New data, Buffett give stocks boost

NEW YORK -- Investors sent stocks soaring Monday after getting a boost of confidence from the latest economic reports and Warren Buffett's defense of Goldman Sachs.

The market rebounded from a drop Friday after a string of welcome news eased some of the concerns that have been dogging investors. Economic reports signaled that consumer spending and manufacturing are strengthening.

Meanwhile, Germany's approval of bailout funds for Greece and a vote of confidence by Buffett in Goldman, whose shares he owns, helped reassure investors. Goldman has been under fire the past two weeks after regulators accused it of fraudulent dealing in mortgage-backed securities.

An agreement by United to acquire Continental Airlines for $3 billion also lifted stocks.

More sticky pedals are being investigated

DETROIT -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a problem with sticky gas pedals in 2007 Dodge Caliber small sport utility vehicles. The company said Monday there have been only five complaints, and it is unaware of any crashes, injuries or property damage linked to the problem. No recall has been issued.

Dodge owner Chrysler and NHTSA said the pedals were made by CTS Corp., which made pedals involved in a Toyota recall this year.

The automaker said the investigation is in the early stages, but that the problem appears to be limited to about 10,000 vehicles made during a five-week period in March and April of 2006.

NHTSA said an estimated 161,000 vehicles are covered by the investigation, but Chrysler said that's the total of all Calibers built during the 2007 model year. It says the problem is mechanical and is not an electronic or design issue.

Airline fees soared last year, DOT says

NEW YORK -- The Department of Transportation on Monday said revenue from ancillary fees at U.S. airlines rose 42 percent to $7.8 billion in 2009. The biggest chunk of that came from checked baggage fees, which were introduced in 2008. Other fees include those for reservation changes, pet travel and mileage sales.

Delta Air Lines, the world's largest airline and the largest serving Charleston, collected the most revenue from fees at $1.65 billion. American Airlines was second, followed by US Airways.

United and Continental, which on Monday announced plans to combine to form the world's biggest airline, were sixth and seventh.

Sales of Apple's iPads hit the 1 million mark

CUPERTINO, Calif. -- Apple Inc. said Monday that is has sold 1 million of its new iPad tablet computers in the month after its launch, meaning it's been selling more than twice as fast as the iPhone did when it was new.

Apple said it reached the milestone Friday, when the new 3G model of the iPad was delivered to its first buyers. That model can access AT&T's cellular broadband network. The first models had only Wi-Fi access. "One million iPads in 28 days -- that's less than half of the 74 days it took to achieve this milestone with iPhone," said CEO Steve Jobs. Demand keeps exceeding supply for the tablet, he added.