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NEW YORK — Fears of slowing growth around the world hits financial markets as stocks fall in Europe and copper plunges in the U.S. Investors shift to safe U.S. Treasurys, where 10-year yields slip to a 20-month low. By Bernard Condon. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m. photos.
— RETAIL SALES — Americans cut back on spending last month after shopping freely in November, surprising economists who had expected greater hiring and tumbling gas prices to bolster retail sales. Yet consumers should bounce back in coming months on the back of healthy job gains and rising confidence. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 600 words. UPCOMING: 750 words by 3 p.m.
— HIGH ANXIETY-LOW RATES — A barometer of investor anxiety flashes red as people rush to the safety of U.S. government bonds. The surge in demand for Treasurys knocks a key interest rate to its lowest level since May 2013 as slumping oil prices and a slowdown in Europe stoke demand for investments seen as stable in moments of market turbulence. By Matthew Craft. SENT: 390 words. UPCOMING: 500 words by 3 p.m., photos.
WHERE DID ALL THIS OIL COME FROM?
The world burns enough oil-derived fuels to drain an Olympic-size swimming pool four times every minute. Global consumption has never been higher — and it is rising. Yet the price of a barrel of oil has fallen by more than half over the past six months because the world, experts say, is awash in oil. So, where did all this oil come from? By Jonathan Fahey. UPCOMING: 800 words by 2:30 p.m.
NEW YORK — Banks stumble at the start of earnings season. JPMorgan's results — and its stock price — are hurt by more legal costs from the mortgage crisis, and Wells Fargo, despite meeting analysts' expectations, drops by 2 percent. By Ken Sweet. UPCOMING: 700 words by 4 p.m., photos. Incorporates EARNS-JPMORGAN CHASE and EARNS-WELLS FARGO.
WASHINGTON — The FBI is stepping up efforts against international corruption, creating new squads to search for bribery cases that are rooted overseas but reach to the United States. Officials say that in the expanding global economy, the additional resources are needed to prevent corruption's ripple effects in the U.S. or destabilization of foreign governments. By Eric Tucker. SENT: 630 words.
AUTO SHOW-WHAT WE LEARNED
DETROIT — The mood is exuberant at this year's North American International Auto Show. The economy is healthy, automakers are flush and the show gleams with performance cars, beefy pickup trucks and exciting experiments, from plug-ins to cars carved out of a 3-D printer. Here's what we learned from the show, which opens to the public Saturday. By Dee-Ann Durbin. UPCOMING: 650 words by 3 p.m.
NEW YORK — In his new post as chairman of the House Small Business Committee, Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, plans to continue the committee's focus on problematic government regulations and to push for more tax breaks for small companies. Small-business advocates expect Chabot to be pragmatic and willing to work with Democrats in Congress. By Joyce M. Rosenberg. SENT: 630 words, photo.
— SMALLBIZ-CHABOT-BIO BOX — A biographical snapshot of Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Small Business Committee. SENT: 170 words.
MARKETS & ECONOMY:
HOUSE BANK REGULATIONS
WASHINGTON — The House passes a bill to soften the landmark 2010 Dodd-Frank law reining in banks and Wall Street, advancing a key Republican priority more than six years after the financial crisis struck and brought on the Great Recession. By Marcy Gordon. SENT: 750 words.
WASHINGTON — U.S. businesses add to their stockpiles by a modest amount in November even though sales were weak for a fourth consecutive month. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 260 words, photo.
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve releases its latest 'Beige Book' survey of economic conditions. In its last report in December, the Fed said the U.S. economy kept expanding in October and November, helped by solid gains in consumer spending, manufacturing and overall employment. By Martin Crutsinger. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of survey at 2 p.m., 350 words by 2:45 p.m.
— EUROPE-BOND PURCHASES — Analysts say a legal opinion by an adviser to the European Court of Justice helps clear the way for bigger stimulus measures from the European Central Bank. SENT: 430 words, photos.
LAS VEGAS — Financial problems plaguing Caesars Entertainment and its casino empire have the company considering a trip to bankruptcy court, possibly as early as Thursday. It doesn't necessarily signal the end of this faux Roman Empire, though. By Kimberly Pierceall. SENT: 800 words, photos.
WASHINGTON — The IRS is cutting taxpayer services to historically low levels just as President Barack Obama's health law will make filing a federal tax return more complicated for millions of families. Got a question for IRS? Good luck reaching someone by phone. By Stephen Ohlemacher. SENT: 760 words, photos.
— OBAMA-METHANE — The Obama administration lays out designs to issue the first regulations to cut down on methane emissions from new natural gas wells, aiming to curb the discharge of a potent greenhouse gas by roughly half. SENT: 680 words.
— OBESITY DEVICE-FDA — Federal regulators approve an appetite-suppressing implant designed to treat obesity by zapping nerves that connect the stomach and the brain. SENT: 300 words.
