter printed Monday in major newspapers and a new website, http://reformgovernmentsurveillance.com .
The crusade united eight companies that often compete fiercely against each other, but now find themselves banding together to limit the potential damage from revelations about the National Security Agency's snooping on Web surfers.
Twitter Inc., LinkedIn Corp. and AOL Inc. joined Google Inc., Apple Inc., Yahoo Inc., Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. in the push for tighter controls over electronic espionage. The group is immersed in the lives of just about everyone who uses the Internet or a computing device.
THE NEW RICH
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Survey results provided to The Associated Press find that roughly one in five U.S. adults become rich for parts of their lives, earning a household income of $250,000 or more at some point.
The group is made up largely of older professionals, working married couples and more educated singles. Even outside periods of unusual wealth, members of this group generally hover in the $100,000-plus income range, keeping them in the top 20 percent of earners.
Washington University in St. Louis professor Mark Rank says these people see affluence as "very attainable, even if the dream has become more elusive for everyone else."
They are liberal on issues such as abortion and gay marriage, but they're wary of any government role in closing the income gap.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- American Airlines emerged from bankruptcy protection and US Airways culminated its long pursuit of a merger partner as the two completed their deal to create the world's biggest airline.
It's the latest in a series of mergers that will leave four airlines controlling more than 80 percent of the U.S. air-travel market. With less competition, the airlines have successfully limited the number of seats, boosting prices and returning to profitability.
American's old parent, AMR Corp., is gone, replaced by the new American Airlines Group Inc. CEO Doug Parker remotely rang the opening bell of the Nasdaq Stock Market yesterday, flanked on stage by executives and labor leaders of both airlines and in front of a crowd of cheering employees. For passengers, the merger won't mean many immediate changes. Whether the deal leads to higher ticket prices, the issue at the heart of legal challenges, remains to be seen.
DALLAS (AP) -- Texas Instruments Inc. has narrowed its fourth-quarter outlook.
The semiconductor maker said that it expects to earn between 44 and 48 cents per share, versus its prior forecast of 42 to 50 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet were anticipating earnings of 47 cents per share.
It also said that it anticipates revenue between $2.92 billion and $3.04 billion, versus its prior range of $2.86 billion to $3.10 billion. Wall Street predicted $2.99 billion.
Shares of the Dallas-based company fell 8 cents to $43.50 in after-hours trading. Its stock added 9 cents to close regular trading at $43.58 and has gained 41 percent this year.