Business briefs

2013-06-26T00:00:00Z Business briefsFrom Wire Reports From Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star
June 26, 2013 12:00 am  • 

ARIZONA

Ex-credit union worker guilty of embezzlement

CASA GRANDE - An Arizona woman has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $780,000 from the Pinal County Federal Credit Union in Casa Grande.

Jennelle Rena Curtis pleaded guilty to two counts of embezzling from a credit union as part of a plea agreement. Court documents show that Curtis embezzled the money in 2009. She worked at the credit union from 2002 until 2011.

As part of a plea agreement, Curtis admitted issuing around 100 bank checks totaling $780,697 for personal use. Prosecutors will recommend a sentence of between 24 and 30 months.

NATION

Economy shows signs of growing momentum

WASHINGTON - The U.S. housing recovery is strengthening. Factories are getting more orders. And Americans' confidence in the economy has reached its highest point in 5 1/2 years.

That brightening picture, captured in four reports Tuesday, suggests that the economy could accelerate in the second half of the year.

• The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index jumped this month to 81.4, the highest reading since January 2008.

The research group said consumers appear more encouraged by economic conditions and more optimistic about where the economy and job market are likely headed over the next six months. The survey was completed June 13, so it didn't reflect the past week's plunge in stock prices.

• U.S. home prices jumped 12.1 percent in April compared with a year ago, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index. That was the biggest year-over-year gain since March 2006.

For a fourth straight month, prices rose from a year earlier in all 20 cities in the index. Twelve cities, including Phoenix, posted double-digit price gains.

• Sales of new homes rose in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 476,000, the Commerce Department said. That was the fastest pace since July 2008. Though sales of new homes remain below the 700,000 annual rate that most economists consider healthy, the pace has jumped 29 percent from a year ago.

• Orders for durable goods rose 3.6 percent in May, matching April's gain. The gauge is important because U.S. manufacturing has generally struggled this year as demand for American exports slows in other parts of the world.

Google plans to publish malware, phishing data

Google said Tuesday it will begin to regularly publish Internet security data on malware and phishing scams that infect computers and steal consumer information.

The data will be included in Google's Transparency Report, in which the company also discloses government and law enforcement requests for user data.

Intel to launch pay TV via Internet this year

Intel Corp. said Tuesday that it plans to begin selling a set-top box offering Internet-based television service this year and is confident it can obtain programming.

Intel, the world's largest semiconductor maker, plans to offer pay television through Internet connections, creating new competition for incumbent providers like Time Warner Cable Inc. and DirecTV.

Associated Press; Washington Post; Bloomberg News

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