Financial
Atlantic City casino hopes for quick end to fake-chips probe PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press   
Saturday, 18 January 2014 07:09

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — An Atlantic City casino where someone may have used fake chips at a poker tournament hopes to learn on Saturday whether the suspended games should be allowed to continue.

The first event of the Borgata Winter Poker Open was suspended Friday for 24 hours by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement after suspicions about the games arose.

"The Division of Gaming Enforcement and New Jersey State Police are aware of a situation involving counterfeit chips," said Lisa Spengler a spokeswoman for the gaming enforcement division. "The matter is currently under investigation." She declined further comment.

Joe Lupo, senior vice president at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, said more than 50 other tournament events are not affected and will be played as scheduled. He said he expects the investigation to be completed by Saturday at noon.

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U.S. homebuilding dips, but year best since '07 PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer   
Friday, 17 January 2014 12:07

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home construction slowed in December but ended 2013 with the best showing since the housing bubble burst.

The Commerce Department said Friday that builders broke ground last month at a seasonally annual rate of 999,000. That's 9.8 percent lower than November's pace of 1.12 million, which was the fastest in five years.

For the year, builders started 923,000 homes and apartments, up 18.3 percent from 2012. It was the fourth straight annual gain and the strongest since 2007, when 1.36 million homes were started.

The housing market has been recovering steadily over the past year, helping to boost economic growth and create jobs. But a rise in mortgage rates from record lows reached a year ago have started to weigh on those gains.

Still, economists said they December's dip in activity followed a huge gain November. They also blamed some of the decline last month on cold weather, which may have disrupted some construction activity.

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Auto shows do more for women, but lean toward guys PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writer   
Friday, 17 January 2014 15:22

DETROIT (AP) — Women now buy nearly half the new cars in the U.S., a sharp increase compared with a generation ago, and the auto industry is trying to demonstrate that it's keeping up with the times when it showcases the latest models to the public.

Auto shows now offer cooking demonstrations, private tours and an increasing number of male models to appeal to female visitors.

But that hardly means the industry has shelved a staple of nearly 100 years of auto shows: having female models preening beside the latest sports car or SUV.

The shows, which are run by dealers, say they're trying to attract more women with events like fashion shows. The North American International Auto Show in Detroit doesn't keep track of visitors by gender, but the New York International Auto Show says 40 percent of its 1 million visitors in 2013 were women, up from 29 percent two years before. Spokesman Chris Sams said the show made a point of reaching out to women, using more females in its ads and hosting special parties and tours. It even held a contest to find the best place to store a purse in a car.

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U.S. factory output rises for fifth straight month PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer   
Friday, 17 January 2014 11:04

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory output rose for a fifth straight month in December, as manufacturers cranked out more cars and trucks, appliances and processed food. The gains suggest factories gave economic growth a strong boost at the end of the year.

The Federal Reserve said Friday that factory production rose 0.4 percent in December. That follows gains of 0.6 percent in both November and October. Automakers increased their production 1.8 percent last month and 10.4 percent year over year.

Higher consumer demand is driving much of the increased manufacturing activity. Production of appliances, furniture, carpeting, food and clothing all grew in December. Output of consumer goods gained 0.5 percent.

Overall industrial production, which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities, increased 0.3 percent in December. That's also the fifth straight monthly gain.

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