The U.S. economy is on stronger footing than a year ago, but Ben Bernanke wants to be careful not to squelch the recovery now.
"A premature tightening of monetary policy could lead interest rates to rise temporarily, but would also carry a substantial risk of slowing or ending the economic recovery and causing inflation to fall further," the Federal Reserve Chairman told the U.S. congressional Joint Economic Committee on Wednesday.
The Federal Reserve has kept its key short-term interest rate near zero since December 2008, and expects it to stay there for a "considerable time" as the recovery strengthens, Bernanke said.FULL STORY
Japanese automakers Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Mazda are recalling around 3.4 million cars due to airbag defects.
Toyota said it was recalling 1.7 million cars around the world, including some popular Corolla, Matrix and Camry models. Nissan recalled around 480,000 cars, while Mazda added another 45,000.
Honda, which is recalling more than 1.1 million autos, said the recall was necessary to replace passenger front airbag inflators.FULL STORY
A federal bankruptcy judge gave approval on Wednesday for US Airways and American Airlines to proceed with their planned merger, according to a source familiar with the situation.
US Airways and American Airlines announced plans last month to join forces in an $11 billion deal to create the world's largest airline.FULL STORY
After making a brief appearance in record territory Tuesday morning, the Dow Jones industrial average might be cooling off a bit.
The Dow rose 5 points at the open to set an all-time intraday high – about 14,452. But then it dipped a little into the red, taking a pause in the absence of fresh catalysts to extend a recent record-setting run.
A day after setting all-time closing and inter-day records, the Dow Jones industrial average has hit another high.
Just minutes into Wednesday's trading session, the Dow rose 47 points to 14,300, a new inter-day record. The previous inter-day record, set yesterday, was 14,286.37.
[Updated at 9:58 a.m. ET] Records are falling Tuesday for the Dow Jones industrial average.
The Dow hit a new record high within the first few minutes of trading Tuesday, gaining nearly 100 points, rising as high as 14,226.20. That topped both the Dow's intraday and closing records that were set in October 2007.FULL STORY
The morning after the Dow and S&P 500 suffered their biggest one-day declines of the year, U.S. stocks are showing signs of rebounding.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 62 points shortly after the trading day began Tuesday morning.
The Dow had dropped 216 points, or 1.5%, on Tuesday, partly on fears that mixed election results in Italy could produce governmental gridlock there and possibly revive Europe's debt crisis.FULL STORY
Here's some welcome news for homeowners: After years of downturn, housing prices shot up in 2012.
Prices rose 7.3% in 2012, according to a closely-watched reading released Tuesday.
The report from S&P Case-Shiller covered home prices across 20 major housing markets nationwide in the final three months of the year. It comes ahead of a government report due later Tuesday which is expected to show a continued rise in new home sales.FULL STORY
World markets retreated Tuesday as a big vote for anti-austerity parties in Italy's elections left the eurozone's third biggest economy in political deadlock, sparking fears of a revival of the region's debt crisis.
European stock markets were sharply lower, led by a 4% plunge on Italy's index of leading shares. Italy's borrowing costs increased, as the yield on its 10-year bond moved up towards 5%, triggering similar moves in other weaker eurozone states such as Spain and Portugal. The euro fell to just above $1.30.
Final results showed the center-left coalition of Pier Luigi Bersani winning by a very slim margin in the lower house of parliament but unable to control the Senate after a strong showing by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and a protest movement led by comedian turned politician Beppe Grillo.FULL STORY
Someone profited handsomely by buying Heinz options the day before a group announced plans to buy the company, and the Securities and Exchange Commission is suspicious.
The SEC said Friday that it had obtained a court order to freeze assets in a Swiss trading account, questioning profits made ahead of the announcement of H.J. Heinz Co.'s $28 billion acquisition by a group including Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.
The SEC said "unknown" traders using the account had purchased options the day before the announcement and reaped $1.7 million when the Heinz deal was revealed on Thursday.FULL STORY
The jobs recovery continued to crawl forward in January, as employers hired 157,000 workers, the Labor Department said today.
