Business News at 1:40 p.m.

Business News at 1:40 p.m.

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All times EST.

TOP STORIES:

NASDAQ NEARS PEAK

NEW YORK The stock index that symbolized all the promise and excess of the dot-com boom is on the cusp of passing its record high from those go-go years. The Nasdaq composite, which epitomized the unrestrained investor optimism of the new millennium, has slowly and steadily ridden the current six-year bull market higher and is close to passing its peak of 5,048.62 from March 2000. By Steve Rothwell. SENT: 1,020 words, photos, timline, glance.

COSTCO-CREDIT CARD-Q&A

NEW YORK What does Costco's deal with Visa to take over its credit card business from American Express mean for Costco shoppers? An explainer in Q-and-A format. By Ken Sweet and Candice Choi. UPCOMING: 450 words by 4 p.m. Incorporates COSTCO-CREDIT CARD.

CONSTRUCTION COMEBACK

ORLANDO, Fla. With construction among the fastest-growing job sectors in the country, some of the millions who left the field during the economic downturn are returning and finding a changed business more technology, different skills in demand and more high-rise condos instead of sprawling subdivisions. By Mike Schneider. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

IKEA-SMART FURNITURE Lost that charger again for your cellphone or tablet? Swedish retailer IKEA might just have the answer furniture with built-in charging spots, including in bedside tables, lamps and desks. SENT: 150 words.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

CONSUMER SPENDING

WASHINGTON U.S. consumers spend less for a second consecutive month in January, but the weakness came from a big decline in gas prices. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 510 words, photo.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING

WASHINGTON U.S. construction spending falls in January, reflecting weakness in spending on office buildings and other nonresidential projects and in government activity. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 270 words, photo.

ECONOMY-MANUFACTURING

WASHINGTON U.S. factories expand last month at the weakest pace in a year, with orders, hiring and production all growing more slowly. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 430 words, photo.

FINANCIAL MARKETS

NEW YORK The U.S. stock market headed higher on Monday as deals and economic news gave stocks a lift. By Matthew Craft. SENT: 500 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

FED-PHILADELPHIA The head of the University of Delaware is selected to be the new president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. SENT: 240 words, photo.

INDUSTRY:

BUFFET-BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY

OMAHA, Neb. Billionaire Warren Buffett didn't end the speculation about his eventual successor, but he reiterated that Berkshire Hathaway's board has a plan in place. Buffett addressed a variety of topics on CNBC after releasing his annual letter to Berkshire shareholders over the weekend. By Josh Funk. SENT: 560 words, photos.

FDA-NEW LEADERSHIP

WASHINGTON One of the nation's leading medical researchers joins the Food and Drug Administration, taking on the agency's No. 2 leadership job at a critical juncture for prescription drugs, medical devices and tobacco products. By Matthew Perrone and Michael Felberbaum. SENT: 850 words.

DETROIT-MILES FROM WORK

DETROIT For many city residents with limited skills and education, Detroit is an employment desert, having lost tens of thousands of blue-collar jobs in manufacturing cutbacks and service jobs as the population dwindled. What's available to those without cars often are low-paying retail or sales positions far outside the city. By Corey Williams. SENT: 830 words, photos, video.

GENEVA AUTO SHOW-CAR OF THE YEAR The large family car Volkswagen Passat is voted car of the year by European automotive editors at the Geneva International Motor Show. SENT: 140 words, photos.

FORBES BILLIONAIRES Forbes says that Bill Gates's net worth rose to $79.2 billion in 2015 from $76 billion last year. That put him at the top of the magazine's list of the world's billionaires for the second consecutive year. SENT: 370 words, photo, Top 10 list.

MORGAN STANLEY-NY LAWSUIT Morgan Stanley, which agreed to a $2.6 billion settlement with the federal government last week, says it expects to be sued by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over subprime mortgage bonds. SENT: 280 words.

GSK-NOVARTIS Britain's GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Switzerland's Novartis AG complete a three-part deal that will offer the British company's shareholders a 4 billion pound ($6.17 billion) windfall. SENT: 140 words.

CARDINAL HEALTH-JOHNSON & JOHNSON Cardinal Health is offering to buy a unit of Johnson & Johnson that makes heart devices for approximately $1.94 billion. SENT: 260 words.

