• 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.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Food and Drug Administration is keeping a bold-letter warning on Pfizer's anti-smoking drug Chantix about suicidal behavior and other psychiatric side effects, after reviewing company findings suggesting the drug does not increase those problems.
NEW YORK (AP) - The company behind the Snuggie, Perfect Bacon Bowl and other "As Seen on TV" products has agreed to pay $8 million to settle charges that it deceived customers.
MOUNTAIN VIEW (AP) - Google is helping California drivers shop for car insurance as part of a new service that could foreshadow the Internet company's latest attempt to shake up a long-established industry.
WASHINGTON (AP) - In an encouraging development for consumers worried about antibiotics in their milk, a new Food and Drug Administration study showed little evidence of drug contamination after surveying almost 2,000 dairy farms.
POLK CITY, Fla. (AP) - The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus says the "Greatest Show on Earth" will go on without elephants.
NEW YORK (AP) - There was a time you could count on phones getting larger each year. Samsung's runaway success with the big-screen smartphone even spurred Apple to release a supersized model last fall. But if phones get any bigger will they be too hard to use?
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg has enlisted NBA stars LeBron James, Stephen Curry and some of the basketball league's other top players to convince more men to join the fight for women's rights at home and at work.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Uber Technologies is buying digital mapping specialist deCarta in a deal that may help the rapidly growing ride-hailing service lessen its dependence on navigation services from Google and Apple, an imposing pair of potential rivals.
NEW YORK (AP) - McDonald's says it plans to require chicken suppliers to stop using antibiotics important to human medicine within two years.
• ALIBABA OPENS DATA CENTER IN SILICON VALLEY: SAN JOSE (AP) - The cloud-computing unit of Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba is making its first foray into the U.S. by opening a data center in Silicon Valley.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Sony plans on putting its virtual-reality headset on consumers' noggins next year.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Food and Drug Administration is warning doctors against over-prescribing testosterone-boosting drugs for men, saying the popular treatments have not been established as safe or effective for common age-related issues like low libido and fatigue.
NEW YORK (AP) - News on Tuesday that major U.S. airlines are no longer going to ship powerful lithium-ion batteries might lead some to fret about the safety of their personal electronic devices.
NEW YORK (AP) - The U.S. has so much crude that it is running out of places to put it, and that could drive oil and gasoline prices even lower in the coming months.
NEW YORK (AP) - Target Corp. is cutting several thousand jobs as part of a plan to eliminate $2 billion in costs over the next two years.