Business news briefs: High energy stocks weigh on AK Steel

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High energy stocks weigh on AK Steel

AK Steel said it will report a first-quarter loss of 44 cents to 49 cents per share. The West Chester, Ohio, steel producer cited higher energy costs from the extreme winter weather, an unplanned blast furnace outage, and a charge for the tentative settlement of a legal dispute. The company said the outage at its Ashland, Ky., mill will result in a 10 to 12 percent drop in shipments from year-ago levels. AK Steel also said it is raising spot market prices for commodity sheet steel to $660 per ton immediately.


Consol Energy promotes DeIuliis to CEO post

J. Brett Harvey, Consol Energy chairman and CEO, is shifting to executive chairman of the coal and natural gas company. President Nicholas DeIuliis is being promoted to CEO. The 63-year-old Mr. Harvey has served as CEO since January 1998. Mr. DeIuliis, 45, has served as president of Consol Energy Inc. since February 2011. He will retain his role of president and is up for election as a board member at the company’s annual shareholders meeting May 7.

Giant Eagle announces pullout from Toledo

O'Hara grocer Giant Eagle Inc. is pulling out of the competitive Toledo, Ohio, market, with plans to close two supermarkets and two Get-Go stations there in May. The move will mean 179 employees lose their jobs. Giant Eagle opened its first grocery store in the northwestern Ohio market in 2001 and added the second in 2003. “Our decision to close these locations was made only after careful consideration, particularly given the impact on our team members and customers, and after significant efforts to differentiate these stores in the marketplace,” said spokesman Dan Donovan in a prepared statement. Earlier this year, Giant Eagle announced plans to put its first stores in the greater Indianapolis market.

Appeals court upholds cap on 'swipe' fees

A federal appeals court has handed a defeat to a coalition of retail groups that challenged as too high the Federal Reserve’s cap on how much banks can charge businesses for handling debit card transactions. The ruling issued Friday by the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia overturned a lower court’s decision in July that favored the merchants and was a setback for banks. The Fed set the cap at an average of about 24 cents per debit-card transaction. Prior to the cap, fees averaged 44 cents per swipe. 

Mt. Gox finds 200,000 of its missing bitcoins

Bankrupt bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox says it found 200,000 bitcoins, which were previously thought stolen, in disused electronic wallets. Another 650,000 bitcoins still remain unaccounted for. At current prices, the rediscovered bitcoins have a market value of about $120 million.

Wal-Mart's new tool gives competitors prices

The “Every Day Low Price” king is trying to shake up the world of pricing once again. Wal-Mart told The Associated Press that it has rolled out an online tool that allows shoppers to compare its prices on 80,000 food and household products to those of its competitors. 

Wendy's moving ahead with mobile payments

Wendy’s is rolling out a program that lets customers pay using their smartphones, following a similar plan unveiled by Burger King this week. The moves reflect a push by fast-food chains to court younger customers by tapping into the attachment they have to their phones. McDonald’s is still in a testing phase after hiring its first chief digital officer this past October.

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