Job growth at that level is weaker than in December, when employers added 196,000 jobs. For more on this story, go to CNNMoney here.
The world's most valuable publicly traded company took a hit on the stock market Thursday.
Shares of Apple plunged more than 12% Thursday, to $450.50, as investors grew skeptical about the iPhone maker's growth prospects, CNNMoney reports.
Apple's stock has been on a steady decline for months, with shares falling more than 35% from their all-time intraday high of $705, which was reached Sept. 21, 2012.
The House on Wednesday passed the "No Budget, No Pay Act," a Republican bill that would effectively defuse the debt ceiling threat for several months.
The bill would let the Treasury Department borrow new money until mid-May. In exchange, the legislation would require lawmakers in both chambers of Congress to pass a budget resolution or have their pay withheld until they do.FULL STORY
Decent news today for a housing recovery in the United States: Existing home sales for 2012 have reached the highest level in five years, the National Association of Realtors says.
The housing market has continued to pick up steam throughout the recovery, as record-low mortgage rates spur demand for homes.
December was a somewhat positive month for U.S. jobs, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
The U.S. economy added 155,000 jobs in December, roughly enough to keep pace with labor force growth, keeping the unemployment rate at 7.8% – unchanged from November's revised rate, the bureau said Friday morning. Health care was the sector with the greatest jump, with 45,000 jobs added.
The gain is slightly above the average monthly gain for 2012 and 2011, which was 153,000 per month, the bureau says.
As you mull these numbers, here's something to consider: They include those you might call the hopelessly unemployed, those who say they want a job but haven't searched for one in at least a year. CNNMoney reports that number is above 3.3 million, higher than the 2.5 million recorded five years ago, before a recession began. Who are they, and why have they given up? Check out this report from CNNMoney's Annalyn Kurtz.
[Posted at 2:43 p.m. ET] We've just gotten a statement from BP with their reaction to the Transocean fine. BP agreed in November to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay penalties in relation to the incident.
"Today's settlement between Transocean and the United States underscores what every official investigation has found: that the Deepwater Horizon accident resulted from multiple causes, involving multiple parties.
In settling, Transocean has acknowledged that it played a significant role and has responsibility for the accident. Transocean is finally starting, more than two-and-a-half years after the accident, to do its part for the Gulf Coast.
Unfortunately, Halliburton continues to deny its significant role in the accident, including its failure to adequately cement and monitor the well."
[Posted at 1:00 p.m. ET] Offshore drilling firm Transocean will pay $1.4 billion in fines and penalties in connection with the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Justice Department announced Thursday.
Transocean owned and provided a crew for the Deepwater Horizon rig, where an explosion in 2010 killed 11 men and triggered the worst maritime oil spill in U.S. history. The well was capped three months later, but not before millions of barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf.
Transocean was contracted by BP, which leased the rig and directed staff onboard. BP agreed in November to plead guilty to criminal charges in connection with the incident and pay $4.5 billion in government penalties.FULL STORY
Toyota Motor has agreed to pay a record $17.4 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for safety problems that led to a 2012 recall of some of its Lexus RX350 models, CNNMoney reports. That's the largest fine allowed by law for a single investigation.FULL STORY
U.S. jobs growth for November was better than what economists predicted it would be.
The U.S. economy added 146,000 in November, according to the Labor Department, nearly twice as many as the 77,000 jobs that economists surveyed by CNNMoney had predicted in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
And the U.S. unemployment has dropped to 7.7%, the lowest since December 2008, according to the Labor Department. That's down from 7.9% in October.FULL STORY
Wednesday's Powerball drawing could be one for the history books, with the jackpot rising to a record $500 million.
The prize for Saturday night's Powerball was $325 million – the fourth-largest in the game's history. For the 15th consecutive time, no players matched the winning numbers, which were 22, 32, 37, 44, 50 and Powerball 34.FULL STORY