• This combination of file photos shows logos for IBM, Macy's, Chevron and Starwood Hotels and Resorts group's W Hotel Hollywood. Big companies have lost billions buying their own shares. Nearly half the companies in the Standard and Poor’s 500 index paid more for their shares in the past three years than they are worth, according to analysis by The Associated Press. Retailer Macy’s is down $1.4 billion on its purchases, a 24 percent loss. As the price of oil plunged, driller Chevron lost $3.3 billion betting on its stock, a 33 percent loss. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has lost hundreds of millions on buybacks, more than a fifth of what it spent. IBM has the biggest losses from buybacks, down $5.5 billion. (AP Photo)

    Companies lose billions buying back their own stock

    NEW YORK (AP) — If you think your stocks are doing poorly, check out the performance of some of the most sophisticated investors, the ones with more knowledge about what’s going on inside businesses than anyone else: Companies that buy their own shares.

  • In this Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, photo, coal ash is removed from the Dan River Steam Station in Eden, N.C., to be transported by rail to a permanent site in Virginia. Duke Energy Corp. is digging up and hauling away from riverbanks the toxic coal residues two years after one of the worst coal-ash spills in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

    Costs of closing, cleaning toxic coal ash pits grows clearer

    EDEN, N.C. (AP) — Giant earthmoving machines beep and grind as they drop 17-ton scoops of coal ash and dirt into dozens of railroad cars lined up for two-thirds of a mile at a site along the Virginia-North Carolina border, where the country’s largest electricity company was responsible for one of the worst spills of the toxic, liquefied waste in U.S. history.

  • Massachusetts plan could spur hydro imports to New England

    BOSTON (AP) — Tapping into Canadian hydropower is hardly a new concept in energy-starved New England. But Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposal to authorize long-term contracts between utilities and hydropower producers is being viewed in some quarters as a potential game-changer for the region.

  • American flags fly at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street,  July 6, 2015.  World stock markets were uneven Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, as investors awaited U.S. job numbers that could influence how much the Fed raises interest rates this year. Japanese shares sagged on the strengthening yen. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

    Asian stocks directionless ahead of US jobless report

    NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market opened slightly lower after the government reported only modest job growth last month.

  • A woman waits to cross a street in front of an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Most Asian stocks jumped Thursday as oil prices bounced back and weak U.S. economic data fueled investor hopes that the Fed would slow the pace of rate hikes this year. Japanese shares fell as the yen rose against the dollar. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Most Asian stocks jump as oil rallies on weaker dollar

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks opened slightly lower as retail companies slipped.

  • Benin Navy guarding Greek tanker, hostages held in Nigeria

    LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — The navy of Benin is guarding an oil tanker hijacked by militants who are holding five crew members hostage in Nigeria, Nigeria’s navy and a shipping security expert said Wednesday.

  • In this Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, file photo, a Wall Street street sign is framed by a giant American flag hanging on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stock markets were having another lackluster day Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, amid ongoing worries over the state of the world economy, which has piled the pressure on oil prices in particular. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

    US stocks give up an early gain and move lower; Yahoo down

    HONG KONG (AP) — Most Asian stocks jumped Thursday as oil prices bounced back and weak U.S. economic data fueled investor hopes that the Fed would slow the pace of rate hikes this year. Japanese shares fell as the yen rose against the dollar.

  • CORRECTS TYPO IN FIRST SENTENCE TO BUTTON -German chancellor Angela Merkel  prepares to press the start button next to the head of the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics  Sibylle Guenter , left, and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania governor,  Erwin Sellering, right at the  Wendelstein 7-X' nuclear fusion research center at the Max-Planck-Institut for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, Germany Wednesday Feb. 3, 2016. Scientists flipped the switch  on an experiment they hope will advance the quest for nuclear fusion, considered a clean and safe form of nuclear power.  ( Bernd Wuestneck/dpa via AP)

    Scientists to inject fuel in experimental fusion device

    GREIFSWALD, Germany (AP) — Scientists in Germany flipped the switch Wednesday on an experiment they hope will advance the quest for nuclear fusion, considered a clean and safe form of nuclear power.

  • In this Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, file photo, a Wall Street street sign is framed by a giant American flag hanging on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stock markets were having another lackluster day Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, amid ongoing worries over the state of the world economy, which has piled the pressure on oil prices in particular. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

    Asian stocks weighed down by another oil price dive

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are gaining ground in early trading as investors were encouraged by some strong company earnings reports and a pickup in the price of crude oil.