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Fears of slowdown sharpen focus on U.S. jobs report PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 07:30

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.

Evidence of healthy U.S. job growth would help soothe those jitters. It would suggest that the world's biggest economy is still expanding solidly enough to support global growth.

"The best antidote right now for all these problems is a robust U.S. economy," said Carl Riccadonna, an economist at Deutsche Bank. "The whole world is watching, even more so than usual."

Yet anyone looking to Friday's report for a clear picture of the U.S. economy's health might be disappointed. Unseasonably cold winter weather could distort January's hiring figures. Revised estimates of job growth last year and the size of the U.S. population might further skew the data.

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10 U.S. states considering Internet gambling bills PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 11:29

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A group that tracks gambling-related legislation worldwide says least 10 U.S. states are considering bills to legalize or expand Internet gambling this year.

The study by Gambling Compliance also finds slim chances for a national law to regulate Internet poker. It predicts a major effort by opponents of online gambling to block it in Congress.

So far, three states allow Internet gambling: New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware.

The report says proposals for new or expanded Internet betting could be considered in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

In California, one of the largest potential markets, Indian tribes are trying to agree on how to legalize Internet poker.

The report also says Nevada may consider expanding online bets beyond poker.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Volvo to cut 4,400 jobs in 2014 PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MALIN RISING, Associated Press   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 07:29

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Truck maker AB Volvo said it plans to lay off 4,400 employees this year as it revealed a 37 percent slide in fourth quarter profits.

Volvo CEO Olof Persson said the job losses, which include the previously announced reduction of 2,000, will affect employees worldwide in group truck operations, as well as in technology, sales, marketing, IT, finance and human resource departments.

Persson said the cuts will help Volvo use its resources more effectively and are a consequence of the company's transformation. The reductions will start immediately and are expected to be largely completed during 2014.

The job losses came as the company reported net profit of 548 million kronor ($84 million), down from 869 million kronor a year earlier. The fall was largely due to the extra costs involved in updating its trucks.

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CVS Caremark plans to stop tobacco products sales PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MICHAEL FELBERBAUM, AP Business Writers TOM MURPHY, AP Business Writers   
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 10:34

CVS Caremark is kicking the habit of selling tobacco products at its more than 7,600 drugstores nationwide as it focuses more on providing health care.

The nation's second-largest drugstore chain said Wednesday that it will phase out cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco by Oct. 1, a move that will cost about $2 billion in annual revenue but won't affect its 2014 earnings forecast. CVS Caremark leaders say removing tobacco will help them grow the company's business of working with doctors, hospitals and other care providers to improve customers' health.

CVS Caremark Corp. and other major drugstore chains have been adding clinics to their stores and expanding their health care focus for several years now. They've been preparing, in part, for an aging U.S. population that will need more care and for the millions of people who are expected to gain health insurance coverage under the federal health care overhaul.

Their pharmacists deliver flu shots and other immunizations, and their clinics also have been expanding the scope of care they deliver. They now help people manage chronic illnesses like high blood pressure and diabetes in addition to treating minor illnesses like sinus infections.

CEO Larry Merlo noted that chronic conditions are made worse by smoking.

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