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Monday
Sep292014

Microsoft to Open Flagship Store in New York City

LornaWu/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Microsoft announced on Monday that it would open its first flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

According to a blog post written by David Porter, Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Retail Stores for Microsoft, the New York City store will "serve as the centerpiece of our Microsoft Stores experience." It will contain retail space in addition to experiential space to allow for further engagement with customers and partners.

While the flagship store is under construction, the company also plans to open up other stores. The blog post notes that 10 new locations -- not including the Fifth Avenue store -- will open in time for the holiday season.

The flagship store, which Porter says is "five years in the making," will be "worth the wait."

Furthermore, Porter says, "we could not be more excited to join one of the most visited streets in America."

Microsoft currently has 104 retail stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, and online stores in 189 countries.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep292014

ATM, Overdraft Fees Hit Record Highs, Survey Shows

Purestock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you're in a bind to get cash from an ATM, make sure the machine is in your banking network. Otherwise, you might have to fork over a fee of $4.35, which is the average cost of going outside your ATM network, according to Bankrate.com.

That average transaction fee is a new high in Bankrate.com's eighth consecutive annual analysis of banking fees.

The average fee for using an out-of-network ATM increased 5 percent over the last year; it increased 23 percent over the past five years, according to Bankrate.com's report released Monday about checking account and ATM fees.

Bankrate surveyed the 10 largest banks in 25 of the nation's biggest markets from July 10 to Aug. 6.

The average overdraft fee -- if you take out more money than you have in your checking account -- set a new record high for the 16th consecutive year: $32.74.

Bankrate.com said the percentage of non-interest checking accounts that are completely free has decreased to 38 percent. Five years ago, that percentage was 76 percent.

But there's good news for bank customers, said Greg McBride, Bankrate's chief financial analyst.

"Regardless how high the fees go, they are completely avoidable," McBride told ABC News.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep292014

Markets Post Losses Despite Rally, Positive Consumer Spending Reports

tarabird/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- An afternoon rally on Monday, buoyed in part by positive consumer spending figures, made sure that a down day on Wall Street wasn't even worse.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 41.93 to a Monday close of 17,071.22.

The Nasdaq finished at 4,505.85, slipping 6.34 from its opening value, while the S&P 500 dipped 5.05 to end the day at 1,977.80.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Monday that consumer spending rose by 0.5 percent in August, significantly more than the disappointing increase of under 0.1 percent in July.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep292014

The Rich Get Even Richer on "Forbes" 400 List

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Bill Gates is the wealthiest person in America for the 21st straight year, says Forbes magazine. He is worth $81 billion, up $9 billion from 2013.

Coming in behind Gates in this year's Forbes 400 list is Warren Buffett with $67 billion, up $8.5 billion from 2013. Larry Ellison rounds up the top three with a net worth $50 billion, an increase of $9 billion.

According to the magazine's latest rankings, the average net worth of each member on the list is $5.7 billion, the highest amount to date. Last year, the average was $5 billion.

When combined, the wealth of the Forbes 400 is $2.29 trillion, up from $2.02 trillion in 2013 and the highest figure to date. The record amount is partly due to the strength of the U.S. stock market.

To find out who else made the list this year, click here.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep292014

Deaths Linked to GM's Faulty Ignition Switches Rises to 23

General Motors(NEW YORK) -- More deaths have been linked to General Motors' faulty ignition switches.

Ken Feinberg's latest report shows 23 deaths are now eligible for a claim. Last week, Feinberg, the independent administrator of GM's compensation program, reported 21 deaths.

GM intially estimated that at least 13 deaths resulted from its defective ignition switches.

The automaker hired Feinberg to pour through death claims from families whose loved ones died in accidents they believe were caused by the problem. Compensation for each confirmed death claim will be at least a million dollars.

The overall compensation program, which launched on Aug. 5, is open for submission until Dec. 31 through GMIgnitionCompensation.com.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep292014

Consumer Spending Jumps 0.5% in August

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Consumer spending rose by 0.5 percent last month after falling flat in July, the Commerce Department reported Monday. The increase was greatly driven by car sales.

August's boost marked the best figure since June when spending also rose 0.5 percent.

