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Chocolate prices expected to soar as ingredients grow more expensive

By Rachel Farkas 12:01 a.m.
Stock up on chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs this year. The price of chocolate could go up soon. Increased demand for cocoa beans in China and poor weather in cocoa-growing regions such as West Africa pushed the price for beans …

Investment in Western Pa. startups reaches 5-year high

By John D. Oravecz
Investment in startup companies in the Pittsburgh region hit a five-year high in the first quarter, as venture capital fundraising improved nationwide. Venture capital firms invested $78.5 million in nine companies in Western Pennsylvania in the January-March period, the highest …

Squeezed by competition, Chobani to expand offerings

By The Associated Press 12:01 a.m.
Chobani plans to expand beyond its Greek yogurt cups in the summer as it faces intensifying competition in the fast-growing category. In July, the company plans to offer Chobani Oats, yogurt mixed with fruit and oats; a dessert called Chobani …

Mazda recalls 109,000 older SUVs

By The Associated Press 12:01 a.m.
Mazda is recalling 109,000 Tribute SUVs in cold-weather states to fix rusting frame parts. The recall covers SUVs from the 2001 through 2004 model years. Mazda said in documents filed with federal safety regulators that the frame can rust and …

Under the Hood: A chance to take top cars for a spin

By Brad Bergholdt 12:01 a.m.
I recently attended the Western Automotive Journalists Media Days in Monterey, Calif. On the day of the ride and drive, we took turns driving a host of really fun cars on a well-planned, beautiful route through the Monterey Peninsula. My …

Chrysler’s Easter eggs fun for vehicle owners

By Mark Phelan 12:01 a.m.
Chrysler wants to send its owners on an Easter egg hunt. The automaker’s designers have taken to hiding amusing graphic images that pay tribute to its heritage on the latest vehicles from Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep. Examples include a topographical …

Long-term unemployed struggle to find — and keep — new jobs

By The Washington Post 12:01 a.m.
For the long-term unemployed, finding a job is hard — but keeping one may be even harder. New research tracking people who have been out of work for six months or longer found that 23 percent landed a job within …

Pa. unemployment rate falls to lowest since 2008; 12,000 more enter workforce

By Chris Fleisher
More Pennsylvanians entered the job market last month and some of them are getting hired as the state’s unemployment rate dropped to the lowest level since October 2008. The March unemployment rate declined two-tenths of a percentage point to 6 …

Shale pioneer hires Chesapeake for drilling job

By Bloomberg News
Aubrey McClendon, the pioneering shale wildcatter who helped usher in America’s energy renaissance, has hired the company that fired him to drill wells for his latest natural gas venture. A subsidiary of McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP is paying between …

Pandora sued by record companies

By Bloomberg News
Pandora Media Inc., the biggest online radio service, infringed copyrights with its use of music recorded before 1972, including songs by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead, a group of record companies claims in a lawsuit. Capitol …

2014 Beetle is celebration of 65th American anniversary

By Ann M. Job
Sixty-five years after the first Volkswagen Beetle arrived in the United States as a distinctively shaped, little car, the Beetle keeps attracting buyers with its more-spacious-than-ever, flexible interior, turbo engine power and modernized iconic look. For 2014, the Beetle lineup …

Court declines to block drug ruling in patent case

By The Associated Press 1:48 a.m.
WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Friday declined to temporarily block a lower court ruling that opens the world’s best-selling multiple sclerosis drug to competition from generic rivals next month. The decision is a victory for rivals …

Judge says American Airlines can’t end retiree benefits yet

By The Associated Press 1:48 a.m.
DALLAS — A federal judge is telling American Airlines that it can’t yet act alone to cut off benefits for many retirees. American wants retirees who wish to keep their benefits to pay all the cost. Now the dispute could …

Wages have soared in Pittsburgh, but economy appears to have stalled

By Chris Fleisher
The Pittsburgh area’s job market is sputtering, but accelerating wages tell a different story as companies compete to attract the best talent. Wages grew 13 …

Emboldened by Italy move, QVC to expand into France

By Bloomberg News
QVC Inc. is planning to expand into France, betting that the television-shopping network can thrive even in a heavily regulated country with a stagnant economy. QVC will begin broadcasting from Paris in the second quarter of next year. Chief Executive …

PPG shareholders vote against proposals; sales, profit see double-digit increases

By John D. Oravecz
Separating the two top jobs at major corporations is a hot topic this year — one that shareholders of PPG Industries Inc. were asked to consider on Thursday. They voted down a proposal to require an independent chairman, allowing Charles …

Business Briefs

Roundup: PNC Bank a finalist for DoD award; Fifth Third Bancorp 1Q earnings fall 25%; more

By Staff and Wires
PNC Bank selected as finalist for Defense Department award PNC Bank was among 30 employers named as a finalist for the Department of Defense’s 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, given to companies for providing exceptional support of …

Business Columnists

Jack Markowitz

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Mickey Rooney’s financial life a lesson for us all

The unique Mickey Rooney provided one last entertainment — a sobering one — in his long life. When he died …

John Browne

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High-speed traders on inside track

Michael Lewis’ new book, “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt,” has caused a tremor among investors. A fictionalized account, it …

John Dorfman

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Dorfman: Time to take another shot at small caps

Ugh. For the second consecutive year, my small-stock recommendations fizzled. The crop of small stocks I wrote about a year …

Chris Posti

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Looking for 1st job? Get your basics down

Rick was like thousands of other college seniors hoping to get hired for his first “real” job. He was an …

Kim Komando

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Don’t feel boxed in by cable

I suspect you’re like me. You just want to sit down in front of the TV and find something interesting …

Real Estate

High-tech toilet seats: No hands or paper required

By Katherine Roth
Every so often, a revolution transforms something truly basic, rendering the status quo somewhat, well, primitive. First came covered sewers, then indoor plumbing and flush toilets. Now, one bathroom at a time, another major shift in toilet hygiene is quietly …