• Drought threatens to close Mississippi to barges: ST. LOUIS (AP) - After months of drought, companies that ship grain and other goods down the Mississippi River are being haunted by a potential nightmare: If water levels fall too low, the nation's main inland waterway could become impassable to barges just as the harvest heads to market.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A pickup in consumer spending and steady home sales helped lift economic growth from October through early November in most parts of the United States, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday. The one exception was the Northeast, which was slowed by Superstorm Sandy.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration put a stop to new federal contracts with BP on Wednesday, admonishing the British oil company for a "lack of business integrity" and also disqualifying it indefinitely from winning new leases to drill on taxpayer-owned lands.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Former Baltimore Orioles all-star Doug DeCinces and three others were indicted Wednesday on insider trading charges involving the use of information prior to the takeover of a medical device company in California, authorities said.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Striking workers shut down the largest terminal at the Port of Los Angeles for a second day Wednesday, and the job action later widened to close three terminals at the Port of Long Beach, threatening to paralyze the nation's busiest port complex.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Microsoft believes the latest version of its Windows operating system is off to a great start, but it's going to take more than that to prove the revamped software will win over enough people to revive the slumping personal computer market.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A New York man claiming part ownership of Facebook indicated Tuesday that his lawyer wants off the case because he's received threats, but he opposed the lawyer's motion to withdraw.
NEW YORK (AP) - ConAgra Foods is set to become the nation's biggest maker of store-brand foods, with a $5 billion purchase of Ralcorp that expands its stake in the growing market for cereals, crackers and other packaged foods sold under private labels.
NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks slumped on Wall Street Tuesday after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was frustrated by the lack of progress in talks over the U.S. budget impasse in Washington.
BANGKOK (AP) - Lack of progress in negotiations for a deal to avoid a U.S. budget crisis before a January deadline sent Asian stock markets lower on Wednesday.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - More than 100 domain names were seized in an international crackdown on websites that sell counterfeit merchandise, federal authorities said Monday, just in time for the biggest online shopping day of the year.
NEW YORK (AP) - Facebook's stock is climbing after an upgrade from an analyst who believes Wall Street is underestimating the company's potential to grow revenue.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Hewlett-Packard now has a legal headache to compound its misery as the company tries to recover from a series of setbacks that have hammered its stock price and raised doubts about its future.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Yahoo's shares touched $19 Monday, the first time they have traded that high in more than two and half years.
NEW YORK (AP) - Wall Street came back to work after the Thanksgiving weekend and faced leftover worries about the "fiscal cliff" and the European debt crisis. Stocks retreated after one of their best weeks of the year.
REDMOND, Wash. (AP) - Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella painted an upbeat vision of the future Tuesday, saying that the next version of Windows will be unified across screens of all sizes and that two money-losing units - Nokia phones and Bing search - would become profitable in 2016.
CUPERTINO (AP) - Apple's growth prospects are looking brighter as anticipation builds for the upcoming release of the next iPhone, a model that is expected to cater to consumers yearning for a bigger screen.
NEW YORK (AP) - It's an almost weekly occurrence: On Tuesday, Goodwill said its computer systems may have been hacked, leading to the possible theft of customers' credit and debit card information. The nonprofit agency, which operates 2,900 stores in the U.S., said it is working with federal investigators to look into a possible breach.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - In New Orleans, discarded butts are being turned into something useful.
NEW YORK (AP) - Verizon Wireless is launching a nationwide loyalty program this week for its 100-million-plus subscribers. There's a twist, though: To earn points for every dollar spent, subscribers must consent to have their movements tracked so the company can help target ads that match their interests.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Raising beef for the American dinner table does far more damage to the environment than producing pork, poultry, eggs or dairy, a new study says.
REDMOND, Wash. (AP) - Before Ralf Groene helped devise the look and feel of Microsoft's Surface tablet, he designed food - or "food concepts," he says, for people on the go. Among them: dried noodles that come wrapped around a pair of chopsticks; a tubular meal that can be pulled with two fingers from a car cup holder base; and a fork that squeezes out sauce.
WASHINGTON (AP) - You've probably decided who gets the house or that family heirloom up in the attic when you die. But what about your email account and all those photos stored online?
SAN JOSE (AP) - EBay said Wednesday that its second-quarter net income rose 6 percent, as strong growth from its PayPal payments business offset lower-than-expected revenue that was hampered by a global password reset after a cyberattack.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Residents of modest neighborhoods near three of the largest oil refineries in California called on the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday to crack down on plant emissions, saying the pollution is choking their children and endangering their health.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Northern Nevada tourism officials say they've seen a significant spike in convention bookings, but continue to struggle with a drop in government business because of a misconception that casino resorts cost more than other hotels.
NEW YORK (AP) - Apollo Education Group said the U.S. Department of Education will review the administration of federal student financial aid programs by its University of Phoenix subsidiary.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued a major debt collection law firm on Monday, alleging it is a "mill" that produces shoddy, mass-produced credit-card collection lawsuits.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Citigroup has agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into its handling of risky subprime mortgages, admitting to a pattern of deception that Attorney General Eric Holder said "shattered lives" and contributed to the worst financial crisis in decades, the Justice Department said Monday.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Job losses at Trump Plaza when the Atlantic City casino shuts down in September will be even worse than expected.