Financial
A strong February wipes out S&P 500's January loss PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by KEN SWEET, AP Markets Writer   
Sunday, 02 March 2014 07:32

NEW YORK (AP) — After two months of trading, the stock market is back where it started.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 4.3 percent in February, the biggest gain since October 2013, helped by strong corporate earnings and a Federal Reserve that seems to have Wall Street's back at every turn. But the rise in February must be taken in the context that investors spent the month making up the ground they lost in January.

"February looked a lot like January, just moving in the opposite direction," said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist with Brown Brothers Harriman Wealth Management.

Investors are also now staring at a stock market, while numbers-wise is basically where it was on Jan. 1, that is a lot more defensive than it was two months ago.

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Promise and peril in an ultra-connected world PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ANICK JESDANUN, AP Technology Writer   
Sunday, 02 March 2014 07:29

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — We're in the beginning of a world in which everything is connected to the Internet and with one another, while powerful yet relatively cheap computers analyze all that data for ways to improve lives.

Toothbrushes tell your mirror to remind you to floss. Basketball jerseys detect impending heart failure and call the ambulance for you.

At least that's the vision presented this past week at the Mobile World Congress wireless show in Barcelona, Spain. The four-day conference highlighted what the tech industry has loosely termed "the Internet of things."

Some of that wisdom is already available or promised by the end of the year.

Fitness devices from Sony and Samsung connect with your smartphones to provide digital records of your daily lives. French startup Cityzen Sciences has embedded fabric with heart-rate and other sensors to track your physical activities.

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Buffett upbeat about future despite trailing S&P PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JOSH FUNK, AP Business Writer   
Sunday, 02 March 2014 07:31

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Billionaire Warren Buffett is confident that Berkshire Hathaway will be a mainstay of the U.S. economy for the next 100 years, regardless of whether it sometimes underperforms bull market runs, like it did last year.

In his annual letter to shareholders released Saturday, Buffett didn't disclose any new information on Berkshire's plans for succession once the 83-year-old someday leaves the helm. But he emphasized that the company he's led for 49 years is built on a "rock-solid foundation" and will endure long after he's gone.

"A century hence, BNSF and MidAmerican Energy will still be playing major roles in our economy," Buffett wrote. "Insurance will concomitantly be essential for both businesses and individuals — and no company brings greater human and financial resources to that business than Berkshire."

"Think of all the admired investors out there. How many ever refer to something they owned or investments they're making and talk about how well they're going to be doing a century from now?," says Bill Smead, founder of Smead Capital Management.

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Hemp registration opens for farmers in Colorado PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by KRISTEN WYATT, Associated Press   
Sunday, 02 March 2014 07:27

DENVER (AP) — Hemp registration opened for farmers Saturday in Colorado, the first state to start regulating industrial hemp since the federal government allowed limited hemp regulation.

A handful of Colorado farmers grew industrial hemp last year without interference from law enforcement or state agriculture officials. But the opening Saturday of Colorado's industrial-hemp registry is the first opportunity for farmers to comply with licensure requirements through a state Department of Agriculture.

Hemp farmers will have to submit to state inspections to make sure they're not growing the plant's psychoactive cousin, marijuana.

The state Agriculture Department warned aspiring hemp farmers that they may still jeopardize separate farm loans and crop insurance if they grow hemp. In an announcement to farmers last week, the department urged farmers to contact a lawyer before proceeding.

Pesticide rules for regulated hemp haven't been finalized, but the department told farmers to expect guidance on "extremely limited" pesticide options soon.

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