There is nothing like a brush with death to make one realize what's important in life. And of course, what's important are things like family and friends and good health. What's not really all that important are things like "delayed retirement credits" and "file and suspend" rules and all the other Social Security benefit gaming tactics that have taken up so much of this column space, and my email inbox capacity, in the past couple of months.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Unemployment rates rose in 44 U.S. states in July, the most states to show a monthly increase in more than three years and a reflection of weak hiring nationwide.
NEW YORK (AP) - Facebook's stock fell to $19 for the first time on Friday, losing half its market value since the company's initial public offering in May.
CUPERTINO (AP) - Apple's stock hit a new high Friday after a four-month swoon, as investors looked ahead to the release of a new iPhone and possibly a smaller iPad.
NEW YORK (AP) - Encouraging earnings from Cisco and hopeful signs in a housing report lifted the stock market Thursday. The gains nudged the Standard & Poor's 500 index near the four-year high it reached earlier this year.
SAN FRANCISCO AP) - Gap Inc. reported a 29 percent increase in second-quarter net income, evidence the fashion retailer's moves to liven up its clothing with brightly colored trendy looks are winning over shoppers.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Groupon's stock hit another low, days after the online deals company issued a lackluster quarterly report.
MENLO PARK (AP) - Facebook's stock plunged to a new low Thursday as some of the social networking leader's early backers got their first chance to sell their shares since the company's initial public offering went awry.
RICHMOND (AP) - Nine people have sued Chevron Corp. over a California refinery fire that sent thousands to hospitals with respiratory issues and contributed to higher gasoline prices on the West Coast.
NEW YORK (AP) - With another six Olympic medals around his neck, swimmer Michael Phelps is once again touting the breakfast of champions.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Target Corp. raised its full-year profit projection Wednesday after the cheap-chic discounter reported better-than-expected second-quarter revenue that showed healthy spending in food, beauty, fashion and other items.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A voting member of the Federal Reserve's policy committee is cautioning that the Fed's power to fix the U.S. economy is limited now.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The recession that ended three years ago this summer has been followed by the feeblest economic recovery since the Great Depression.
SAN JOSE (AP) - Cisco Systems Inc., the world's largest maker of computer networking equipment, is seeing its ambitions cramped by the global economic turmoil, but results for its latest quarter were strong enough that it announced an increase to its dividend.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - William Shatner's Priceline Negotiator isn't a goner, after all. He just went surfing.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Teeth-bleaching isn't brain surgery, although the Supreme Court seemed to find a link between the two in an antitrust case argued Tuesday.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - In a quick about-face, the National School Boards Association is cutting ties with the nation's second-biggest cigarette maker, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
NEW YORK (AP) - Macy's Inc. is opening its stores at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, two hours earlier than last year, to lure holiday shoppers.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal regulators say Pfizer has provided low-quality evidence to support its request to remove a bold-letter warning from its anti-smoking drug Chantix about suicidal behavior.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - First the chefs of a small Italian restaurant got mad at online review site Yelp. Instead of trying to get better reviews, they decided to take a different approach: get terrible ones.
LONDON (AP) - "This call may be monitored."
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The nation's second-largest chain of rent-to-own furniture and appliance stores has agreed to pay $28.4 million to settle a case in which it allegedly violated California's consumer protection and privacy laws, attorney general Kamala Harris announced Monday.
HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston Astros' improvement this year from baseball's worst team cost a Houston furniture mogul Jim McIngvale more than $4 million to make good on a promise to fans.
NEW YORK (AP) - McDonald's wants to explain why its burgers may not rot and that there are no worms in its beef.
NEW YORK (AP) - Americans are expected to spend at the highest rate in three years during what's traditionally the busiest shopping season of the year, according to the nation's largest retail industry trade group.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Drug Enforcement Administration set up a fake Facebook account using photographs and other personal information it took from the cellphone of a New York woman arrested in a cocaine case in hopes of tricking her friends and associates into revealing incriminating drug secrets.
FRESNO (AP) - California has fined two oil companies a total of nearly a half-million dollars for dumping oilfield fluid into unlined pits in Kern County.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Millions of Americans may qualify for waivers from the most unpopular part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. But getting that exemption could be an ordeal.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it is delaying enforcement of its initiative to extend minimum-wage and overtime protections to the nation's nearly 2 million home-care workers.
POINT REYES (AP) - A popular family-owned oyster farm whose lease at the Point Reyes National Seashore in Northern California has expired will be allowed to keep operating until the end of the year under a legal agreement with the federal government announced Monday.