LUMBER LIQUIDATORS Lumber Liquidators is refuting a "60 Minutes" report that raised health concerns about some of its laminate flooring products and pushed its stock price to its lowest level in more than two years. SENT: 140 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

SCANDINAVIA-AIRLINE STRIKES Scandinavian Airlines says some 50 flights have been canceled to and from Denmark after members of a Danish cabin crew union walked out to protest the carrier's plan to transfer employees to a domestic airline acquired by SAS. SENT: 140 words.

MOROCCO-WESTERN SAHARA-OIL Dallas-based Kosmos Energy says its exploration well off the coast of the disputed Western Sahara territory has not yielded a commercial find and will be plugged, though the search would continue. SENT: 310 words.

NORFOLK SOUTHERN-NEW CEO Norfolk Southern has named company President James Squires as its next CEO. SENT: 150 words.

GERMANY-RWE-RUSSIA German energy company RWE says it has completed the 5.1 billion euro ($5.7 billion) sale of its oil and gas exploration and production division to a Russian-linked investment company. SENT: 130 words.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

FROM THE WIRELESS SHOW:

DIGITAL LIFE-REVIEW-SAMSUNG PHONE

NEW YORK Samsung ramped up its camera technology in last fall's Galaxy Note 4, and the camera is even better in the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. More importantly, the new phones have a more stylish design. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 700 words, photos.

Also:

WIRELESS SHOW-GADGET ROUNDUP A chunky text look at phones and gadgets announced at the Mobile World Congress. By Anick Jesdanun. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos.

WIRELESS SHOW-GOOGLE

BARCELONA, Spain Google will soon be offering cellular network plans in a bid to bridge the gap between the realms of Internet services and mobile device software it dominates. By Joseph Wilson. SENT: 300 words, photos.

And:

WIRELESS SHOW-FACEBOOK

BARCELONA, SPAIN Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg addresses the Mobile World Congress. He is expected to speak on Internet.org, his effort to bring the Internet to more people worldwide. By Joe Wilson. UPCOMING: 500 words, photo.

HP'S BIG ACQUISITION

SAN FRANCISCO Hewlett-Packard is paying nearly $3 billion for Aruba Networks, which makes Wi-Fi networking software for businesses. The deal marks HP's biggest deal in years, and is aimed at helping HP better compete in the mobile business space. By Brandon Bailey. SENT: 480 words, photo. By Brandon Bailey. SENT: 480 words, photo.

GOOGLE MAPS-AMAZON ZIP LINE For its next technological trick, Google will show you what it's like to zip through trees in Brazil's Amazon jungle. SENT: 420 words, photos.

GOOGLE-MISSISSIPPI ATTORNEY GENERAL The Mississippi attorney general's attempt to investigate Google is on hold for at least four more months. SENT: 500 words.

INTERNATIONAL:

EUROPE-ECONOMY

LONDON The 19-country eurozone got a double dose of mildly positive economic news that will likely be met with relief by the European Central Bank's policymakers as they prepare to hold their latest meeting. Official figures showed that the fall in consumer prices eased notably in February and that unemployment fell in January to 11.2 percent, its lowest level in nearly three years. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 650 words, photo.

FLIGHT 370 ANNIVERSARY-MALAYSIA TOURISM

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Two airplane catastrophes put Malaysia on the map in a bad way in 2014. But they didn't hurt the country's tourism, and the higher visibility may even have helped: visitor numbers had their strongest growth in years. By Eileen Ng. SENT: 950 words, photos.

HONG KONG-PROTEST

HONG KONG Hong Kong police say they arrested more than three dozen people involved in scuffles that broke out at a weekend protest against the growing influx of mainland Chinese shoppers. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 730 words, photos.

GREECE-BAILOUT Eurozone nations are negotiating a third bailout for financially strapped Greece that would give the country as much as 50 billion euros ($56 billion), Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos says. SENT: 470 words, photos.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-GAS Russia and Ukraine's energy ministers are holding emergency talks in Brussels as Russian gas giant Gazprom threatens to cut off deliveries to Ukraine for lack of payment. SENT: 330 words, photos.

A sampling of Money & Markets modules is below. The full digest for AP's Money & Markets service can be found at markets.ap.org. 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.

CENTERPIECE

Avoiding Apple

Many mutual-fund managers are shying away from Apple, and it's hurt them. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.

COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

Icahn settles with Gannett

Carl Icahn ends his proxy fight with Gannett, the USA Today publisher ahead of its planned split of its print and broadcast divisions. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.