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  • The Commerce Department said Monday that retail sales rose 1.1 percent in March, the best showing since September 2012. The government also revised February to a 0.7 percent gain, more than double its previous estimate. Sales had fallen in January and December.

    U.S. retail sales up strong 1.1 percent in MarchApr 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    U.S. retail sales in March rose by the largest amount in 18 months, led by strong gains in sales of autos, furniture and a number of other products. The Commerce Department said Monday that retail sales rose 1.1 percent in March, the best showing since September 2012.

     
  • The average 401(k) fee — a modest-sounding 1 percent — can wipe $70,000 out of the typical retirement account compared with lower-cost plans that are widely available, according to a new study by a Washington think tank.

    Savers beware: Fees may be shrinking your 401(k)Apr 13, 2014 12:00 AM
    It’s the silent enemy in our retirement accounts: High fees. And now a new study finds that the typical 401(k) fees — adding up to a modest-sounding 1 percent a year — would erase $70,000 from an average worker’s account over a four-decade career compared with lower-cost options. To compensate for the higher fees, someone would have to work an extra three years before retiring.

     
  •  A visitor looks at the city skyline Tuesday as he speaks on a mobile phone from a viewing deck in the Federation Tower at the Moscow International Business Center, also known as Moscow-City, the capital’s new commercial district in Moscow, Russia’s central bank unexpectedly cut its repurchase rate and raised the rate it pays on deposits to avert a potential ruble shortage in money markets.

    On Russia, Europe too cautious for U.S.Apr 12, 2014 12:00 AM
    Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland told a Senate panel this past week that U.S. and EU sanctions now in place are “biting” and “pinching” the Russian economy, “and we’re now considering further measures.”

     
  • Specialist Anthony Rinaldi works at his post Friday on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

    Stocks fall on jitters over earnings, tech routApr 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    “Earnings are going to come in on the sloppy side,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. “The market needs to correct,” he added, referring to sharp downturn in stocks.

     
  • ‘Age Well’ event guides seniors through finances, retirementApr 2, 2014 12:00 AM
    College of DuPage Continuing Education will partner with DuPage County Senior Services to host “Age Well DuPage: Renew, Recharge, Reinvent.” The free event runs 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 6, in the Homeland Security Education Center, Room 1022, on the College’s main campus, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn.

     
  • The “Age Well DuPage: Renew, Recharge, Reinvent” event for adults 50 and older is planned for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at College of DuPage.

    Event to show how to prepare for retirementApr 1, 2014 12:00 AM
    An event this weekend in DuPage County is hoping to give anyone looking toward retirement the tools they need to get the most out of their golden years.

     
  • A key reason to hold on to your past tax returns and supporting documentation is so you can address any issues should the Internal Revenue Service question any entries on a previous tax return.

    5 tips on how to tackle financial records clutterMar 30, 2014 12:00 AM
    Tax season offers an opportunity to finally dig through that shoe box or file cabinet where you’ve amassed a trove of old receipts, bank statements, pay stubs and other personal financial information.Here are some tips on how to thin out that clutter of financial records you may have accumulated over the years.

     
  • Cuba’s President Raul Castro, left, Cuba’s Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel, center, and First Vice-President of the Council of State Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, right, applaud Saturday during an extraordinary session at the National Assembly in a vote that overhauls the foreign investment law in Havana.

    Cuban lawmakers OK key foreign investment lawMar 29, 2014 12:00 AM
    Some details of the legislation emerged in official media in recent days. Among other things, it would cut taxes on profits by about half, to 15 percent, and make companies exempt from paying taxes for the first eight years of operation.

     
  • Emerging-market bonds on sale but not on clearanceMar 23, 2014 12:00 AM
    Investors are pulling money out of emerging markets, in part because of anticipation of higher interest rates in the U.S. The drop in demand means prices for bonds from emerging markets have tumbled over the last year, and the average emerging-market bond mutual fund has lost 6.8 percent. That’s the worst performance among the 32 bond fund categories that Morningstar tracks and a sharp reversal. Over the last five years, emerging markets have provided some of the best bond returns.

     
  • Amazon said it is raising the price of its popular Prime membership to $99 per year, an increase of $20. It’s the first price increase since the online retailer introduced its Prime membership program in 2005.

    Amazon Prime price shock? Try these cheaper rivalsMar 23, 2014 12:00 AM
    Many online shoppers were taken aback when Amazon raised the price of its Prime service. Although Prime offers a streaming video service, many customers have come to rely on its free two-day shipping. Some took the $20 price hike in stride, but if you’re annoyed, and looking for alternatives, there are cheaper versions you can try.

