Business News at 1:50 p.m.

Business News at 1:50 p.m.

The supervisor is Skip Wollenberg (800-845-8450, ext. 1680). For photos, ext. 1900. For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP content can be obtained from For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact or call 877-836-9477.

If you have questions about transmission of financial market listings, please call 800-3AP-STOX.

A selection of top photos can be found at:

All times EST.



HAVANA In a country with little Internet access, Cuban youth have secretly constructed an illegal network that links more than 9,000 computers across Havana and mimics some of the web's most important functions, including game playing, chatting, and sharing movies. By Michael Weissenstein. SENT: 1,300 words, photos.


BRUSSELS The stunning election in Greece of a radical anti-austerity party raises new uncertainties for the eurozone, but the initial impression is that a compromise deal over the country's debt can be forged to avert a chaotic exit from the euro. By Raf Casert and Pan Pylas. SENT: 860 words, photos, fact box.


FINANCIAL MARKETS U.S. stock indexes are drifting between small gains and losses at midday, as investors weigh the latest batch of corporate earnings and mergers, and the implications of an election victory in Greece by a party opposed to that country's bailout plan. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 610 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.


NEW YORK Airline travelers are going nowhere fast because of the blizzard bearing down on the Northeast, and Tuesday doesn't look much better. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated, photos.


WINTER WEATHER-STOCK EXCHANGE The major stock exchanges expect to remain open for trading Tuesday even as a blizzard barrels down on New York City. SENT: 120 words.


NEW YORK As Americans continue turning away from milk, an industry group is pushing back at its critics with a social media campaign trumpeting its benefits. By Candice Choi. SENT: 700 words, photo.


NEW YORK An online television service from Dish Network comes across as a good stopgap for those who don't already pay for cable or satellite but it's not compelling enough for most people to cut the cord. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 820 words, photos.



WASHINGTON The Federal Reserve ended 2014 with a pledge to be "patient" in raising interest rates from record lows. The way things are going, its patience may endure for quite some time. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 870 words, photo.


LONDON Standard & Poor's rating agency downgrades Russia's credit grade by one notch to junk status, citing a weakened economic outlook. SENT: 100 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

BUSINESS SURVEY Rising sales help boost hiring at U.S. businesses in the last three months of 2014, and companies are optimistic that continued improvement in business conditions will bring increased employment and wages in the current quarter, a new survey shows. SENT: 550 words, photo.



RICHMOND, Va. Rock-Tenn and MeadWestvaco will join forces to create a $16 billion global packaging company, driving down its own costs and possibly gaining the scale to better dictate prices. By Michael Felberbaum. SENT: 450 words, photo.


WILMINGTON, Del. A judge begins a hearing to decide whether the bankruptcy case of troubled casino giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. will play out in Delaware, the venue preferred by major creditors, or Illinois, where the company's operating division filed a Chapter 11 petition earlier this month. By Randall Chase. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words by 7 p.m.


GLENDALE, Ariz. The entire world will be watching Glendale as it hosts the Super Bowl and the legions of fans who are shelling out big bucks to see the big game. What may be not visible amid all the hoopla is a sobering reality about the Super Bowl host city: Glendale is suffering deep financial issues over its troubled effort to become a sports destination. By Josh Hoffner and Jacques Billeaud. SENT: 920 words, photo.

MATTEL-CEO RESIGNATION Toy maker Mattel says Bryan Stockton has resigned after about three years of leading the struggling maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars. SENT: 340 words, photo.

AXIS CAPITAL-PARTNERRE Reinsurers Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. and PartnerRe are combining in an $11 billion deal. SENT: 250 words.

POST HOLDINGS-ACQUISITION Post Holdings will spend $1.15 billion to bulk up its presence in the market for bagged and hot cereals by buying the privately held MOM Brands Co., maker of Malt-O-Meal cereals. SENT: 310 words.

GULF OIL SPILL It will be oil giant BP's turn to call witnesses as it makes its case for a civil penalty lower than the $13.7 billion the federal government is seeking for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. SENT: 210 words. UPCOMING: 600 words by 5 p.m.

MEDICARE PAYMENT OVERHAUL The Obama administration Monday announced a plan to shift Medicare payments it makes to hospitals and doctors so they reward quality over volume. Officials said they hoped the move would be a catalyst for the entire health-care system. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar. SENT: 480 words.

TOKYO 2020-SPONSOR Tokyo Olympic organizers have signed up Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation as the first domestic sponsor of the 2020 Games. SENT: 140 words, photos.



NEW YORK Microsoft Corp. reports quarterly financial results after the market closes. UPCOMING: 130 words after release, 400 words by 6 p.m.

