Stocks are lower in afternoon trading on Wall Street following a disappointing report on job openings. Traders are also looking at a thin slate of corporate financial results and a report showing that wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles in January.
- The Labor Department says employers advertised slightly more jobs in January than in December. Employers posted 3.9 million job openings, up 1.5 percent from December. That's below November's nearly six-year high of 4.1 million, and falls short of what analysts were expecting. The report says there are about 2.6 unemployed Americans, on average, for each open job. That's close to the ratio of 2 to 1 that is typical of healthier economies.
- After months of back-and-forth, a deal is finally in place between two men's clothing stores. Men's Wearhouse announced today that it's buying rival Jos. A. Bank for $1.8 billion. The combined company will have more than 1,700 U.S. stores. The Jos. A. Bank outlets will keep their name -- and possibly their "buy one suit and get three free" deals.
- U.S. dairy producers, cheese makers and food companies are fighting a push by the European Union to ban the use of European names like Parmesan, feta and Gruyere on cheeses made in the United States. The argument is that the American-made cheese is a shadow of the original European brands, and it cuts into sales and identity of the original cheeses. The Europeans say Parmesan should only be from Parma, Italy, not in those familiar green cylinders that American companies sell.
- California's Department of Motor Vehicles is wading into the complex question of how to regulate the use of cars that rely on computers instead of people to drive them. The DMV is hearing ideas today on how to integrate driverless cars onto public roads. Questions range from data privacy and security - to whether a person will have to be in the driver's seat at all.