The Wall Street Journal is denying allegations by a purported whistleblower that it bribed Chinese officials for information.
Journal publisher Dow Jones confirmed Monday that U.S. officials informed the company of the allegations in 2012. It said in a statement that an independent inquiry by lawyers and auditors found no wrongdoing.
A law enforcement official said Monday that despite Dow Jones’ findings, an FBI inquiry into the bribery allegations remains open. The official was not authorized to speak about the case and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The Justice Department and FBI declined comment.
The dollar is risings against most major currencies a day after the Dow Jones industrial average closed at an all-time high. Traders also bought the dollar following positive signs on the U.S. job market.
The euro fell to $1.2990 in midday trading from $1.3040 late Tuesday. The British pound fell to $1.5035 from $1.5115.
The Dow closed Tuesday at 14,253.77, beating the previous closing record by nearly 90 points.
Payroll processor ADP says private employers added 198,000 jobs in February. The figure suggests that Friday’s February jobs report from the U.S. government may come in above economists’ forecasts.
The dollar rose to 93.65 Japanese yen from 93.29 Japanese yen and 0.9470 Swiss franc from 0.9417 Swiss franc.
U.S. stock futures are rising with investors awaiting action from Europe’s central bank to address the debt crisis there.
U.S. corporations with exposure to Europe have been pounded by the souring economy, including General Motors, which said Thursday that it lost $361 million before taxes in Europe, compared with a $102 million profit a year earlier.
Dow Jones industrial futures are up 42 points to 12,965 and the broader S&P futures added 4.6 points to hit 1,375. Nasdaq futures are up 8.75 points at 2,633.75.
The European Central Bank on Thursday left its main interest rate unchanged, but there is much more interest in what bank President Mario Draghi will say during a news conference at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. Markets are looking for a big bond buying initiative.
Futures are mixed as investors overlooked a bevy of ugly quarterly earnings on the growing belief that the Federal Reserve will soon step in to revitalize the economy.
Dow Jones industrial futures are up 108 points to 12,632 and the broader S&P futures have added 6.3 points at 1,335.80. Tech heavy Nasdaq futures are down 7.75 points at 2,540.75 after surprisingly weak earnings from Apple and Netflix.
Apple shares fell more than 4 percent in premarket trading Wednesday after the company revealed in its earnings report that consumers, leery of the course of the economy, are buying lower end versions of iPads and iPhones.
It was Apple’s slowest growth in two years and also a rare miss as it fell short of Wall Street expectations.
Stock futures are rising ahead of the release of government data that is expected to show factory orders are on the rise and more Americans are finding jobs.
Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 23 points to 12,489. Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures are up 2.8 points to 1,318.5. Nasdaq composite index futures are rising 5.75 points to 2,546.25.
Economists expect the Labor Department to report that applications for unemployment aid fell by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000. That suggests that hiring may begin to rise in May. When applications drop below 375,000 a week, it typically suggests that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.
The Commerce Department releases its latest durable goods report Thursday and economists expect factories received more orders last month
Major bank stocks fell sharply Friday after JPMorgan Chase surprised investors by announcing a $2 billion trading loss.
JPMorgan’s stock dropped 9 percent in early trading, the most of the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones industrial average. Gains in technology, energy and other stocks mitigated the losses. After the first half-hour of trading the Dow was off 18 points at 12,837.
Broader market indicators were mixed. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell one point to 1,356 and the Nasdaq composite index, which is weighted toward technology stocks, edged up eight points to 2,942.
The direction for financial stocks was clear. JPMorgan led other bank stocks sharply lower after its late Thursday disclosure of a $2 billion loss at a London trading unit.
JPMorgan’s blunder comes in the midst of a political battle over how closely to regulate banks, though JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon said the trades would not have been affected by the so-called Volcker rule, expected to take effect this summer.
That didn’t stop investors from cutting their exposure to the financial sector. Bank of America fell 2.2 percent, Morgan Stanley was down 4.2 percent, Citigroup fell 3.8 percent, and Goldman Sachs fell 3.9 percent.
Also on Friday, the Labor Department said that the producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, dropped 0.2 percent last month. It was the first decline since December and the biggest drop since October. Declines were driven by gas and energy prices.
A measure of consumer confidence from the University of Michigan released Friday morning was better than analysts had expected. The index was at its highest level since January 2008.
