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Business Highlights

Associated Press Updated: September 29, 2014 at 5:45 pm

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Microsoft to offer early look at next Windows

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Microsoft plans to offer a glimpse of its vision for Windows this week, as its new CEO seeks to redefine the company and recover from missteps with its flagship operating system.

Although the new software won't be formally released until next year, analysts already consider its success crucial for Microsoft and Satya Nadella, who has made mobile devices and Internet-based services priorities since becoming CEO in February.

With its tablet-like touch controls, Windows 8 had been Microsoft's answer to slumping sales in personal computers amid a rising demand for mobile devices. But the company alienated many users by forcing radical behavioral changes. Analytics firm Net Applications estimates that five out of six Windows users are still using something other than Windows 8.

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ATM fees keep climbing, survey says

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The penalty for using an ATM that is not affiliated with your bank rose 5 percent over the past year.

The average fee for using an out-of-network ATM climbed to a new high of $4.35 per transaction, according to a survey released Monday by Bankrate.com. That figure includes $2.77 that banks charge non-customers and $1.58 that banks levy against their own customers for using an outside ATM.

Overdraft fees also surged, rising on average over the past 12 months to $32.74. That's the 16th consecutive record high, the firm said.

Checking account fees have been increasing as lenders adjust to federal banking laws and regulations enacted after the 2008 financial crisis.

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Airlines look for an edge in weather-radar systems

DALLAS (AP) — As their plane climbed away from Belize City, American Airlines pilot Brian Will and his co-pilot were ready to detour several hundred miles to avoid a wall of bad weather in front of them.

Then, looking at the display on a new weather-radar system, the pilots saw a way to navigate between the storms on the Dallas-bound flight this spring.

Shooting the gap saved the airline a costly refueling stop in Houston or New Orleans. The makers of the advanced radar systems promise to do the same for other airlines — along with sparing passengers from gut-churning turbulence and reducing lengthy delays.

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Study: Recessions can postpone motherhood forever

NEW YORK (AP) — When the economy tanks, women have fewer babies. But what happens in the following years, when conditions improve?

A massive new study suggests that for some U.S. women, living through a recession can mean they will never have children.

In fact, the authors project that among women who were in their early 20s in 2008 — early in the so-called "Great Recession" — about 151,000 will forgo having any children as a result, at least by age 40.

Overall, the lingering impact of that recession may ultimately mean some 427,000 fewer children being born over the course of a couple decades, the authors say.

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Safety agency studying Toyota acceleration problem

DETROIT (AP) — A U.S. safety agency is looking into a car owner's allegations that older Toyota Corollas can accelerate unexpectedly at low speeds and cause crashes, reviving a problem that appeared to be in the automaker's past.

The inquiry by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers about 1.69 million Corolla compact cars from the 2006 to 2010 model years.

The agency said in documents posted Monday on its website that the inquiry will determine whether a formal investigation is needed.

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Ford shares fall as company lowers Europe outlook

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford shares tumbled Monday after the automaker said it will fall short of its full-year profit goals.

At a conference for investors, the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker said it expects a pretax profit of around $6 billion this year, down from the $7 billion to $8 billion it previously forecast.

Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said record profits in North America aren't enough to offset trouble in South America, where Ford expects to lose $1 billion this year, and Russia, where falling sales and the rapid deterioration of the ruble took the company by surprise.

Warranty costs — including a $500 million charge for last week's recall of 850,000 vehicles for defective air bags — are also higher than expected.

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US consumer spending up 0.5 percent in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans boosted spending by a healthy amount in August, offering welcome evidence that the economy is on solid footing heading into the final quarter of the year.

Consumer spending in August rose 0.5 percent from the previous month after showing no gain in July, the Commerce Department reported Monday. It was the best result since spending also expanded 0.5 percent in June.

Helped by higher wages and salaries, income rose a modest 0.3 percent in August, slightly faster than a 0.2 percent July increase.

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Report: Gambling industry paid out $38B in taxes

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Gambling officials say the industry paid out a jackpot-worthy $38 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2013.

It's the first time the American Gaming Association has added tribal casinos and casino game makers into the mix for its annual study of the industry's impact in the U.S.

Of that total tax revenue, $10 billion came directly from gambling. Worker income and Social Security taxes as well as casino property taxes, and more, accounted for the rest.

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Marijuana industry makes political donations

DENVER (AP) — The entrepreneurs of the young U.S. marijuana industry are taking another step into the mainstream, becoming political donors who use some of their profits to support cannabis-friendly candidates and ballot questions that could bring legal pot to more states.

The political activity includes swanky fundraisers at Four Seasons hotels and art auctions at law firms.

And members of Congress who once politely returned the industry's contribution checks are now keeping them.

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By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones Industrial average lost 41.93 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,071.22. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 5.05 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,977.80. The Nasdaq composite slipped 6.34 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,505.85.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose $1.03 to $94.57 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, rose 20 cents to $97.20 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline increased 3.44 cents to $2.696 a gallon. Heating oil was flat at $2.70 a gallon. Natural gas rose 12.5 cents to $4.154 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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