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Stocks higher...Best Buy, Home Depot incomes jump...Barnes & Noble struggling

Tuesday - 8/20/2013, 11:30am  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are creeping higher this morning after a four-day slump. The Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were all seeing modest gains in the first hour of trading. A decline in bond yields is helping to encourage investors.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A number of retailers are reporting higher earnings in the second quarter. Best Buy's net income rose sharply, helped by cost-cutting and legal settlements. Best Buy has been revamping its stores to offset competition from discounters and online retailers. Moves include a price-matching policy and more store-in-store areas for manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung. Meanwhile, Home Depot saw an 18 percent jump in its second-quarter net income.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Barnes & Noble is reporting its net loss in the most recent quarter more than doubled from last year. The loss was larger than expected and the company's chairman is now calling off his offer to buy the booksellers' retail business. The New York company is reviewing its strategy after its CEO left and it decided to stop making its Nook color tablets.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- As auto sales have been rising, so have the size of car loans. TransUnion says average auto loan balances increased to more than $13,000 in the second quarter, and that's 4.5 percent more than during the same period last year. And, the credit reporting agency says owners are keeping up with those payments, the delinquency rate showing no gain from the previous quarter.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Tiny Allegiant Air is expanding its service again, this time with a focus on the East Coast. The Las Vegas-based airline is adding service to 10 new airports, including two on the far edges of the New York metropolitan area. The leisure-focused airline mostly flies from small, underserved cities to sunny vacation destinations. Allegiant generally only flies twice a week to most of the 99 cities it serves.

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