Camry battles spruced-up rivals in midsize market
DETROIT (AP) — For nearly two decades, the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord have ruled the mid-sized car market.
Nobody accused them of being stylish or fast. But the cars rarely broke down, and they held their value better than competitors. For drivers who wanted a family car, Camry and Accord got the job done and were good enough to become two of the best-selling cars of all time.
But now the dominance is starting to slip. Cars like the Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima and Kia Optima have cut into sales of the Camry and Accord by offering combinations of sleeker designs, luxury-car features and better gas mileage.
GM new V-8 pickup trucks to get 23 mpg on highway
DETROIT (AP) — Chevrolet is upping the ante in the tug-of-war with Ford over America's favorite vehicles: pickup trucks.
General Motors said Monday that its new Chevy Silverado will get 23 miles per gallon on the highway with a 5.3-liter V-8 engine. That's a little better than similarly equipped competitors from Ford, Chrysler and Toyota. The new trucks also promise more towing power.
That could help the Silverado get closer to unseating Ford's F-Series trucks, which have been top sellers in the U.S. for 30 years. GM sold 575,497 Silverados and GMC Sierras — the Silverado's upscale twin — last year. Ford beat that by nearly 70,000.
The Silverado will have a starting price of $23,590 excluding shipping. That's $80 less than Ford's F-150 but $950 more than Chrysler's Ram. The Sierra will start at $24,090.
Drug maker Novartis loses India patent battle
NEW DELHI (AP) — India's Supreme Court on Monday rejected drug maker Novartis AG's attempt to patent an updated version of a cancer drug in a landmark decision that health activists say ensures poor patients around the world will get continued access to cheap versions of lifesaving medicines.
Novartis had argued that it needed a patent to protect its investment in the cancer drug Glivec, while activists said the drug did not merit intellectual property protection in India because it was not a new medicine. In response to the ruling, Novartis said it would not invest in drug research in India.
The court's decision has global significance since India's $26 billion generic drug industry, which supplies much of the cheap medicine used in the developing world, could be stunted if Indian law allowed global drug companies to extend the lifespan of patents by making minor changes to medicines.
April Fools: YouTube shut down, Google adds smells
NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter did away with vowels, Google unveiled a button to add smells and the cast of the 1990s sitcom "Wings" launched a Kickstarter campaign.
The digital world celebrated April Fools' Day with the rollout of mock innovations and parody makeovers. Many of the top online destinations spent Monday mocking themselves and, in Google's case, playfully trying to lure users into pressing their noses against their computer screens.
Google, having already debuted its wearable Google Glass, on Monday showcased Google Nose to add scents to it search results. It urged visitors to lean in close and take a deep whiff for search results such as "unattended litter box."
NY appeals court OKs Aereo live television service
NEW YORK (AP) — An Internet company offering inexpensive live broadcast television feeds to computers, tablets and smartphones doesn't violate U.S. copyright law, a divided federal appeals court said Monday.
The 2-to-1 ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for Aereo Inc.'s expansion of its $8-a-month service, which had been limited to New York City until this year. Several weeks ago, the company expanded to New York City suburbs, including New Jersey and parts of Connecticut, and it has announced plans to expand to Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington and 18 other U.S. markets later this year.
Broadcasters including Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC and others had sued, saying Aereo copies and retransmits their programs as they are first aired without permission.
Cyprus gains more time to achieve surplus
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus has been granted an extra year — until 2017 — to achieve a targeted budget surplus of 4 percent as part of bailout negotiations with international lenders, a government spokesman said Monday.
The change is designed to prepare for what could be a deeper-than-expected economic slowdown as the Mediterranean country is forced to drastically shrink its banking and financial industry.
Under a preliminary agreement with Cyprus' eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund for billions in rescue money, Cyprus had until 2016 to generate the budget surplus target through spending cuts and tax hikes.
Survey: US manufacturing grew more slowly in March
WASHINGTON (AP) — A survey shows U.S. manufacturing activity expanded more slowly in March than February, held back by weaker growth in production and new orders. But factories hired at the fastest pace in nine months, an encouraging sign ahead of Friday's report on March employment.
The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of factory activity slipped to 51.3 percent. The index fell from 54.2 percent in February, which was the fastest growth since June 2011.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion. The index has signaled growth for four straight months. But the drop in March growth was bigger than economists expected.
US construction up 1.2 percent in February
WASHINGTON (AP) — Spending on U.S. construction projects rebounded in February, helped by a surge in home construction, which rose to the highest level in more than four years.
Construction spending rose 1.2 percent overall in February compared to January, when construction had dropped 2.1 percent, the Commerce Department reported Monday.
Spending rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $885.1 billion, which was 7.9 percent higher than a year ago.
Is home where the profit is?
NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney is honing in on its home department as part of a bigger plan to turn its stores into mini-malls of sorts.
The struggling department-store chain is unveiling revamped home areas within its stores that feature 20 boutiques highlighting 50 new brands. The areas will include an eclectic mix of items, from $60 Michael Graves' stainless steel tea kettles to $1,850 Jonathan Adler "Happy Chic" sofas.
The home areas, which Penney will begin to roll out Friday at 500 of its 1,100 stores, will test CEO Ron Johnson's plan to open separate shops-within-stores for popular designers. The format, which gives department stores more of a mini-mall feel, have been popular at higher-end rivals like Macy's and Bloomingdale's for years.
Apple issues apology following attacks in China
BEIJING (AP) — Apple issued an apology to Chinese consumers Monday after government media attacked its repair policies for two weeks in a campaign that reeked of economic nationalism.
A statement Apple posted in Chinese on its website Monday said the complaints had prompted "deep reflection" and persuaded the company of the need to revamp its repair policies, boost communication with Chinese consumers and strengthen oversight of authorized resellers.
State broadcaster CCTV and the ruling party's flagship newspaper, People's Daily, had led the charge against the iconic American company. They accused Apple of arrogance, greed and "throwing its weight around" and portrayed it as just the latest Western company to exploit the Chinese consumer.
By The Associated Press(equals)
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 5.69 points, or 0.04 percent, at 14,572.85. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 7.02 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,562.17. The Nasdaq composite fell 28.35 points, or 0.9 percent, to 3,239.17.
Benchmark oil for May delivery fell 16 cents to close at $97.07 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to end at $3.10 a gallon. Heating oil rose 2 cents to finish at $3.07 a gallon. Natural gas fell 1 cent to end at $4.02 per 1,000 cubic feet.