Wall Street followed Europe in a broad sell-off following a 7.3% overnight plunge in Japan's stock market.
The Dow Jones industrial average shed 107.1 points, or 0.7%, to 15,200.07 shortly after the opening bell in New York.
The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index tumbled 17.77 points, or 1.1%, to 1,637.58.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq was off 33.37 points, or 1%, 3,429.93.
Weak Chinese manufacturing data helped send Japan's Nikkei down 1,143.28 points, or 7.3%, to 14,483.98. The drop was reportedly the worst percentage loss since the country's March 2011 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.
European stock markets were also in the red, down about 2% or more.
Wall Street saw volatile trading on Wednesday following congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and the release of minutes from the central bank's recent meeting.
Both raised questions about how soon the Fed might begin slowing its stimulus programs, which...
WASHINGTON -- Initial unemployment claims dropped back to a level indicating moderate job growth last week after a spike the previous week raised alarms about the labor market recovery.
The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time stood at 340,000 for the week ending Saturday, falling from a revised 363,000 the week before, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Economists had expected the closely watched jobless claims figure to drop last week to 345,0000.
Claims for the week ending May 11, which were revised up from 360,000, had the biggest one-week jump since last fall and were the most since March.
The jump surprised analysts after steady improvement had brought the number of claims below 330,000 for the first time since early 2008, when the Great Recession had just begun.
Economists say jobless claims less than 350,000 a week indicate a moderately growing labor market.
The weekly figures can gyrate based on...
With the cost of college continuing to rise, about 64% of the 22- to 32-year-olds surveyed said they paid for school with loans. And 42% of the millennials said their debt was "overwhelming," twice the rate of baby boomers who were surveyed for comparison.
The $1 trillion in outstanding student debt and low wages in the weak economy are causing the latest rounds of college graduates to put away less money for retirement. More than half of the young adults surveyed said they hadn’t begun planning for retirement.
They find themselves stymied in putting money away for retirement because of their collective $1 trillion in outstanding student debt and the typically low wages they’re earning in the weak economy. Still, nearly two-thirds, or 61%, of the young adults considered themselves...
Are staycations coming back into fashion?
The number of Southern Californians expected to travel at least 50 miles for the Memorial Day weekend will drop about 2.1% compared with last year.
The annual forecast by the Auto Club of Southern California concluded that about 60,000 fewer Southern Californians will travel for the three-day weekend, compared with last year, with the biggest drop coming among air travelers.
Live chat: Join travel reporter Hugo Martin here at 3:30 Pacific
That will bring the total number of vacationers leaving home for the weekend to 2.53 million.
The number of Southern Californians traveling by air will drop 12.5%. The number of travelers by car, 2.17 million, should stay about the same as last year, the Auto Club said.
The Auto Club forecast is based on economic research by Colorado-based IHS Global Insight.
The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the Los Angeles and Long Beach metropolitan area has dropped about 9 cents in the past week to $4.08 but...
Zsa Zsa Gabor's longtime Bel-Air estate has sold for $11 million in a court-approved deal that will enable the ailing actress to remain in the home for three years.
The French Regency-style mansion, used as the setting of the Liberace biopic “Behind the Candelabra,” sits on a 1-acre-plus gated promontory with views of downtown Los Angeles, Santa Catalina Island and the ocean.
The 28-room home, built in 1955, has a formal sitting room with an antique French fireplace, an oversized dining room with city views, a butler's pantry off the kitchen, six bedrooms and seven bathrooms in 8,878 square feet of living space.
Former residents include Howard Hughes and Elvis Presley. Gabor bought the house in 1973 for $280,000.
Her scores of TV and film appearances include a starring role in "Moulin Rouge" (1952) and guest appearances on "The Hollywood Squares" in the 1960s and '70s and "The New Hollywood Squares" in the '80s.
Roger Perry of Rodeo...
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have bought a 13-acre estate in Montecito that had been listed at $26.5 million. The purchase price has not yet appeared in the public record.
The restored Tuscan-style villa and gardens has undergone years and “millions and millions” of dollars in reconstruction work under the care of its earlier owner, architect and designer John Saladino.
The two-story villa was built in the late 1920s from locally quarried stone. The property is entered through wrought-iron gates. A quarter-mile driveway winds through olive and eucalyptus trees.
Downstairs, the villa includes an 800-square-foot living room, a dining room and a library/media room. The state-of-the-art kitchen adjoins a breakfast room that opens to gardens with 30-foot Italian cypresses and a mature olive tree.