EARNS-NORFOLK SOUTHERN Norfolk Southern Corp. reports its profit was little changed in the fourth quarter from a year ago because the railroad's coal revenue fell 15 percent on weak demand from utilities and export markets. SENT: 170 words.


WIKILEAKS-GOOGLE WikiLeaks criticizes Google for failing to swiftly inform the secrets-spilling group about U.S. search warrants issued seeking emails and other personal information from three of its staff. SENT: 350 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

COMMERCIAL SPACE-CREW NASA expects to save millions of dollars in launch costs, once its commercial crew program starts flying in a couple of years. SENT: 140 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

IBM JOB CUTS IBM is pooh-poohing a published report that the giant technology company is planning a big reorganization and massive job cuts affecting more than 100,000 people. SENT: 140 words.

CHINA-MOTOROLA Motorola unveils three smartphone models for its return to China following a two-year absence from the most populous mobile phone market. SENT: 500 words.

AT&T-NEXTEL MEXICO AT&T is buying Nextel Mexico from NII Holdings for about $1.88 billion, minus the company's debt. SENT: 260 words.

WHITE HOUSE-LOCKDOWN The U.S. Secret Service says a small drone crashed overnight at the White House complex while the president was in India. An investigation is underway to determine its origin and identify suspects and their motive. SENT: 550 words, photos, audio, video.

TURKEY-INTERNET CENSORSHIP Turkey's state-run news agency says a court has ordered authorities to block access in the country to Facebook pages that "insult" the Prophet Muhammad, in the latest move to censor the Internet. SENT: 140 words.



HONG KONG Hackers deface the website of Malaysia Airlines and threaten to dump stolen information online after posting a glimpse of customer data obtained in the attack. The airline's site was down for at least seven hours. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 600 words, photos.


MALAYSIA-AIRASIA Southeast Asia's biggest budget carrier AirAsia scraps fuel surcharges on tickets following the decline in global oil prices. AirAsia says the move also applies to flights under its long-haul arm AirAsia X. SENT: 210 words.


DUBLIN Aer Lingus announces that British Airways parent IAG has made an improved takeover offer of 2.55 euros ($2.85) per share, and the board of the Irish airline says it is considering the proposal. The offer the third by IAG in the past month values Aer Lingus at more than 1.3 billion euros ($1.45 billion). By Shawn Pogatchnik. SENT: 430 words, photo.

THAILAND-THAI AIRWAYS Thailand's beleaguered national airline will be saved from bankruptcy under a rehabilitation plan being worked out between the airline and government. SENT: 240 words.



KABUL, Afghanistan Afghanistan's fragile economy has lost around a third of its value in the past year as international aid organizations that poured in cash for more than a decade have drastically scaled back after Western forces effectively ended their 13-year war against the Taliban. By Rahim Faiez and Lynne O'Donnell. SENT: 980 words, photos.


ATHENS, Greece Greece's left-wing Syriza party prepares to launch coalition talks, hours after a landmark general election victory fought on a pledge to rewrite the country's massive bailout deal with the eurozone. SENT: 690 words, photos.


EUROPE-ANTI-AUSTERITY PARTIES The election result in Greece reflects a growing European backlash against austerity policies. Here are some of the groups to watch as they campaign for a change of course. SENT: 1,000 words, photo.

EUROPE-ECONOMY German business optimism rises for the third straight month in January, giving a positive signal from Europe's biggest economy as executives foresee export gains from the weaker euro. SENT: 220 words.

FRANCE-ECONOMY France's Parliament starts debating a bill promoted by the Socialist government aimed at freeing up the country's labor rules and regulations, in order to boost hiring. SENT: 150 words.

JAPAN-TRADE Japan's trade deficit balloons to a record 12.8 trillion yen ($109 billion) last year as a weakening yen pushed the cost of imports higher despite a moderate recovery in exports. SENT: 440 words. First sent late Sunday night.

UKRAINE Russia's foreign minister strikes a defiant note after Western leaders threaten to further punish Moscow for escalated fighting in eastern Ukraine over the weekend. SENT: 700 words, photos.

A sampling of Money & Markets modules is below. The full digest for AP's Money & Markets service can be found at For questions about Money & Markets content, please contact Trevor Delaney (800-845-8450, ext. 1807). For technical support: Todd Balog (816-654-1096). After 6 p.m., contact the AP Business News desk (800-845-8450, ext. 1680) for content questions; 1-800-3AP-STOX for technical support and 212-621-1905 for graphics help.


Strong dollar

A look at how the dollar's value has increased over the last year against currencies in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.


Mattel CEO resigns

The chairman and CEO of Mattel resigns after the company discloses that its profit fell 59 percent in the fourth quarter. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.