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Electronics retailer hhgregg files for bankruptcy


´╗┐Appliances and electronics retailer hhgregg Inc and its Gregg Appliances Inc unit filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, as they continued to struggle with declining sales for about four years. Hhgregg listed assets and liabilities of up to $50,000 in its Chapter 11 filing in the U.S. bankruptcy court for the Southern District of Indiana, and said it signed a term sheet with an unnamed party to purchase its assets. Gregg Appliances listed assets and liabilities in the range of $100 million to $500 million in a separate filing. Hhgregg said it expected to emerge from the process in about 60 days.

"Through these strategic steps, we plan to come out of this debt free and more agile as we serve our valued customers and vendor partners," Chief Executive Robert Riesbeck said in a statement.

The company's 132 stores would operate normally throughout the restructuring process. It said last week it would shut 88 stores. Hhgregg hired Stifel Financial Corp last month, to advise it on strategic and financial transactions.

Self-driving bus with no back-up driver nears California street SAN RAMON, Calif. A pair of $250,000 autonomous buses began driving around an empty San Francisco Bay Area parking lot on Monday, preparing to move onto a local public road in California's first pilot program for a self-driving vehicle without steering wheel or human operator.

Snap slumps 12 percent, closes at lowest since IPO SAN FRANCISCO Shares of Snap Inc slumped 12 percent on Monday and closed at their lowest level of the three sessions since the Snapchat owner's soaring market debut last week.

Facebook suspends location-sharing feature after Italian copyright suit MILAN/FRANKFURT Facebook Inc has suspended its location-sharing feature in Italy after a Milan court ruled last year that the social networking giant had violated competition and copyright laws by effectively copying a similar app from a local start-up.

Futures up on Feds dovish rate hike outlook


´╗┐U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time this year, but indicated it was in no hurry to increase the pace of tightening. Drawing on continued strength in the labor market and inflation trending just below its 2 percent target, the central bank on Wednesday raised rates by a quarter point to 0.75-1.00 percent. Wall Street ended with solid gains on Wednesday after Fed Chair Janet Yellen expressed confidence in the U.S. economy and said high stock prices were a signal of easier financial conditions. The Fed, however, stuck to its outlook for two more rate hikes this year and three more in 2018. Shares of big U.S. banks, which slipped on the Fed's dovish stance on Wednesday, were up between 0.5 and 1.5 percent in premarket trading. Donald Trump's election as U.S. President in November set Wall Street on a record-setting rally on hopes that he would boost the economy through fiscal stimulus, simpler regulations and tax reforms. Gold hit a one-week high, while the dollar, which had risen on expectations of a more hawkish Fed, hit a one-month low.

Oil prices rose about 1 percent, supported by a weaker dollar and data that showed U.S. inventories had dipped after rising for nine weeks. [O/R]Investors will turn their attention to economic data, while looking for more clarity on Trump's proposed policies. A Commerce Department report is expected to show housing starts edged up to 1.26 million-unit rate in February from 1.25 million units the previous month. The report is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).

Also due is a Labor Department report, which is likely to show the number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits fell by 3,000 to 240,000 last week. Shares of Tesla (TSLA. O) rose 2.3 percent to $261.58 after the electric carmaker said it would raise about $1.15 billion as the company speeds up the launch of its Model 3 sedan. Biogen (BIIB. O) slipped 2.2 percent to $286 after Morgan Stanley and Leerink downgraded the drugmaker's stock and cut price targets.

Trump puts the skinny in his 'skinny budget' WASHINGTON It's not unusual for a newly minted White House to present what's known as a "skinny budget," a wish list of spending requests for Congress and some basic economic projections.

Fed raises rates as job gains, firming inflation stoke confidence WASHINGTON The U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday for the second time in three months, a move spurred by steady economic growth, strong job gains and confidence that inflation is rising to the central bank's target.

Oil extends gains as dollar and U.S. inventories fall LONDON Oil prices rose for a second day on Thursday, supported by U.S. data showing crude inventories had dipped after rising for nine weeks and a weaker dollar after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled it would not hike rates faster than expected.