The master bedroom and bathroom -- with under-floor heating -- and a second en suite bedroom are also downstairs; three more en suite bedrooms...
Consider two fictitious female job candidates with nearly identical resumes, both vying for an administrative assistant position, one with better grades and a history of volunteering for a gay rights group.
At oil and gas giant ExxonMobil, hiring managers allegedly chased after the less qualified prospect while ignoring the applicant linked to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, according to a charge filed against the company Wednesday.
The complaint from nonprofit LGBT worker advocacy group Freedom to Work and law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, filed in the Illinois Department of Human Rights, accuses Exxon of discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The so-called paired resume test is a tactic that has been used for decades, said Peter Romer-Friedman, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.
The methodology mirrors a 2011 Harvard University study that found that LGBT candidates were 40% less likely than their heterosexual peers to land job interviews, he said.
WASHINGTON -- Some Federal Reserve officials said they were willing to start ratcheting back the central bank's stimulus program as early as June if the economic recovery strengthened further, according to minutes from their policy meeting three week ago.
Wednesday's release of the minutes from the April 30-May 1 meeting helped roil financial markets already trying to digest earlier comments by Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke about the controversial bond-buying program.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped into negative territory shortly after the minutes were released. It had initially jumped as Bernanke began his testimony to a congressional committee, then dropped, rose again and began trending down as investors tried to figure out what signals Bernanke was sending about the stimulus efforts.
The minutes offer a more detailed view into the views of the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee than its short monthly statement, though they are vague on many details.
"A number of...
Years, even decades later, classic beer jingles and slogans live on in our heads. Don Draper could take a lesson from some of these classic beer advertising lines.
How much do you know about beer advertising? Test your knowledge and see how deep these slogans have burrowed into your brain.
After you take this quiz, try your hand at more more business-related quizzes by clicking here.
Here’s another reason to be annoyed at hipsters: They’re driving up the price of beer.
A recent study has found that the price of low- and mid-range beers has been climbing at U.S. bars and restaurants. And the guy who oversaw the study for Massachusetts-based research firm Restaurant Sciences said he thinks the popularity of Pabst Blue Ribbon could be the cause.
“While all the attention has been on craft beers, the price of mainstay brands in the mid-price tier have risen more dramatically,” Research Sciences President Chuck Ellis said.
Quiz: Remember these beer ads?
Pabst Blue Ribbon, a low-cost beer that has become a popular choice of the bearded, skinny-jeans wearing crowd, is a key reason the price of sub-premium beers has climbed 6.8% in the last seven months, Ellis told the New York Daily News.
"I believe the single biggest driver in sub-premium beer price increases is indeed specifically PBR," Ellis said. "It has become quite fashionable."
Ellis reached that...
Actor Christian Slater has purchased a home in Coconut Grove, Fla., for $2.2 million.
Called Villa Dolce Far Niente and built in 1928, the estate centers on a Spanish-style home with four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and 2,971 square feet of living space.
Features include an eat-in kitchen with marble floors, arched mahogany French doors, a misted patio area and a swimming pool.
Slater, who went house-hunting with fiancee Brittany Lopez, got his start at age 7 on the soap opera “The Edge of Night.”
The 43-year-old actor stars in this year’s films “The Power of Few” and “Assassins Run.” Other film credits include “Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles” (1994), “True Romance” (1993) and “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” (1991).
He and Lopez are planning a backyard wedding in July.
The property previously sold in 2011 for $1.8 million.
Taylor Corey of Coldwell Banker&...
Devotees of Nutella hazelnut chocolate spread can call off the riots -- the brand’s Italian parent Ferrero says it reached a peaceful understanding with the superfan founder of World Nutella Day, an annual appreciation event that the company tried to shut down.
Nutella aficionados worldwide were shocked when, on May 16, Sara Rosso posted a note online that she had received a cease-and-desist demand from Ferrero’s lawyers.
Rosso, an American blogger living in Italy who launched World Nutella Day in 2007, wrote that she would darken the website for the unofficial Feb. 5 holiday along with all social media promotion on May 25 in response to the legal challenge.
Supporters bristled at what they perceived to be an attack on the high priestess of the sweet treat. Some said they returned Nutella products they had already bought, while others threatened to boycott the creamy spread.
“Nutella…more nuts in company management than in every jar. Idiots,” wrote Tim...