— CALIFORNIA PESTICIDE REGULATION — Farmers in California now must abide by the nation's strictest rules for a widely used pesticide under heightened regulations designed to protect farmworkers and people who live and work near the fields where it is used. SENT: 530 words, photo.
— NETHERLANDS-QATAR-SHELL — Shell, Europe's largest oil producer, and Qatar Petroleum say they are scrapping a planned petrochemicals project in the Gulf nation amid falling energy prices. SENT: 160 words.
— ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER-SETTLEMENT — Attorneys say an investment firm has settled a federal lawsuit accusing it of bilking investors out of $39 million in a failed effort to build an artificial sweetener plant in Missouri. SENT: 140 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.
— BRITAIN-BURBERRY — Luxury goods maker Burberry is reporting falling sales in Asia because pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong disrupted trade during China's crucial "Golden Week" national holiday. SENT: 150 words.
— MALAYSIA-BANK MERGER — Three Malaysian lenders say that a proposed merger that would have created the country's biggest bank has collapsed after they failed to agree on terms amid a deteriorating economic outlook. SENT: 200 words.
— CONSERVATION PROJECTS — Projects designed to cut down on fertilizer runoff, expand bird nesting areas and restore native grasslands are among those selected for funding under a new initiative that encourages conservation partnerships between government and private organizations. SENT: 600 words, photo.
— BEHIND THE WHEEL-CHEVROLET COLORADO — In a year where attention is focused on big, full-size pickup trucks, the revamped-for-2015 Chevrolet Colorado arrives as a fine, mid-size pickup that's arguably the first major redesign in the smaller truck segment in a decade. SENT: 940 words, photo, box.
— GENERAL MOTORS-OUTLOOK — General Motors says it expects pretax earnings and profit margins to increase this year over last, after adjusting last year for recall costs. SENT: 340 words.
TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is once again challenging major cable and telephone companies by encouraging the Federal Communications Commission to pre-empt state laws that stifle competition for high-speed Internet service. Obama is announcing that his administration will provide technical and financial assistance to towns and cities that want to improve Internet service for their residents. By Jim Kuhnhenn. SENT: 680 words, photo.
DIGITAL LIFE-REVIEW-APPLE'S SMART HOME
LAS VEGAS — Many of the smart-home gadgets unveiled at CES were designed to integrate with Apple's HomeKit technology. So what exactly is HomeKit and why do I need it? By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 780 words, photo.
SAN FRANCISCO — A revised settlement is reached in a class-action lawsuit alleging Apple and Google conspired with other Silicon Valley companies to block more than 60,000 high-tech employees from getting better job offers. SENT: 140 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.
— FACEBOOK-TOWN HALL — Mark Zuckerberg holds employee town hall meeting from Bogota, Columbia. By Barbara Ortutay. UPCOMING: 400 words following 4 p.m. meeting, photo.
— LEAK INVESTIGATIONS — The Justice Department issueS new guidelines for obtaining records from the news media during leak investigations. SENT: 400 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.
— SKOREA-INDIA-SAMSUNG PHONE — Samsung Electronics Co. is selling a $90 smartphone in India that runs on the company's Tizen software, its first major break from Google's Android operating system in the mobile phone market. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 420 words.
MOSCOW — Russian government officials appeal for calm after predicting budget cuts and a further surge in inflation as the country faces its worst economic downturn in 15 years. By James Ellingworth and Vladimir Isachenkov. SENT: 760 words, photos.
— RUSSIA-GAS-EUROPE — Russia's state natural gas company wants its exports to Europe to bypass Ukraine entirely and go via a proposed new pipeline to Turkey. SENT: 140 words.
— BRAZIL-PETROBAS — Another former director of Brazil's state-run oil company is taken into custody as part of an investigation into an alleged massive corruption scheme at Petrobras, federal prosecutors say. SENT: 700 words, photo.
— GREECE-SPAIN — Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy defendS Greece's tough bailout program, ahead of a general election here that could see his fellow conservatives lose power to leftwing challengers. SENT: 370 words, photos.
— FRANCE-ITALY-DEBT — The European Union is giving member states struggling with debt more leeway in their spending plans despite strict EU rules on deficits and debt. SENT: 300 words, photo.
— PHILIPPINES-POVERTY — The World Bank says the Philippines can eliminate poverty within a generation as sustained economic growth in recent years has translated into more jobs and higher incomes. SENT: 370 words.
ON THE MONEY-FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS
The government is taking steps aimed at lowering the size of the down payment on some home loans, as well as the monthly costs for borrowers who pay private mortgage insurance. By Alex Veiga. UPCOMING: 700 words by 4 p.m.
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The stock market gets a jolt from a disappointing retail sales report. Here's a look at the stock performance of various retailers over the last year. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.
Happy holidays for GameStop
The video game retailer GameStop retailer reports that sales of new software rose 5.8 percent over the holidays. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.