"The trends are pretty good. Consumers aren't spending with great gusto, they're not borrowing aggressively, but they are spending their income and adding to economic growth," said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics.

He said the bump in August is a good sign for the third quarter.

"The economy in the current quarter is doing pretty well. Growth is going to be over 3 percent, which is not too bad. And it's laying a pretty good foundation for growth going into the end of the year and as we approach the key Christmas buying season," Zandi said.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep292014

Inside Ello, the Invitation-Only Social Network That Says It's Anti-Facebook

Ello(NEW YORK) -- It may seem like the last thing the world needs is another social network, but one upstart has become a breakout hit. Less than two months after its launch, Ello has managed to rise above social media malaise because of what it doesn't offer its users.

The social network is invitation only. The only way to join is to request an invitation or know someone who is already on Ello.

The site has surged so much since its Aug. 7 launch that there are reports it receives tens of thousands of requests for invitations every hour. Once users have scored a coveted invite to Ello, they're welcomed by a look that is decidedly different that other social networks.

Ello's interface is clean with plenty of white space.

Absent are the newsfeed and right rail advertisements we've grown accustomed to on Facebook or the promoted tweets on Twitter. Ello, which doesn't charge users, promises to never sell advertising.

It's something the Burlington, Vermont-based social network feels so strongly about that they've even created their own manifesto that is proudly displayed on their website.

"Your social network is owned by advertisers," it reads. "Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that's bought and sold."

Users who click "I Disagree" are re-directed to Facebook.

Free is nice and lovely but at some point, creator Paul Budnitz and its team realize they'll have to find a way to monetize the site while keeping Ello an advertising-free zone.

The solution: The team plans to create special features users can add to their accounts, and if they like them, chip in "a very small amount of money."

A sneak peek of what's to come: Private messaging, iOS and Android apps and a notification center.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep292014

Claim Your Free Cup for National Coffee Day

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Coffee chains across the nation are celebrating National Coffee Day on Monday by giving away as much java as possible.

Read on for where you can grab your free cup:

  • Dunkin’ Donuts: Get one free medium Hot Dark Roast Coffee.
  • Kangaroo Express: Pay just one penny for a 12-ounce Bean Street Coffee.
  • Krispy Kreme: Snag a 12-ounce free cup of Krispy Kreme House, Decaf or Dark Roast coffee, or get a discount on a 12-ounce Mocha, Latte or iced coffee for $1.
  • LaMar’s Donuts: Stop by to pick up a free 12-ounce cup of freshly-brewed coffee.
  • McDonald’s: Score a free small McCafé coffee during breakfast hours at participating McDonald’s restaurants across the country.
  • Peet’s Coffee & Tea: Buy one coffee or espresso beverage and get one free.
  • Tim Hortons: Like Tim Hortons on Facebook to get a free coffee with the purchase of another coffee coupon valid Monday.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep292014

Harley-Davidson to Recall Over 100,000 Motorcycles with Clutch Issue

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Harley-Davidson will recall over 100,000 motorcycles which have a problem with the clutch that could cause the vehicles to crash.

Harley-Davidson has been looking into the issue since May, and has received 632 warranty claims and 266 reports of issues from customers. In total, the company says it has identified 19 crashes with three minor injuries linked to the clutch issue. Approximately 105,746 motorcycles could be affected by the recall.

Customers will be notified and the repairs necessary to mitigate the clutch problem will be provided without cost to the vehicle owner.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep292014

Consumers Mostly Pleased with Their Electronic Devices

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Electronics have become such a big part of our lives that the thought of being without them, even for a short time, terrifies some people.

For the most part, Americans seem pretty happy with their devices, according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index, although maybe not as pleased as last year, depending on the gadget.

Using a scale of zero to one hundred, customers gave personal computers a 78 rating, which is down slightly from 2013. Meanwhile, laptops got a score of 76, compared to 80 last year, while tablets fell from 81 to 80.

However, desktops seem to be making a comeback of sorts, the ACSI found, rising from a score of 78 to 81 in 2014.

As far as computer brands are concerned, Apple ranked first in customer satisfaction, followed by Dell and Acer.

Meanwhile, TVs, which seem low-tech compared to everything else these days, rated the highest among everything in the ACSI with score of 86, a slight improvement from last year.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio