Update on the latest in business:

Posted April 17


Stocks move higher on Wall Street

Technology and consumer-focused stocks are leading indexes higher in midday trading as investors return from a long holiday weekend.

Facebook rose 1 percent and Microsoft rose 0.7 percent, while gained 1.2 percent. Medical device maker Alere soared 16 percent after it agreed to new terms for a sale to Abbott Laboratories.

At 12:55 p.m. Eastern Time, the Dow was up 112 points, at 20,566.

The S&P 500 gained 12 points, to 2,341.

And the Nasdaq increased 31 points, to 5,836.

Bond prices didn't move much. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.24 percent.


US homebuilder sentiment slips, but overall outlook positive

U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less optimistic about their sales prospects, even as their overall outlook remains favorable.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released today slipped to 68 this month. That's down three points from 71 in March, when it jumped to the highest level since June 2005.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor. The index has been above 60 since September.

The April reading fell short of analyst predictions. They expected the index to dip to 70, according to FactSet.

Readings gauging builders' view of sales now and over the next six months also edged lower, as did a measure of traffic by prospective buyers.


Arconic CEO Klaus Kleinfeld steps down

Arconic says CEO and Chairman Klaus Kleinfeld has agreed to step down from those roles after the company's board of directors discovered that he sent a letter to Arconic's largest shareholder without telling them.

Shares of Arconic soared 8.1 percent to $27.99 after this morning's announcement.

In a statement, Arconic says Kleinfeld "showed poor judgment." An Arconic spokeswoman declined to say what was in the letter.

Arconic Inc. makes aluminum, titanium or nickel parts for planes, cars and electronics. The New York-based company was spun off from aluminum company Alcoa Corp. last year.

Arconic says Kleinfeld sent the letter to a senior official at Elliott Management, an activist investor that has been pushing the company to replace Kleinfeld. Elliott has a nearly 12 percent stake in Arconic.


Pennsylvania-based teen retailer Rue 21 closing 400 stores

Teen clothing retailer rue21 is closing about one-third of its stores nationwide as it focuses more on its online business.

The privately held company is shuttering nearly 400 stores, leaving it more than 700 stores in 48 states.

The company is based in Cranberry, north of Pittsburgh. In a Facebook post , it called the decision to close the stores "difficult but necessary." Like many brick-and-mortar retailers, it has been battling declining mall traffic amid strong competition online.

The company didn't say how soon the stores will close, though its website is promoting store-closing sales.


Lawsuit: Wells Fargo banker fired for not scamming customers

A New Jersey woman is suing Wells Fargo Bank, saying she was fired for refusing to participate in a scheme to manipulate accounts and sell products that weren't in customers' best interest. reports that Melinda Bini filed the lawsuit in state court in New Jersey on April 5 against the bank and three supervisors at a Highland Park branch.

Wells Fargo was fined $100 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after acknowledging its employees opened more than 2 million checking and credit card accounts without customers' authorization.


Russia, Google reach $7.8 million settlement on Android case

Russian officials and Google have reached an agreement to settle a two-year-old case against Google for requiring the pre-installation of some of its apps on mobile devices using the Android system.

The agreement was announced Today by Alexei Dostenko, deputy head of Russia's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, according to Russian news reports.

Under the settlement, Google is to pay 439 million rubles ($7.8 million) in fines and will not limit the pre-installation of third-party apps, the reports said.

The case was brought to the FAS in 2015 by Yandex, which is Russia's dominant search engine and offers various apps including a popular one for ordering taxis. Yandex's shares surged 6 percent on the Moscow stock exchange after the settlement was announced.


What U.S residents pay the most in taxes

Tuesday is Tax Day, and according to figures, residents in the District of Columbia pay the most taxes.

D.C. residents last year paid about $37,000 per person in federal income, payroll and estate taxes.

The next closest was Delaware, at $16,000 per person. Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center says "The reason the District pays so much in taxes is that there are a lot of high-income people there."

West Virginia, Mississippi and New Mexico have low median household incomes, which helps explain why they their residents pay far less in federal taxes. West Virginia paid $3,600 per person last year, while Mississippi paid $3,900 per person and New Mexico residents paid a little more than $4,000.

The Associated Press calculated each state's per-capita tax bill using data from the IRS and population estimates from the Census Bureau.


New York manufacturers grow at a slower pace in April

Manufacturing in New York state expanded more slowly this month than it did in March, but factory hiring looked strong.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says its Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell to 5.2 in April from 16.4 in March and a two-year high 18.7 in February. Still, anything above zero signals growth, and New York factories have been expanding for six straight months.

New orders grew at a slower pace this month. The index that measures hiring climbed to the highest level in more than two years. The Labor Department reported earlier that factories nationwide added 49,000 jobs from January through March; during the first three months of 2016, they had cut 4,000 jobs.

The survey also found that New York manufacturers are optimistic about future conditions.

U.S. factories were hurt in late 2015 and early 2016 by cutbacks in the energy industry, weak economic growth around the world and a strong dollar that made American products more expensive in foreign markets. Global growth has improved this year, and the dollar has dropped since it peaked against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners at the end of 2016.


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