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Business Highlights

Tuesday - 4/8/2014, 7:20pm  ET

The Associated Press

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American the latest airline to tweak flier program

DALLAS (AP) -- Airline travelers are adjusting to constant turbulence in frequent-flier programs.

American Airlines is the latest to tinker with its program. The Dallas-based carrier on Tuesday announced changes that make it tougher to redeem miles for a flight during busy travel periods, and to check a bag without a fee.

The changes aren't as dramatic as Delta Air Lines Inc.'s recent switch to basing rewards on money spent, not miles flown, but they are just the latest example of airlines giving away less as executives increasingly focus on growing profits.

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IMF: World economy is stronger but faces threats

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The global economy is strengthening but faces threats from super-low inflation and outflows of capital from emerging economies, the International Monetary Fund warned Tuesday.

The lending organization expects the global economy to grow 3.6 percent this year and 3.9 percent in 2015, up from 3 percent last year. Those figures are just one-tenth of a percentage point below the IMF's previous forecasts in January.

The acceleration is being driven mostly by strong growth in advanced economies, including the United States and the United Kingdom, and a modest recovery in the 18 nations that use the euro currency.

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US stocks rise for the first time in four days

NEW YORK (AP) -- Maybe the sell-off was a little overdone.

That was the sentiment on Wall Street Tuesday as the stock market broke a three-day losing streak. The gain pushed the Standard & Poor's 500 index back into positive territory for the year.

The rebound was driven partly by bargain-hunting as investors picked up stocks that hold fallen the most in the slump over the previous three days. Utilities stocks also rose sharply as skittish investors bought less-volatile stocks.

Stocks have had a volatile start to April. After closing at a record last Wednesday amid optimism about the improving outlook for the economy, stocks fell sharply on Friday as investors decided that some of the high-flying stocks in the technology and biotech sectors no longer justified their lofty valuations.

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US employers advertised more open jobs in February

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. employers posted more job openings in February, a sign that hiring will likely improve in the months ahead.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that employers advertised 4.2 million job openings, up 7.7 percent from January. That's the highest number of postings since January 2008, when the Great Recession was just beginning and the economy had yet to suffer the full shock of the downturn.

There are roughly 2.5 unemployed Americans for each open job, the report shows. That average has slowly been approaching the 2 to 1 ratio is typical of healthier economies, after peaking at 6.7 unemployed people for each available job in July 2009, just after the recession ended.

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Scant relief: Summer gas price to dip a penny

NEW YORK (AP) -- Drivers will get the slightest of breaks on gasoline prices this summer, according to the Energy Department.

The national average price is forecast to fall -- by just one cent -- to $3.57 a gallon between April and September, the months when Americans do most of their driving.

Still, that would be the lowest average summer price since 2010.

For the year, the department's Energy Information Administration expects gasoline to average $3.45 a gallon, down from $3.51 last year and also the lowest since 2010.

World demand for oil is growing, but supplies are growing faster than demand, thanks to higher production in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere. That will keep a lid on the price of crude and gasoline.

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Unemployment benefits bill headed to House

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Election-year legislation to resume long-term jobless benefits is headed to the House, where a small band of dissident Republicans is leaning on Speaker John Boehner to permit a vote on resuming aid to more than 2 million victims of the Great Recession.

The White House-backed measure would retroactively restore benefits that were cut off in late December, and maintain them through the end of May. Officials say as many as 2.3 million jobless workers have gone without assistance since the law expired late last year.

If renewed, the aid would total about $256 weekly, and in most cases go to men and women who have been off the job for longer than six months.

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US regulators act to require stronger bank capital

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Regulators are acting to require U.S. banks to build a sturdier financial base to lessen the risk that they could collapse and cause a global meltdown.

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