NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are moving higher in afternoon trading after the Federal Reserve announced the latest reduction to its bond purchasing program. The Fed says it will cut another $10 billion from its monthly bond purchases, saying the job market is improving. That’s in line with what investors were expecting.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says it will further slow the pace of its bond purchases because a strengthening U.S. job market needs less support. But it’s offering no clear signal about when it will start raising its benchmark short-term rate. It’s reiterating its plan to keep short-term interest rates low “for a considerable time.” The Fed is also downgrading its forecast for growth for 2014, saying a harsh winter caused the economy to shrink in the first quarter. It barely increased its forecast for inflation.
DETROIT (AP) — Porsche, Jaguar, Lexus and Hyundai and Toyota are the best-performing brands in this year’s J.D. Power rankings of new cars and trucks. The worst performers are Fiat, Jeep, Mitsubishi, Scion and Mazda. But the consulting firm says buyers reported more problems than last year, as the race to fill vehicles with the latest technology hurts quality. Buyers were frustrated with Bluetooth systems that won’t connect to their phones, voice recognition systems that don’t understand them and navigation systems that aren’t getting them where they need to go.
SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon is showing off a new smartphone designed to serve as your eyes and ears. The Fire Phone unveiled today at an event in Seattle lets you snap a photo of a book title, and shows you where to buy it. The new Firefly feature also lets you snap bar codes, phone numbers and more. The phone is smaller than leading Android phone, but larger than Apple’s iPhone. CEO Jeff Bezos calls the screen, measuring 4.7 inches diagonally, ideal for one-handed use.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two senators are proposing to raise federal gasoline and diesel taxes for the first time in more than two decades as Congress struggles with how to pay for highway and transit programs. Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy and Tennessee Republican Bob Corker are pitching their plan as a bipartisan solution to replenish the federal Highway Trust Fund. The current tax — 18.4 cents a gallon for gasoline and 24.4 cents for diesel — would go up by 12 cents over the next two years, and be adjusted for inflation after that.
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