Stocks have been moderately higher in afternoon trading. Telecom companies rose the most among the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500. Traders plowed into a range of telephone and cable stocks. The moves come after Windstream Holdings announced plans to move some of its network into a trust that won't pay income tax.
- McDonald's says it has been notified by a labor regulator that it can be named as a "joint employer" for workers in its franchise-owned restaurants. The decision by the National Labor Relations Board was being closely watched because it could potentially expose McDonald's to liability for the working conditions in its franchisees' stores.
- Hundreds of people across the country are telling the Environmental Protection Agency its new rules for power-plant pollution either go too far or not far enough. The agency is holding hearings starting today in Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh and Washington on President Barack Obama's plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030. In Denver today, a county commissioner in Colorado said the rules would devastate the economy in his county, home to a major power plant. But a retired coal miner from Kentucky said coal-fired plants are crippling public health.
- Thirteen states have settled an investigation into improper lending with a court agreement that's expected to provide $92 million in debt relief for some 17,800 U.S. military personnel. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says deceptive practices by Rome Finance Co. included failing to accurately disclose charges and interest rates and helping retailers inflate prices, with repayments take from soldiers' paychecks. Rome Finance has recently done business as Colfax Capital Corp. and Culver Capital LLC.
- A federal appeals court has upheld new government rules that require labels on packaged steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat to say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. The meat industry has attempted to block the rules, saying they are costly to comply with and they provide no health benefits to the consumer.