Business Roundup for Tuesday, April 8.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)


NEW YORK (AP) — Investors have been finding some buying opportunities after a three-day sell-off in the stock market, but it's not been enough to sustain much of a rally. The Dow was up as much as 50 points this afternoon, but has slipped back into negative territory. However, the broader indexes remain higher.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is taking steps aimed at narrowing the pay gap between men and women. At a White House event today, Obama signed directives that make it easier for employees of federal contractors to get information about workplace compensation. The president's actions affect only federal contractors but could have a wide and direct impact. Federal contracting covers nearly one-quarter of the U.S. workforce and includes companies ranging from Boeing to small parts suppliers and service providers.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Energy Department is forecasting that summer gasoline prices will be the lowest since 2010. The department expects the national average price to fall by one cent between now and September to $3.57 per gallon. The summer is when Americans do most of their driving. While worldwide demand for oil is growing, supplies are growing faster thanks to higher production in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina regulators are joining with Duke Energy in appealing a judge's ruling on cleaning up groundwater pollution leeching from the company's coal ash dumps. The state Environmental Management Commission and Duke contend North Carolina law does not give the state the authority to order an immediate cleanup. The judge had ruled that the 15-member commission appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican legislative leaders has been misinterpreting the law for years.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Expansion talks at Volkswagen's lone U.S. plant have ground to a halt. The role of organized labor at the Tennessee factory has been the center of disagreements after a February vote narrowly shot down the United Auto Workers' effort to unionize. The UAW has challenged the outcome with the National Labor Relations Board and a top labor representative on Volkswagen's supervisory board has told Chattanooga workers that U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and Gov. Bill Haslam "interfered outrageously" in the election.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Labor Department says U.S. employers posted more job openings in February. The 4.2 million job openings advertised is the highest number since January 2008, when the Great Recession was just beginning and the economy had yet to suffer the full shock of the downturn. Total hiring rose to 4.6 million in February. That's still less than the level economists consider indicative of a healthy job market, where around 5 million people are hired each month.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund says the global economy is strengthening, but it's also sees some warning signs. The IMF expects the global economy to grow 3.6 percent this year and 3.9 percent in 2015. That's up from 3 percent last year. But the lending organization says inflation is alarmingly low and outflows of capital from emerging economies could threaten stability. The IMF is forecasting that the U.S. economy will grow 2.8 percent this year and 3 percent in 2015.

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines and US Airways are changing their policies on checked-bag fees and redeeming miles for free flights. Passengers using miles to fly American or who bought an economy seat won't get to check two bags for free anymore, while elite-level frequent fliers may get one less free bag. On the upside, US Airways is ending blackout days for redeeming miles for free flights.

DETROIT (AP) — Crash tests on midsize SUVs are highlighting some issues for automakers. Only two of the nine vehicles evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety received a "good" rating — General Motors' Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. The Toyota Highlander got the second-best "acceptable" rating. At the bottom, the Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9 and Honda Pilot all were rated "poor." The big issue is with a test that simulates what happens when a car's front corner collides with another vehicle or an object such as a utility pole.

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