WASHINGTON -- The stock market offered a reminder Friday that even if the U.S. job market is improving, there's plenty to worry about elsewhere in the world.
The unemployment rate fell in December to its lowest level in nearly three years. Yet stock indexes teetered between small gains and losses all day as traders fretted about Europe's ongoing financial drama.
Italy's borrowing costs spiked to dangerously high levels and the euro fell to a 16-month low against the dollar. U.S. bank stocks fell on concerns that the debt crisis will spread through the financial industry.
Cost of flying to Europe rising for U.S. travelers
FORT WORTH, Texas -- American Airlines has joined other large U.S. carriers in adding $6 per round trip to tickets between the U.S. and Europe.
A spokesman for AMR Corp.'s American confirmed the increase Friday. Delta Air Lines Inc., United Continental Holdings Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. had already raised prices this week after the European Union began a program of charging airlines for greenhouse-gas emissions if they fly within, to or through Europe. Those are the four largest U.S. airlines that fly to Europe.
Report: DVD releases to Netflix get pushed back
SAN FRANCISCO -- Millions of DVD renters who want to check out Warner Bros.' latest movies won't get the chance until nearly two months after the discs are available to buy.
The new restriction will double a 28-day delay on DVD rentals that Warner Bros. has with Netflix's video subscription service. A person familiar with the matter explained the new policy Friday to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the changes won't be announced until next week.
The person said Netflix conceded to the demands to ensure it can still buy Warner Bros. discs at a discount. Redbox, another major DVD rental service, said it hasn't agreed to extend its 28-day delay.
SEC changes its policy regarding wrongdoing
WASHINGTON -- The Securities and Exchange Commission is ending its policy of allowing companies and individuals to neither admit nor deny wrongdoing in some settlements.
That longstanding policy was criticized recently by a federal judge who cited it as a reason for throwing out a $285 million deal in November between the SEC and Citigroup.
The change disclosed Friday by the SEC will not apply to that case or to most SEC settlements. It will affect only cases in which both the SEC and criminal authorities, such as the Justice Department, bring charges against a company or individual, and the company or person admits guilt to resolve criminal charges. The criminal admission now can be cited in the SEC settlement.
Weak pre-holiday traffic hurt Best Buy's Dec. sales
MINNEAPOLIS -- Best Buy said Friday that weaker-than-expected traffic until the week before Christmas and low demand in Canada and Europe crimped December sales.
The largest U.S. electronics retailer said revenue in stores open at least two years fell 1.2 percent. The measure is considered a key gauge of a retailer's financial health because it excludes stores that open or close during the year. That's an improvement from a 4 percent drop in the same period last year.
Still, Best Buy reaffirmed its annual guidance. The retailer is opening smaller stores and beefing up its online presence as it faces more competition from discounters and online merchants.