Google stock reaches $800 per share

Updated: Monday, March 4 2013, 05:18 PM EST
Google stock reaches $800 per share story image
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - It's an historic day for Google.

As of Tuesday, one share of stock in the search engine giant is trading above $800--the highest it's ever been.

The milestone comes more than five years after Google first crossed $700 a share.

That was back in 2007, just before the Great Recession began.

The rise in share value reflects investors' confidence that Google will remain the dominant search engine and the increasingly valuable mobile device market.
Google stock reaches $800 per share
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Last Update on February 26, 2015 18:37 GMT

NET NEUTRALITY

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Communications Commission has agreed to impose strict new regulations on Internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T.

The regulatory agency voted 3-2 Thursday in favor of rules aimed at enforcing what's called "net neutrality." That's the idea that service providers shouldn't intentionally block or slow web traffic, creating paid fast lanes on the Internet.

The new rules say that any company providing a broadband connection to your home or phone would have to act in the public interest and conduct business in ways that are "just and reasonable."

Much of industry opposes the regulations, which it says constitutes dangerous government overreach. The rules are expected to trigger lawsuits, which could drag out for several years.

US-INTELLIGENCE THREATS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. intelligence agencies assess that saboteurs, spies and thieves are expanding their computer attacks against a vulnerable American internet infrastructure, chipping away at U.S. wealth and security over time.

In its annual worldwide threats assessment released Thursday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence says a catastrophic so-called cyber armageddon is unlikely. But it still ranked cyber attacks above terrorism as the top danger facing the nation.

The intelligence assessment found that Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are the top nation state cyber threats.

U.S. intelligence officials say they are increasingly concerned that cyber attackers will seek to change or destroy crucial data in a way that could undermine financial markets and business confidence.

AIR BAGS-AUTOMAKERS

DETROIT (AP) -- The auto industry has hired a Virginia rocket science company to find out why air bags can explode with too much force and injure drivers and passengers.

Ten automakers whose vehicles have been recalled because of problems with Takata Corp. air bags said Thursday they have jointly hired Orbital ATK to figure out the problem. The suburban Washington, D.C., company makes rocket propulsion systems, small arms ammunition, warhead fuses and missile controls.

The companies also named David Kelly, a former acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as project manager for the investigation.

Air bags inflators made by Takata of Japan can explode with too much force, sending shrapnel into car and truck cabins. At least six people have been killed and 64 injured due to the problems.

CHRYSLER 200 RECALL

DETROIT (AP) -- Fiat Chrysler is recalling nearly 26,000 midsize cars in North America to fix automatic transmissions that might not shift into park.

The recall covers the Chrysler 200 with V-6 engines from the 2015 model year. The company says manufacturing problems at a parts supplier's factory can cause the nine-speed transmissions to malfunction. Cars could roll away unexpectedly if the cars won't shift into park.

The company says owners should activate the parking brake before shutting off the engine, until repairs can be made.

Chrysler says it has five customer complaints about the problem, but it knows of no crashes or injuries.

Dealers will inspect and replace transmissions if needed. Customers will be told when they can bring the cars in for service.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- More Americans sought unemployment aid last week, though the number of applications was still consistent with steady hiring.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications rose 31,000 to a seasonally adjusted 313,000, the most in six weeks. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased 11,500 to 294,500.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The average has been near or below 300,000 since September, a historically low number that suggests companies are holding onto their staffs and may even be stepping up hiring.

CONSUMER PRICES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A plunge in gas prices last month lowered consumer prices by the most in six years. But excluding the volatile food and energy costs, prices actually rose.

The Labor Department says the consumer price index fell 0.7 percent in January, the sharpest decrease since December 2008. Tumbling prices at the pump drove nearly all of the decline.

Core prices, which exclude food and energy, rose 0.2 percent.

Consumer prices have slipped 0.1 percent over the past 12 months. Over the past year, core prices have risen 1.6 percent, below the level that the Federal Reserve considers optimal for a healthy economy.

MORTGAGE RATES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates have edged up for a third straight week while remaining near their historically low levels reached in May 2013.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage rose to 3.80 percent from 3.76 percent last week.

The rate for the 15-year loan, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, ticked up to 3.07 percent from 3.05 percent last week.

A year ago, the average 30-year mortgage stood at 4.37 percent and the 15-year mortgage at 3.39 percent. Mortgage rates have remained low even though the Federal Reserve in October ended its monthly bond purchases, which were meant to hold down long-term rates.

DURABLE GOODS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods rebounded in January as a key category that signals business investment plans showed an increase.

The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods increased 2.8 percent in January after declines of 3.7 percent in December and 2.2 percent in November.

Demand in a category that serves as a proxy for business investment increased 0.6 percent in January following declines of 0.7 percent in December and 0.5 percent in November.

SEARS-RESULTS

NEW YORK (AP) -- Sears recorded its fourth straight year of falling profit and revenue, even as cost cutting and store closures helped narrow its loss for the fourth quarter.

The Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based company, which runs Kmart and its namesake stores, has been closing stores, selling assets and slashing inventory as it continues with efforts to turn around its business.

Sears has shifted its focus from running a store network to operating an online and offline business tied together by its Shop Your Way loyalty program. Sales to Shop Your Way members accounted for 72 percent of eligible sales for the fourth quarter -- the same as in the third quarter.

Sears lost $159 million, or $1.50 per share. A year earlier it lost $358 million, or $3.37 per share.

It cut costs and expenses from $10.73 billion to $8.23 billion.

Revenue declined to $8.1 billion from $10.59 billion after the sale of most of stake in its Canadian unit, the spinoff of Lands' End and fewer Kmart and Sears stores.

