IN BRIEF

Banking-crisis concern boosts gold prices

Gold topped $950 an ounce during Thursday trading, reaching the highest since July. Concern that the recession and banking crisis may deepen boosted the precious metal’s appeal with investors.

Gold futures for April delivery rose $4.70 to $948.50 an ounce on the spot market. Earlier, the price reached $954 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest for a most-active contract since July 22.

Investment in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest exchange-traded fund backed by bullion, reached a record 935.1 metric tons Wednesday. Gold prices have climbed 7.3 percent this year.

Agency: Clean Air Act doesn’t cover emissions

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection said it determined carbon dioxide emissions are not subject to the Clean Air Act.

The division said Wednesday that it made that decision based on a ruling by the federal Environmental Appeals Board in the case over the Deseret Power Electric Cooperative’s proposal to build a coal-fired power plant in Utah.

The federal board directed the Environmental Protection Agency to gather information and determine whether carbon dioxide was governed by the Clean Air Act.

The Nevada division will let the public comment on its ruling March 25 at a hearing in Carson City.

The state agency said it has closed the comment period for the White Pine Energy Center, a 1,600-megawatt coal-fired plant that LS Power proposes to build near Ely in eastern Nevada.

WASHINGTON

Slump cuts Americans’ net worth 20 percent

The recession has cut many Americans’ net worth by about 20 percent as the value of homes, stock portfolios and businesses have plummeted, the Federal Reserve said Thursday.

The Federal Reserve also said the average net worth of American households has fallen 22.7 percent since the recession began in December 2007 through October, when the report was prepared. The median net worth, or the midpoint between the wealthiest and poorest, has fallen 17.8 percent.

The impact has fallen disproportionately on the wealthiest households and people between the ages of 55 and 64, a Federal Reserve economist said.

Net worth tends to peak in that age bracket, as retired Americans begin to spend down their savings.

NEW YORK

Coca-Cola earnings fall 18 percent in quarter

Coca-Cola Co. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter profit fell 18 percent as it felt the effect of the stronger dollar and took several write-downs.

The Atlanta-based company earned $995 million, or 43 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, down from $1.21 billion, or 52 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items such as a charge related to its Coca-Cola Enterprises business, Atlanta-based Coke said it earned 64 cents a share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected profit of 61 cents per share. Analysts typically exclude one-time items from their estimates.

Revenue fell 2.7 percent to $7.13 billion from $7.33 billion.

COLUMBUS, Ohio

Doubts over stimulus send oil prices down

Oil prices slid to a new low for the year Thursday because of growing doubts that the $789 billion stimulus package will reinvigorate the economy and demand for energy.

Crude supplies in the U.S. reached an 82-week high last week, according to the Department of Energy, showing just how far demand has fallen.

Light, sweet crude for March delivery tumbled $1.96, more than 5 percent, to settle at $33.98 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

PHILADELPHIA

Cable operator plans to file for bankruptcy

Struggling Charter Communications Inc., the nation’s fourth-largest cable operator, said Thursday that it plans to file a prearranged Chapter 11 bankruptcy by April 1.

Charter, which is controlled by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, said it has reached an agreement in principle with holders of $8 billion in debt who will forgo repayment of their debt. In return, they will receive common shares, or warrants for rights to get common shares, that translate to nearly owning the entire company after bankruptcy.

Allen will retain the largest voting interest in Charter, although his 51 percent stake in the company will be wiped out.

Charter Communications shares fell 3 cents, or 48.11 percent, Thursday to close at 4 cents on the Nasdaq National Market.

NEW YORK

‘Mortal Kombat’ maker undone by big debt

Midway Games Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday because it doesn’t expect to be able to pay back accelerated debt obligations stemming from media magnate Sumner Redstone’s sale of a majority stake in the company.

Midway, best known for the “Mortal Kombat” video games, had about $281 million in debt and $167.5 million in assets as of Sept. 30, according to its bankruptcy filing.

In December, Redstone sold his majority stake in Midway, an interest of about 87.2 percent, to a company led by private investor Mark Thomas.

NEW YORK

Treasury prices mixed after bond auction

Treasurys closed mixed Wednesday after the Treasury Department auctioned $14 billion in 30-year bonds to moderate demand.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 0.63 points to 99.66, and its yield fell to 2.72 percent from 2.76 percent.

The 30-year bond fell 1.44 points to 117.72, and its yield rose to 3.52 percent from 3.45 percent late Wednesday.