Crude and gasoline futures slid again Friday.
The U.S. economy’s recovery looks enduring. It’s just not very strong.
Hiring, housing, consumer spending and manufacturing all appear to be improving, yet remain less than healthy. Economists surveyed by The Associated Press expect growth to pick up this year, though not enough to lower unemployment much.
A clearer picture of the nation’s economic health will emerge Friday, when the government reveals how many jobs employers added in April.
“The outlook is for continued moderate growth,” John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said in a speech Thursday. “Nonetheless, we have nearly 4½ million fewer jobs today than five years ago, and the unemployment rate remains very high at 8.2 percent.”
The 32 economists polled by the AP late last month are confident the economy has entered a “virtuous cycle” in which more hiring boosts consumer spending, which leads to further hiring and spending. They expect unemployment to drop from 8.2 percent in March to below 8 percent by Election Day.
But they still think the rate won’t reach a historically normal level below 6 percent until 2015 or later. And they predict hiring will slow the rest of this year from a relatively brisk December-February pace.
The government’s economic data have been sending mixed signals about the health of the recovery from the Great Recession. Here’s a look at the economy’s vital signs:
The job market is gradually improving, though not as fast as it had been. From December through February, employers added a strong 246,000 jobs a month. That figure sank to a weak 120,000 in March. The April jobs report could clarify whether March was a one-month dud — or evidence of a more lasting slowdown in job creation like the one that occurred in mid-2011.
The economists in the AP survey foresee average job growth of 177,000 a month from April through June and 189,000 for the next six months. The economy needs to generate about 125,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth.
On Thursday, the government said the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week fell by a sharper-than-expected 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 365,000. That pointed to fewer layoffs and a brighter outlook for hiring.
Further cause for hope came in a government report Thursday on worker productivity: It fell from January through March by the most in a year. Declining productivity could be a positive sign for jobseekers. It may signal that companies are struggling to squeeze more from their workforces and must hire to keep up with customer orders.
The housing market has been a dead weight on the economy. The single-family home market, in particular, is still struggling. House prices dropped for six straight months through February, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index. And Americans bought fewer previously owned homes in March.
The economists polled by the AP worry that the lingering effects of the housing bust are slowing the economy’s expansion. They say growth can’t accelerate until national home prices finally hit bottom.
Still, spending on home construction and renovations rose from January through March by the most in nearly two years. And housing investment, led by apartment construction, is expected to contribute to economic growth this year for the first time since 2005.
The warm winter may also have led more people to buy earlier in the year, essentially stealing sales from March. Reduced prices, record-low mortgage rates, higher rents and the improving job market appear to be emboldening would-be buyers. Many seem to have concluded that prices won’t drop much further, if at all.
And builders are laying plans to construct more homes in 2012 than at any other point in the past 3½ years.
Americans have proved surprisingly willing to spend in the face of a wobbly economy. In the first three months of the year, consumer spending grew at an annual pace of 2.9 percent, the fastest in more than a year.
Some economists doubt that consumers can keep it up. They probably can’t afford to. Americans’ after-tax income in the first three months rose just 0.6 percent from a year earlier. That was the skimpiest pay increase in two years. People spent more, in part, because they saved less. Economists worry that people won’t keep spending more unless their income grows.
On Thursday, big retailers including Costco, Macy’s and Target, reported that sales last month came in below expectations.
— CORPORATE PROFITS
U.S. companies earned more money than analysts expected from January through March. They’re beating Wall Street estimates at the best rate in more than a decade. Improved earnings have propelled the Dow Jones industrial average up nearly 4 percent since April 10.
U.S. corporations excluding banks and other financial firms are sitting on more than $2.2 trillion in cash, up from $1.7 trillion in 2009. That surplus means they can afford to expand and hire whenever they’re confident enough.
Manufacturing has provided much of the fuel for the U.S. recovery since the recession ended roughly three years ago. American manufacturing expanded last month at the fastest pace in 10 months. New orders rose to the highest level in a year, a signal of more production in coming months. Export orders also rose, despite worries that weaker economies in Europe and China could hold back U.S. exports.
And the busier factories are hiring. Manufacturers added 120,000 jobs a month through March this year, their fastest three-month pace since 1997.
But the economists surveyed by the AP think manufacturers will fill jobs more slowly the rest of the year. If so, that could weaken overall job growth.