GM China sales rose 0.4 percent in June

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- General Motors sales in China were flat in June from a year earlier despite cutting prices by up to 20 percent as growth in the world's largest car market continues to slow.

Sales totaled 246,066 in June, up 0.4 percent from June 2014.

"SUVs and multipurpose vehicles are growing fast, but that growth was offset by the segment shift ...Read more

Gourmet Oreos? Mondelez pushes thin cookie for 'sophisticated' palates

Business / Business News /

The iconic Oreo cookie is slimming down this summer.

Mondelez International Inc. said Monday that it is launching a new line of "Oreo Thins" in the U.S. next week. The skinny version of the century-old snack has 140 calories in a serving size of four, compared with 160 calories for three regular Oreos.

The thinner take on the snack was ...Read more

Starbucks raising prices

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- Starbucks is raising the price of its typical coffeeshop run across the U.S. by 1 percent -- and in its booming home base of Seattle, by three and a half times as much.

The increases, which the coffee giant usually doles out every summer, affect several items in various markets differently. Spokesman Jim Olson said that on a national...Read more

American Apparel to close underperforming stores, lay off workers

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- Struggling retailer American Apparel Inc. is laying off workers and closing some stores as part of an ongoing effort to turn around its business.

The Los Angeles clothing maker said the initiatives will save the company about $30 million over the next year and a half.

American Apparel did not disclose the number of stores or ...Read more

Dollar Tree completes purchase of Family Dollar

Business / Business News /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Dollar Tree officially owns Family Dollar.

In a statement Monday, Virginia-based Dollar Tree said it has completed its $8.5 billion purchase of Family Dollar, based in the Charlotte suburb of Matthews, drawing to a close a yearlong takeover saga that included a separate buyout attempt from another discount retailer, Dollar ...Read more

Aetna CFO: Louisville workforce may grow; no word on Connecticut

Business / Business News /

HARTFORD, Conn. -- In the first public discussion of the merger announced Friday, Aetna executives made no predictions on how employment here would change but said they expect the size of Humana's Louisville, Ky., workforce will not shrink at all, and might grow.

Humana has 12,500 employees in Louisville; Aetna has 6,100 in Connecticut.

...Read more

Seller of digital eavesdropping software gets hacked

Business / Business News /

HackingTeam, an Italian company that helps law enforcement hack into digital networks, has apparently been hacked itself.

Client lists, emails and other documents purportedly belonging to HackingTeam were posted online Sunday by an anonymous hacker.

HackingTeam technology extracts sensitive information off computers before the data can be ...Read more

Amazon as an adult: Two decades of online shopping

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- It has officially been nearly two decades since shoppers of the world were introduced to the idea of buying books online.

Seattle-based's e-commerce website turns 20 years old this month.

The company has grown from an idea hatched by founder and CEO Jeff Bezos to use the burgeoning Internet to revolutionize the book-...Read more

US stocks slip after Greek 'no' vote; bond prices rise

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U.S. stock prices edged lower and the American dollar was little changed against the euro in midday trading Monday after Greeks voted to reject the terms of that country's latest bailout package.

The markets' stability came after stock prices in Europe and Asia fell, but not dramatically, after voters in debt-laden Greece rejected creditors' ...Read more

A few tips to bolster your credit score

Business / Business News /

Except for maybe cholesterol numbers, few scores are more important in modern adult life than your credit score.

Unlike cholesterol, however, with credit scores, the higher, the better.

The American Bankers Association recently offered some tips for bulking up that crucial financial measure -- used by lenders to gauge creditworthiness and by ...Read more

Jason Lina: Over-diversification danger

Business / Business News /

Do you collect mutual funds? Unlike hobbyists who collect stamps, art or rare coins, investors who own a multitude of funds are not better off.

While diversification is important to any portfolio, owning too many funds can make investing more complicated that necessary.

One of my clients owned 16 different accounts, including an array of stock...Read more

Co-signers often caught in private student loans

Business / Business News /

The vast majority of consumers -- 90 percent -- are being rejected for co-signer release on their private student loans, according to a recent report by the Washington-based Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which found "that the broken co-signer release process is leaving responsible consumers at risk of damaged credit or auto-default ...Read more

Fraudsters targeting senior citizens looking for love online

Business / Business News /

When investigators in the fraud watch department of Washington-based AARP received a call from a senior citizen late last year who had lost $300,000 to a con man she met on an Internet dating website, the organization looked into the problem. It found that in just the last six months of 2014, an estimated $82 million had been lost to online ...Read more

The Journey: Taking a look at longevity annuities in retirement

Business / Business News /

Longevity insurance has worked its way into retirement plans. Does it belong in yours?

MetLife recently launched a qualifying longevity annuity contract, or QLAC, for employer 401(k)s, and a few firms offer individual policies for IRAs.

The contracts are deferred income annuities, tailored for retirement accounts and designed to provide a ...Read more

Susan Tompor: How to keep vacation scam-free

Business / Business News /

Summertime travel and recreation spending are in full swing.

But sadly, con artists aren't taking any vacation breaks. They know how to trick us with "free" vacations, fake vacation rentals and even a crazy con related to ordering takeout food.

One big scam starts out with an offer to get a free vacation if you join a travel club.

Sandy ...Read more

Andrew Lisa: 10 gadgets under $10 that will simplify your life

Business / Business News /

When you're trying to save money, every dollar counts. The frugal shopper never puts the word "just" before the price of an item he or she is considering buying. But in some cases, an investment of just a few dollars can bring a gadget into your life that will make you wonder how you ever lived without it in the first place.

Here are 10 life-...Read more

Elyssa Kirkham: 10 essential money habits

Business / Business News /

Your financial health, just like your physical health, is built on dozens of small, daily decisions that eventually form habits. And while eating better and exercising more are well-known habits that will get you fit, sometimes the money habits that lead to financial health are much less obvious -- though both topics can inspire plenty of debate...Read more

In scathing audit, state tax officials slam Blue Shield of California

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- In a scathing audit, state tax officials slammed nonprofit health insurer Blue Shield of California for stockpiling "extraordinarily high surpluses" -- more than $4 billion -- and for failing to offer more affordable coverage or other public benefits.

The California Franchise Tax Board cited those reasons, among others, for ...Read more

Getting Started: Preventing ID theft on vacation

Business / Business News /

Summer travel is full of sun and fun, but a stolen passport or hacked email account can quickly dampen the experience. Having personal information compromised while on the road is relatively common.

A recent study by ProtectMyID, the identity theft protection unit of credit bureau Experian, found that 20 percent of consumers have had a driver's...Read more

Consumer Confidential: Billing man for sending him a bill shows need for class-action lawsuits

Business / Business News /

When it comes to health care costs, there's what you may owe the hospital, what you may owe your doctor and what you may owe the drugstore.

Most patients would probably agree that paying an additional fee solely to receive your bill is a bit much.

Justin Nolte thought so. He filed a lawsuit against Cedars Sinai Medical Center in 2013 over a $...Read more