Very slow growth
From our wire services
The U.S. economy grew from April through June at an annual rate of 1.7 percent - a sluggish pace but still stronger than in the previous quarter. The government sharply revised down its estimate of growth in the January-March quarter to a 1.1 percent annual rate from a previously estimated 1.8 percent rate. And growth in the fourth quarter of 2012 was reduced to an annual rate of just 0.1 percent.
Fee cap rejected
A federal judge has struck down a rule setting a cap on the fees that banks can charge merchants for handling debit card purchases, saying the Federal Reserve didn't have the authority to set the limit in 2011. Retail groups had sued the Fed over its setting the cap at an average of about 24 cents per debit-card transaction, accusing it of buckling under pressure from bank lobbyists to set the cap higher than the 12 cents initially proposed.
Gas, oil prices up
The price of oil rose the most in three weeks, gaining $1.95, or 2 percent, to close at $105.03 per barrel. Average gasoline prices rose 14 cents in July, to $3.63 per gallon Wednesday from $3.49 on July 1.
Test strip recall
The Food and Drug Administration is warning patients with diabetes about a recall of as many as 62 million glucose test strips used to measure blood sugar levels that can show incorrect, abnormally high blood sugar readings. Nova Diabetes Care announced the recall Friday. An incorrect reading could potentially lead to dangerous medication errors for patients.
The Treasury Department said it expects to start offering investors a new Treasury security with variable interest rates in January. It will be the first new Treasury security in 15 years.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo personally delivered to cities gambling revenue that was withheld by the Seneca Nation of Indians during a four-year dispute with the state. Stopping at Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Salamanca, Cuomo and Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder Sr. handed over $140 million.
The payroll company ADP said companies created a healthy 200,000 jobs this month, the fastest pace since December. "Job growth is consistently good - solid across industries," said Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody's Analytics, which compiled the report for ADP.
Comcast Corp. posted a 9 percent increase in revenue to $6 billion in the second quarter, well above analyst estimates at $5.75 billion. Comcast earned $1.73 billion, up from $1.35 billion in the same period a year earlier.
Praise for Greece
The International Monetary Fund said Greece had made "exceptional" progress in stabilizing its economy and remains on course to emerge from a near six-year recession in 2014, despite missing targets to ax state jobs and the threat of a $14.6 billion gap in bailout financing. The IMF cautioned that Greece needs to make major structural reforms so its economy can grow in the long-term.
Battery and consumer products maker Energizer Holdings Inc. says it is buying feminine care brands including Stayfree, Carefree and o.b. from Johnson & Johnson for $185 million in cash. Energizer owns the Playtex feminine products business and says it will combine the new brands into that business to expand in the feminine hygiene category.
Germany's unemployment rate rose to 6.8 percent in July due to seasonal factors such as the start of the summer holiday period, but the labor market in Europe's biggest economy remained solid. The unadjusted jobless rate was up from 6.6 percent in June, with 2.914 million people registered as unemployed.