Markets recover

From staff and wire reports

After a two-day plunge, stocks ended the week with an advance on Friday, suggesting that Wall Street may be successfully weaned from the Federal Reserve's easy money after all. "Saner heads are prevailing," said Jim Dunigan, chief investment officer at PNC Wealth Management. "People are looking a little deeper into the message from the Fed - the economy is getting better."

Jobless rates mixed

Unemployment rates fell in half of U.S. states last month, led by drops in California, West Virginia, New York and Hawaii. The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates rose in 17 states and were unchanged in eight.

SJG programs OK'd

South Jersey Gas, subsidiary of South Jersey Industries, received New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approval to continue an initiative established in 2009 to encourage energy efficiency. The company will continue four programs through June 2015, at a cost of $24 million.

N.Y. gambling lobby

A report says gambling interests have spent nearly $20 million over two years on campaign contributions and lobbying in Albany. Common Cause NY reported the spending includes $242,000 in political contributions to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and about $400,000 each to the campaigns of the Senate and Assembly majorities.

China squeezed

A squeeze on credit in China that is rattling world markets appeared to ease as a key interbank interest rate fell slightly, prompting speculation the country's central bank may have intervened to calm ravaged nerves. But analysts say the spike in the rates that banks charge each other for short-term borrowing is part of a deliberate, belated effort to trim off-balance-sheet lending that could threaten the financial stability of the world's second largest economy.

Oil price sliding

The price of oil slid again Friday on the prospect of a tighter supply of cash and slower growth in China. The decline of $1.71 to $93.69 a barrel extends a sharp plunge that saw U.S. oil fall from nearly $100 per barrel in morning trading Thursday.

Skilling resentenced

One of the country's most notorious financial scandals came to a protracted legal conclusion as ex-Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling - already in prison for his role in the once-mighty energy giant's collapse - was resentenced to 14 years as part of a court-ordered reduction and a separate agreement with prosecutors. An appeals court vacated his prison term in 2009, ruling that a sentencing guideline was improperly applied.

Starbucks prices

Starbucks says it's hiking prices on average by 1 percent nationally starting on Tuesday. For a small brewed coffee, the price will increase by 10 cents at most. Other drinks could increase by more than that.

Early Apple for sale

An Apple 1 from 1976, one of the first Apple computers ever built, will be sold at auction at Christie's next week. The bidding starts at $300,000.

, with a pre-sale estimated value of up to $500,000.

Morgan buying Citi

Morgan Stanley is getting regulatory approval to buy the 35 percent stake of a joint venture with Citigroup that it doesn't already own for $4.7 billion. The bank said gaining full ownership of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Holdings LLC, which operates under the name Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, is one of its key strategic priorities.

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