     
  • The head office of Bank Rossiya in St. Petersburg, Russia. Two Russian banks, including Bank Rossiya, the Russian lender which was put on the Treasury’s sanctions list, said Friday that Visa and MasterCard have stopped providing services to them.

    EU’s new sanctions target Putin inner circleMar 21, 2014 12:00 AM
    Russia has already hit back at the United States by announcing it would impose asset freezes on a number of high-ranking U.S. officials. But it has yet to take retaliatory action against the EU.

     
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, flanked by Upper House Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, left, and Lower House Speaker Sergei Naryshkin, signs bills Friday making Crimea part of Russia in the Kremlin in Moscow.

    Russian stocks down as banks suffer amid sanctionsMar 21, 2014 12:00 AM
    The economic sanctions ordered on Thursday by President Barack Obama targeted 20 people, including Putin’s chief of staff and four influential businessmen who are believed to be his lifelong friends, and also a major Russian bank that provides them support.

     
  • Associated Press/Dec. 4, 2013 April Taylor of Upper Marlboro, Md., left, buys items from groceries to Christmas presents with her son Jarhon Taylor, right, on opening day of a new Wal-Mart on Georgia Avenue Northwest in Washington.

    Wal-Mart’s new tool gives competitors pricesMar 21, 2014 12:00 AM
    The company built its business on offering the lowest prices on staples such as milk, bread and laundry detergent. But Wal-Mart’s “every day low price” model is under attack from online king Amazon and other competitors that sometimes offer items cheaper. On top of that, the retailer’s primarily lower-income customers continue to cut back on spending during the economic recovery.

     
  • Kermit the Frog brought good luck to the New York Stock Exchange, where he rang the opening bell on Monday, to promote the newest Muppets movie. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose, rebounding from its worst week since January, as data showing a gain in industrial production boosted optimism over the economy and investors watched developments in Ukraine.

    U.S. stocks jump as worries over Crimea vote fadeMar 17, 2014 12:00 AM
    Investors were able to put aside the ongoing political turmoil in Ukraine on Monday to focus on a bit of good news on the U.S. economy. Stocks ended sharply higher, helped by a report that showed factory output rebounded last month.

     
  • Want a personal shopper? You don’t have to be richMar 16, 2014 12:00 AM
    A new breed of online sites is tailoring boxes of items to shoppers’ tastes. And at traditional retailers including J. Crew and Macy’s, the services of personal stylists don’t cost any extra. The online sites include Trunk Club, which caters to men, and Stitch Fix, which targets women.

     
  •  Actor Peter O’Toole in 1961 in the title role in the film “Lawrence of Arabia.”

    Lawrence of Arabia offered ‘quiet’ role at Bank of EnglandMar 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    Documents show the World War I veteran, whose real name was T. E. Lawrence, was offered the role of night watchman in 1928, the central bank said Saturday. There are also indications in the archives that Governor Montagu Norman wanted Lawrence as the bank’s secretary seven years later.

     
  •  Goldman Sachs Group Inc. headquarters in New York

    New York steals London’s mantle as top financial centerMar 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    The index, which is updated every six months and is in its 15th edition, is compiled from replies to an online survey. It also uses external gauges including rankings for specific areas such as telecommunications. The index, which was first published in 2007, takes into account broad areas including the business environment, finance, infrastructure, human capital and reputation.

     
  • Municipal bonds are getting another chance. Money is flowing once again into muni-bond mutual funds, a turnaround from last year’s exodus. So far, investors have been rewarded for renewing their interest, but managers caution that several challenges remain.

    Can the calm last in the municipal bond market?Mar 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    Municipal bonds are getting another chance. Money is flowing once again into muni-bond mutual funds, a turnaround from last year’s exodus. So far, investors have been rewarded for renewing their interest, but managers caution that several challenges remain.

     
  • Armed members of the first unit of a pro-Russian armed force, dubbed the “military forces of the autonomous republic of Crimea” march Saturday before the swearing-in ceremony in Simferopol, Ukraine

    Russia warns heavier sanctions could backfireMar 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    On Capitol Hill, both chambers of Congress looked to advance legislation imposing hard-hitting sanctions on Russia.President Obama hailed U.S. cooperation with the European Union, which on Thursday suspended talks with Putin’s government on a wide-ranging economic agreement and on granting Russian citizens visa-free travel within the 28-nation bloc. But Europe’s presidents and prime ministers remain divided on taking more drastic steps such as freezing assets and issuing travel bans on Russian officials.

     
  • Ground staff take a break Sunday under a Malaysia Airlines plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia.

    Austin tech firm had 20 employees on missing planeMar 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    An Austin, Texas, technology company says 20 of its employees were aboard the Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing over the South China Sea.

     
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