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Business
MGM Grand Plans To Add Retail And Dining To Its Strip Facade
MGM Grand President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Sibella said executives are “discussing redeveloping that entire frontage of the building out to the Las Vegas Strip.” (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Boyd Gaming planning new corporate campus
Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. has filed plans to build a new corporate campus. The plans call for two 10-story office buildings and a six-level parking garage in the southwest Las Vegas Valley. Boyd Gaming operates The Orleans, the Suncoast, downtown's California Hotel and other properties. The new headquarters would be just a mile from its current main office building.
Bellagio Conservatory transformed to celebrate Year of the Pig
The Bellagio Conservatory Team transformed the 14,000 square foot conservatory to commemorate Chinese New Year, the holiday that marks the end of the coldest days of winter. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Intro uses sound to connect people
Intro, a startup that is part of the Future Worlds Accelerator in the UK, has an app that uses ultrasonic sound to find people and companies nearby.
CES 2019 Video: CES wraps up another year
Time-lapse video of the action at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Create your own beauty products
Beauty Mix by BeautyByMe is a product that lets you create your own cosmetics and beauty products. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Picobrew’s home brew machine
Picobrew brings automation to homebrewing. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Surviving CES
What it's like to spend four days working the mammoth tech convention. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Haier’s smart home
Haier presented smart home technology at CES 2019.
CES 2019 VIDEO: Foldimate makes laundry day easy
Foldimate has created a machine that will fold your laundry for you. Just feed it anything you need folded and it will do the rest. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Opte device corrects skin spots
Opte from Proctor and Gamble is a device for correcting spots and freckles from skin. It analyzes the area for spots and then covers them with a serum of matching skin tone. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas unveiled
Derek Stevens reveals Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas. He plans open by the end of 2020. (K.M Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa, new casino coming to Fremont Street
Casino owner Derek Stevens announces his new property Circa, coming to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas in late 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dreenk My Oeno makes wine suggestions
At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the Dreenk My Oeno tells you all about wine.
Polaroid One Step Plus camera unveiled at CES 2019
Polaroid has moved into the digital age with its One Step Plus camera with Bluetooth. With the connected app, it turns your smartphone into a remote for the camera, along with filters and features.
Amazon is everywhere at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Seemingly everything works with Amazon Alexa
LG Smart Mirror helps you dress snazzy
LG’s Smart Mirror is less of a mirror but more of an assistant to help get you looking snazzy. It takes your image and recommends clothes for you or matches existing clothes with new clothes, which can be purchased right from the mirror. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Underwater robots make waves at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Robosea is a company dedicated to underwater robotics. They produce consumer robots for underwater filming as well as commercial products which can be used for underwater research. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019 - Victrola record players spin in Las Vegas
A new spin on an old favorite, Victrola record players are meeting a demand for retro products. The brand is also making furnitures with built-in speakers.
CES 2019: Slamtec robots ready to serve
Slamtec is a robotics company out of China whose goal is to provide solutions for laser localization mapping and navigation. They have created two autonomous robots that can be used in areas such as bars, restaurants and malls. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mixologiq drink maker appears at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
This is the Mixologiq drink maker.
CES 2019: Veritable smart garden
Let’s face it; not all of us have green thumbs. And herbs are particularly difficult to grow, considering their constant need for sunshine. Enter the Veritable smart garden from Exky, which does it all for you. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas being sold to developer
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas is being sold to a developer, set to close in March. Bonnie Springs, west of Las Vegas off State Route 159 — next to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park — spans more than 60 acres and was on the market for $31 million. The developer and his project partner are under contract to buy the ranch and plan to chop it up mostly into custom-home lots. The plans includes a 25-room motel, a restaurant and a 5,400-square-foot event barn.
Bone-conduction headphones form Aftershokz
Aftershokz offers bone-conduction headphones - headphones that don’t go in the ear.
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Autonomous Cars and Futuristic Aircraft Rule CES
Day two of CES was dominated by autonomous cars and futuristic aircraft in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
TekNekSavr fights neck problems caused by smart phones
Atiya Syverson invented the TekNekSavr to help fight neck and head problems caused by strains while typing on smart phones. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New eyeglasses know if you fall and call for help
The French company Abeye has created eye glasses that will detect if the wearer falls and call for help. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Company that creates vibrator-like device claims genders bias against CES
Lora DiCarlo is a women-run start-up that creates a vibrator-like device designed for female pleasure called the Osé. This year they were awarded the CES Innovation Award in the Robotics and Drone Category, but a month later the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, rescinded the award and their booth. Haddock and her team believe it is a reflection of gender bias and sexism in an industry with a long history of male domination.
CES-Wagz has new pet products
Wagz has three new products to help create better lives for your pets in a digital world. One is a collar with LTE tracking and an HD camera. Also a smart pet door that only lets your pet in and out. Lastly, a device to humanely keep Fluffy out of certain areas of your home. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
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