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Manufacturing in New York region weakens in August

manufacturing, factories, New York

WASHINGTON (AP) — Factory activity in New York slowed in early August for the second straight month, and manufacturers in the state cut jobs. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Monday that its Empire State manufacturing index dropped to a reading of minus 4.2, from 0.6 in July. Any reading above zero points to expansion. Even so, new ...

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Judge dismisses challenge to 180-day limit on ballot drives

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan judge has dismissed a challenge to restrictions on how long ballot drive organizers have to collect voter signatures. The Committee to Ban Fracking wants to use more than 200,000 already-gathered signatures to help qualify for the 2018 statewide ballot. It sued to challenge the constitutionality of Michigan’s 180-day time period for signature collecting. Court ...

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Pittsburgh’s Kennametal cutting 1,000 in drilling slowdown

Oil below $40 forces Texas driller into bankruptcy

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh-based Kennametal Inc. says it’s cutting 1,000 jobs over the next 15 months, citing weak demand for the coal-mining and gas-drilling cutting tools it makes. The company announced the cuts to its 12,000-strong workforce on Monday, but didn’t say what facilities will be affected. Kennametal had more than 14,000 employees, including 5,000 in the United States, just ...

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Kuwait raises gasoline prices, following Gulf neighbors

Kuwait skyline. (Image: Khaleel Haidar via Flickr)

KUWAIT CITY (AP) — Kuwait will raise its subsidized gasoline prices by as much as 83 percent beginning in September, becoming the last Gulf nation to do so as low global oil prices continue to gnaw away at governments across the region. Kuwait’s Cabinet announced the decision on Monday, with the biggest price hike coming for its premium-grade gasoline. As ...

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US regulators: Still heavy risk in big bank loans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators say risk remains heavy in large loans made by banks and other financial institutions, though lending standards have improved. The Federal Reserve and other agencies cite increasing risks in loans to oil and gas producers as oil prices have fallen. The steep decline in oil prices has hurt many energy companies. The amount of large ...

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