May 26 - Summary of business headlines: Google unveils pay-by-mobile phone method; U.S. economic growth stuck near neutral; G8 leaders call for tougher nuclear safety rules; Study shows banks that lobbied the most got the biggest bailouts; U.S. stocks rise for a second day. Carmen Roberts reports.
Americans are one step closer to paying at checkout counters with a simple wave of their mobile phones. Google unveiled "Google Wallet" and "Google Offers" on Thursday to let shoppers pay with phones instead of credit cards. But consumers held back on spending in the first quarter, which hobbled the US economy. The GDP reading was unchanged at an uninspiring 1.8 percent. Economic growth is chief among topics at the Group of Eight meeting in France. Leaders avoided talking about the euro-dollar exchange rate and who will be the new chief of the International Monetary Fund. However, they called for tougher nuclear safety rules following the disaster at Japan's Fukushima plant. President Obama met with Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan on the sidelines and said America will support Japan as it rebuilds from its devastating earthquake. Meantime a study shows the US government gave the most bailout money to banks that lobbied the most. The National Bureau of Economic Research also said the most aggressive lobbyers were the ones that made the most toxic mortgage loans. U.S. Investors shook off the day's disappointing economic news and focused instead on earnings sending stocks higher for a second day. Shares were mixed in Europe over concern about U.S. economic growth and the euro zone debt crisis. Carmen Roberts. Reuters