For the year, Sears' loss widened to $1.68 billion, or $15.82 per share, from a loss of $1.37 billion, or $12.87 per share, in the prior year. Revenue fell to $31.2 billion from $36.19 billion.

BARNES & NOBLE-SPINOFF

Barnes & Noble to keep Nook digital business after all

NEW YORK (AP) -- Barnes & Noble is keeping its Nook Media digital business after all.

The bookseller had planned to combine Nook and its college bookstores into a single company separate from its retail operations.

Barnes & Noble's retail operations, which include its bookstores and the BN.com business, have been outperforming Nook. Barnes & Noble spent years investing heavily in its Nook e-book reader and e-book library, but they struggled to be profitable.

The biggest U.S. brick-and-mortar bookseller said Thursday that keeping Nook and the retail operations together would better serve digital customers.

The separation is expected to be finished by August's end. Barnes & Noble Education, a separate, publicly traded company, will house the college business.

Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. surged $1.73, or 7.1 percent, to $25.98 in morning trading.

FRACKING-COLORADO

DENVER (AP) -- An activist group is backing off its earlier announcement that it would to try to get a statewide fracking ban on the Colorado ballot.

Karen Dike of Coloradans Against Fracking said Thursday the group will try to persuade Gov. John Hickenlooper to impose a ban on the practice, but it isn't actively working on a ballot issue.

Dike had said Tuesday the group planned to start a ballot campaign. She now says Coloradans Against Fracking isn't ruling out a ballot issue if Hickenlooper fails to act.

In an interview broadcast Thursday, Hickenlooper told Colorado Public Radio the state couldn't justify a ban because there was insufficient evidence that fracking is harmful.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals underground to break up rock formations and release oil and gas.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-GAS

MOSCOW (AP) -- A spokesman for the Russian gas giant Gazprom says the company could cut off supplies to neighboring Ukraine by the end of the week, barring further payments.

Sergei Kupriyanov said in televised remarks Thursday that "if no new funds are received from Kiev, then naturally we cannot continue delivering gas to Ukraine."

Following a bruising dispute over prices and debt that raised fears of supply disruptions in Europe, Russia and Ukraine signed a deal in October requiring Kiev to pay in advance for gas shipments.

Kupriyanov's comments echoed an announcement Wednesday by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Ukraine's latest payment would be good for "another three to four days." Putin did not give a concrete deadline for the halting of deliveries.

GERMANY-GREECE

BERLIN (AP) -- Greece's four-month bailout extension can expect to win wide support in the German Parliament after a large majority of lawmakers in Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc signaled their backing.

Parliament will vote Friday on the deal hammered out by eurozone finance ministers. It looks set to win support across the political spectrum.

Volker Kauder, caucus leader of Merkel's bloc, said an "overwhelming majority" of his lawmakers will back the agreement. In a test vote Thursday among the 311 conservative lawmakers, 22 opposed the bailout extension and five abstained.

Merkel's coalition with the center-left Social Democrats, who are solidly behind the deal, has four-fifths of the parliamentary seats.

Kauder said the conservatives "expect Greece to keep to what it has pledged."

CHINA-INVESTMENT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A surge of investments from China is overwhelming U.S. and state agencies, raising the risk of "outright investor fraud," a report Thursday says.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission report looks into the EB-5 visa program, which grants green cards to foreigners who invest at least $1 million -- $500,000 in high-unemployment areas. Local officials are supposed to vet the investors, but "instances of fraud and lax regulation" suggest they aren't up to the task, the report says. The U.S. issued nearly 7,000 EB-5 visas to Chinese citizens in 2013, up from 2,500 in 2011.

The report calls for the EB-5 system to be scaled back or for the approval process to be revamped.

CHINA-IVORY BAN

BEIJING (AP) -- China is banning the import of ivory products for one year amid criticism that its citizens' huge appetite for ivory is threatening the existence of African elephants.

The State Administration of Forestry declared the ban in a public notice issued Thursday, in which it said the administration would not handle any import request. The ban takes effect immediately.

In an explanatory news report, an unnamed forestry official told the state-run Legal Evening News that authorities hope the ban would be a concrete step to reduce the demand for African tusks and protect wild elephants. The official says the temporary ban would allow authorities to evaluate its effect on elephant protection before authorities can take further, more effective steps.

China is the world's largest importer of smuggled tusks.

FLU VACCINE

ATLANTA (AP) -- The makers of the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine say they now know why it didn't protect young children against swine flu -- the doses got too warm.

The spray FluMist works well for most flu strains, but small studies found it didn't work very well against the swine flu bug that first emerged in 2009.

The maker AstraZeneca has been investigating since the problem came to light last year. At a medical meeting Thursday, officials said they concluded that the swine flu part of the vaccine is unusually sensitive to heat. The vaccine is refrigerated.

A company official said a more stable strain would be used in the future.

The swine flu strain hasn't been a big player this flu season.

MENINGITIS VACCINE

ATLANTA (AP) -- A federal panel is recommending that two new meningitis vaccines only be used during outbreaks and not be given routinely to teens and college students.

The two vaccines target B strain meningococcal (mehn-ihn-joh-KAHK'-ul) infections, which can lead to deadly meningitis or blood infections. Full vaccination costs more than $300.

Routine shots against other strains of bacterial meningitis are already recommended for that age group.

The B strain is rare but there have been outbreaks at colleges recently, including at least two this year at the University of Oregon and Providence College in Rhode Island.

Thursday's recommendation -- if adopted by the government -- would influence the use of the new vaccines by doctors and insurance coverage.

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