AP Business NewsBrief at 1:15 p.m. EDT
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Bank of Greece: recession worse than expectedATHENS, Greece (AP) _ The Bank of Greece warned Tuesday that the country faces a worse-than-expected recession in 2012, with the economy set to shrink 5 percent. It also urged politicians to make a swift return to cost-cutting measures after the May 6 general election or face "particularly harmful" economic consequences. Tough conditions demanded for rescue loan deals have pushed Greece into a fifth year of recession and brewed widespread popular discontent. Some economists fear that politicians may be tempted to relax their focus on reforms after the elections.
Stocks up but eurozone crisis stalks bond auctionsFRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ European stocks rebounded Tuesday after sharp losses the day before on fears about Europe's debt crisis. But rising borrowing costs at bond auctions for Spain and Italy showed that debt fears still stalk the eurozone. The Stoxx 50 index of European blue chips closed up 0.8 percent at 2396.85 while Germany's DAX added 1 percent to 6590.41, France's CAC-40 jumped 2.3 percent to 3169.32 and the London FTSE climbed 0.8 percent to 5709.49. The euro was up 0.4 percent at $1.3201.
Americans remain confident in AprilNEW YORK (AP) _ Americans' confidence in the economy held steady in April from the previous month despite rising job cuts and falling home values. The Conference Board, a private research group, said on Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index is at 69.2, down slightly from a revised 69.5 in March. Economists were expecting a reading of 70, according to a FactSet poll of analysts. The current level is below February's 71.6, which is the highest level it's been in a year.
New wireless subscribers down sharply at AT&TNEW YORK (AP) _ When Verizon Wireless started selling the iPhone, AT&T sounded a defiant note, saying that its customers would remain loyal. A year later, it's clear that the Verizon iPhone has crimped AT&T's stride. Verizon had little problem attracting new customers before it started selling the iPhone. In fact, it was the only wireless carrier that managed to keep up with AT&T's iPhone-fueled growth.
Google launches storage service for personal filesMOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) _ Google is hoping to build the world's largest digital filing cabinet in the latest attempt to deepen people's dependence on its services. The Internet search leader's latest product stores personal documents, photos, videos and a wide range of other digital content on Google's computers. By keeping their files in massive data centers, users will be able to call up the information on their smartphones, tablet computers, laptops and just about any other Internet-connected device.
Strong earnings from AT&T, 3M lift US stocksSolid U.S. corporate earnings and higher spirits in Europe propelled the Dow Jones industrial average to a triple-digit gain Tuesday. AT&T and 3M led the Dow higher after reporting better-than-expected profits. Hershey also beat Wall Street's expectations. The chocolate maker's stock rose the most of any in the Standard & Poor's 500 index.
Fitch restores Ford credit to investment gradeDETROIT (AP) _ The Fitch Ratings agency lifted Ford's credit rating from junk status to investment grade Tuesday, a sign that the company's recovery from near collapse is almost complete. But Ford Motor Co. needs another agency, either Standard & Poor's or Moody's, to make the same upgrade before it can get its blue oval logo, factories and other assets out of hock.
China's dream of electric car leadership elusiveBEIJING (AP) _ China's leaders are finding it's a lot tougher to create a world-beating electric car industry than they hoped. In 2009, they announced bold plans to cash in on demand for clean vehicles by making China a global power in electric car manufacturing. They pledged billions of dollars for research and called for annual sales of 500,000 cars by 2015.
Fed likely to keep stance on rates and bond buysWASHINGTON (AP) _ The Federal Reserve will have plenty to say about the economy Wednesday, when its two-day policy meeting ends with a statement, updated forecasts and Chairman Ben Bernanke's latest news conference. Whether all that information will signal any shift in its outlook or the prospect of further steps to boost the economy is far from clear.
Obama takes on college costs, eyes young votersMORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) _ Wooing young voters, President Barack Obama is on a blitz to keep the cost of college loans from soaring for millions of students, taking his message to three states strategically important to his re-election bid. By taking on student debt, Obama is speaking to middle-class America and targeting an enormous burden that threatens the economic recovery. Before Obama got his road trip under way, Republican opponent Mitt Romney found a way to steal some thunder from the president's campaign argument: He agreed with it.
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