Humbug holidays: Retail sales fell 1.2% in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales fell in December, posting the biggest drop since September 2009 and delivering more evidence that last year's holiday sales fizzled unexpectedly. Even e-commerce suffered a big setback.

Wholesale prices dip 0.1 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale prices fell for a second straight month in January as energy costs fell sharply again. The monthly declines were more evidence that inflation remains under control.

Democrats challenge Sprint, T-Mobile CEOs on merger promises

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic lawmakers challenged top executives of T-Mobile and Sprint on Wednesday over their pledge not to raise prices for wireless services or hurt competition if their $26.5 billion merger goes through.

Consumer prices flat in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer prices were unchanged in January, as lower gasoline prices offset the rising costs of housing, clothing and medical care.

The Labor Department said the consumer price index rose only 1.6 percent last month from a year earlier. That matched the slowest pace of annual inflation since June 2017.

U.S., China holding talks before Trump tariff decision

BEIJING (AP) — U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators are meeting this week for talks President Donald Trump says will help decide whether he escalates a technology dispute by going ahead with a March 2 tariff hike on $200 billion of imports from China.

C-U likely to make another bid to host IHSA basketball tournament

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PEORIA — After losing out to Peoria in 2015, Champaign-Urbana will likely try again to bring back the boys' state high school basketball tournament it hosted for 77 years.

Fed chairman: Prosperity not being felt in all areas of U.S.

ITTA BENA, Miss. (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday he does not feel the probability of a recession "is at all elevated," and that the country is continuing to see solid economic growth.

Tariffs take toll on whiskey exports in last half of 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Retaliatory tariffs caused a sharp downturn in American whiskey exports in the last half of 2018 as distillers started feeling the pain from global trade disputes, an industry trade group said Tuesday.

40 nations agree cars must have automatic braking

GENEVA (AP) — Forty countries led by Japan and the European Union — but not the U.S. or China — have agreed to require new cars and light commercial vehicles to be equipped with automated braking systems starting next year, a U.N. agency said.

Nissan's profit drops amid former chair's arrest

TOKYO (AP) — Nissan lowered its profit forecast for the full year on Tuesday, partly due to special charges related to alleged false financial reporting by its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn.