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Last Updated Jan 30, 2015 09:45AM

Washington • The U.S. economy slowed in the final three months of 2014, but a burst in consumer spending and the prospect of continued low energy prices are bolstering confidence that growth will strengthen this year. The economy, as measured …

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  • Consumer sentiment is at highest level since 2004
    Washington • U.S. consumers are more confident than they’ve been since January 2004. The University of Michigan said Friday that its index of consumer...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 09:42 am   |     |   Share
  • Pay and benefits rose slightly faster in 2014
    Washington • Wages and benefits rose at a slightly healthier rate last year, a sign strong job gains could be forcing companies to pay a bit more for ...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 09:39 am   |     |   Share
  • FILE - In this Jan. 1, 2015, file photo, Cars fill up at the pumps at a Shell station near downtown Detroit. Profits for companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index are expected to grow at one of lowest rates in years, just 1.4 percent. The culprit: Energy companies that suffered as oil prices plunged. On Thursday, Jan. 29, Shell posted a 57 percent drop in fourth quarter earnings. (AP Photo/David N. Goodman, File) Markets brace for Big Oil profit plunge of 25%
    New York • It’s just a forecast, and for only one of 10 industry groups in the stock market. Yet it has almost singlehandedly turned what had been a p...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 09:36 am   |     |   Share
  • This image made from video provided by Mars on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 shows a frame from a Snickers candy bar commercial, based on the Brady Bunch television series, to be aired during the broadcast of the 2015 Super Bowl NFL football game. Along with puppies and babies, celebrities are a Super Bowl advertising staple. (AP Photo/Mars) Shake Shack shares double in market debut
    New York • Investors seem to be craving burgers and crinkle-cut fries. Shares of Shake Shack Inc. more than doubled in their stock market debut Friday...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 09:33 am   |     |   Share


MORE MONEY STORIES
  • The economy in Spain expands most since 2007
    Madrid • Spain’s economy expanded at its fastest pace in seven years in the fourth quarter, defying the threat of deflation as lower prices helped boo...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 09:33 am   |     |   Share
  • Where’s payoff for patient Google investors?
    San Francisco • Google released its fourth-quarter earningson Thursday, and those results were pretty lackluster. The company delivered decent, if dis...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 09:30 am   |     |   Share
  • A sign at an exchange office with headquarters building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation with the Soviet Sign in the background in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. The Russian ruble extended its losses on Thursday, declining by 1.5 percent to 69 rubles against the dollar. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) Russia cuts key rate, leaving ruble to drop
    Moscow • In a surprise decision, Russia’s central bank on Friday cut its key interest rate, which it had raised sharply last month to support the coll...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 09:27 am   |     |   Share
  • Court upholds deceptive ad claims against POM
    Washington • A federal appeals court says many advertising claims for POM Wonderful juice were deceptive in asserting that it curbs the risk of heart ...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 09:27 am   |     |   Share
  • Myanmar opens sea port for Chinese oil pipeline
    Yangon, Myanmar • Myanmar has officially opened a deep sea port off its western coast, part of a $2.45 billion port and pipeline project that will car...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 09:21 am   |     |   Share
  • MasterCard earns $801M, tops forecasts
    Purchase, N.Y. • MasterCard Inc. on Friday reported fourth-quarter profit of $801 million, or 69 cents per share, a number that increase to 72 cents w...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 09:18 am   |     |   Share
  • This undated image provided by Squarespace on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 shows actor Jeff Bridges who is starring in an advertisement for Squarespace to be shown at the Super Bowl 49 NFL football game. Along with puppies and babies, celebrities are a Super Bowl advertising staple. (AP Photo/Squarespace) Barbie blues gave Mattel a holiday disappointment
    El Segundo, Calif. • Slumping sales of Barbie did little to bring a happy holiday to her maker, Mattel Inc. Mattel’s fourth-quarter earnings release F...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 09:15 am   |     |   Share
  • FILE- In this Jan. 15, 2015 file photo, the new Airbus A 350 of Qatar Airways coming from Doha, Qatar, approaches the gate at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. Qatar Airways announced Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, that it has bought nearly 10 percent of the parent company of British Airways and Spain's Iberia, deepening wealthy Qatar's business ties to Europe and intensifying competition with the airline's fast-growing Gulf rivals. (AP Photo/Michael Probst-file) Qatar Airways buys 10% share of British Airways
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates • Qatar Airways said Friday it has bought nearly 10 percent of the parent company of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia, d...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 09:12 am   |     |   Share
  • Ohio State royalties up $3M after championship
    Columbus, Ohio • The Ohio State University is cashing in after the Buckeyes’ victory in the NCAA’s championship football game. The university expects ...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 09:09 am   |     |   Share
  • Cerberus completes $8B acquisition of Safeway
    Boise • An investment group led by Cerberus Capital Management has completed its approximately $8 billion acquisition of supermarket chain Safeway. Th...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 09:06 am   |     |   Share
  • AbbVie reports better-than-expected quarter
    North Chicago, Ill. • Drugmaker Abbvie posted better-than-expected adjusted results for the fourth quarter on Friday due to double-digit growth of its...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 08:57 am   |     |   Share
  • The shadow of Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem is cast on a wall as Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras waits to greets him during their meeting in Athens, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. Dijsselbloem is in Athens for talks with Greece’s new left wing government after it promised to renege on key bailout commitments required for repayment of a 240 billion euro ($270 billion) rescue package. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, Pool) Germany rejects notion of Greek debt write-off
    Athens, Greece • Germany bluntly rejected on Friday suggestions that Greece should be forgiven repayment of its rescue loans, while a top eurozone off...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 08:51 am   |     |   Share
  • Stocks fall after report of slower economic growth
    New York • The U.S. stock market is opening lower after the government reported that U.S. economic growth slowed at the end of last year. The Dow Jone...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 08:48 am   |     |   Share
  • Qatar Finance Minister Ali Sheriff Al Emadi, poses for a photo in Times Square after ringing the opening bell at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York,  Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) World stocks uneven before U.S. growth report
    Hong Kong • World stock markets were uneven Friday and Wall Street futures slid ahead of quarterly growth figures that will show whether weakness in C...
    Updated Jan 30 2015 08:42 am   |     |   Share
  • This image provided by Kia shows a portion of the company's television ad featuring Pierce Brosnan, scheduled to run during Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Kia) Kardashian, celebrities appear in Super Bowl ads
    New York • Along with puppies and babies, celebrities are a Super Bowl advertising staple. And this year is no exception. Using stars is a surefire wa...
    Updated Jan 29 2015 05:57 pm   |     |   Share
  • In this Jan. 22, 2015 photo, oil trader Justin Thomas looks at his computer screens at his one-person office in Boise, Idaho. Thomas is one of thousands of oil traders around the world who have helped turn market fundamentals, lots of oil and not much demand, into a plunge in the price of crude. (AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger) Oil’s plunge takes a toll on traders’ egos, accounts
    New York • The plunge in oil has crushed the Russian ruble, erased $80 billion from Exxon Mobil’s market value and pushed Venezuela to the brink of ec...
    Updated Jan 29 2015 05:36 pm   |     |   Share
  • McDonald’s and Yahoo are big market movers
    New York • Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market: NYSE McDonald’s Co...
    Updated Jan 29 2015 05:33 pm   |     |   Share