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Business News at 1:50 p.m.

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All times EDT.

TOP STORIES:

TRUCK TIRE DANGER

Many tractor-trailers are driven on tires built to handle speeds no greater than 75 mph but 14 states, mainly west of the Mississippi River, now have speed limits of 75, 80, even 85 mph in part of Texas. The disconnect between highway speed limits and safety standards was discovered by The Associated Press in a government document detailing an investigation into truck tire failures. By Tom Krisher. SENT: 1,300 words, photos, video.

With:

TRUCK TIRE DANGER-TOP SPEEDS A look at the top speed limits in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. SENT: 320 words.

BULL KEEPS GOING

NEW YORK The bull market slowed to a trot but didn't stop this winter. Stocks have been buffeted since the start of the year by plunging oil prices, a surging dollar and worries about the timing of a rate hike, but none of that has been enough to stop the market from rising for a ninth straight quarter from January through March only the fourth time it's done that since World War II. By Steve Rothwell. UPCOMING: 850 words by 4:45 p.m., photos.

With:

FINANCIAL MARKETS U.S. stocks are retreating from a big advance the previous day as oil prices fall. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 600 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS-BRIGHT HOUSE

NEW YORK In the latest big pay-TV company deal, Charter is buying Bright House Networks for $10.4 billion. The companies say the deal will create the second-largest U.S. cable operator. By Tali Arbel and Michelle Chapman. SENT: 570 words, photo.

CHEAP COMPUTERS

NEW YORK Google is unveiling its cheapest Chromebook laptops yet, two versions priced at $149 aimed at undercutting Microsoft's Windows franchise and gaining an even stronger hold in school and overseas markets. Their arrival coincides with Microsoft's rollout of a lower-priced Surface tablet in a bid to expand its market share. By Anick Jesdanun and Michael Liedtke. SENT: 800 words, photo.

STREAMING MUSIC-WHO'S WHO

NEW YORK Spotify, Tidal, Pandora. We break down what's going on with the music streaming business and what consumers need to know about all these new services. By Anick Jesdanun. Upcoming, 750 words by 4 p.m.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

HOME PRICES

WASHINGTON U.S. home prices rise at a steady pace in January, pushing prices up at a faster pace than wages and causing affordability problems in the housing market. By Josh Boak. SENT: 530 words, photo.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

WASHINGTON An improving job market drives U.S. consumer confidence higher this month after a dip in February, a promising sign for the economy as it heads into spring. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 320 words, photo.

EARNINGS:

CHINA-EARNS-HUAWEI Huawei Technologies Ltd., one of the world's biggest makers of telecommunications equipment, says its 2014 profit rose 33 percent, helped by strong sales of smartphones. SENT: 180 words.

INDUSTRY:

FAST FOOD-LABOR

NEW YORK Fast-food labor organizers are expanding the scope of their campaign for $15 an hour and unionization, this time with a day of actions including college campuses. By Candice Choi. SENT: 670 words, photo.

With:

OBAMA-UNIONS President Barack Obama vetoes a congressional measure blocking the National Labor Relations Board from streamlining the process for union elections. SENT: 430 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

FRANCE-PLANE CRASH

PARIS German airline Lufthansa says the co-pilot of the passenger plane that crashed in the French Alps last week informed his flight school in 2009 that he had had a "serious depressive episode." By Geir Moulson and Jamey Keaten. SENT: 220 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

BUILDING COLLAPSE-STEALING GAS

NEW YORK While officials caution that they aren't certain of the cause of last week's blast in New York's East Village, it is highlighting a long-known problem with potentially deadly consequences: untrained schemers rigging up pipes to save money by siphoning natural gas. By Colleen Long and Jennifer Peltz. SENT: 800 words, photos.

TENNESSEE WHISKEY WAR

TRIMBLE, Tenn. Small distillers say a stiff law dictating what's qualifies as Tennessee whiskey is stifling their business and a town's boozy revival. By Erik Schelzig. SENT: 750 words, photos.

KRAFT DIETICIANS A program to put a dietitian group's "Kids Eat Right" logo on Kraft Singles is ending because "misperceptions are overshadowing the campaign," Kraft says. By Candice Choi. SENT: 470 words, photo.

MINNTAC LAYOFFS U.S. Steel Corp. says it plans to idle part of its Minntac plant at Minnesota's biggest iron mine, resulting in about 680 layoffs. SENT: 570 words.

HARMAN-BANG & OLUFSEN-ACQUISITION The audio and electronic systems company Harman International Industries Inc. will buy Bang & Olufsen Automotive for about $157.3 million. SENT: 250 words.

NETHERLANDS-PHILIPS Electronics giant Philips says it is selling a majority stake in its LED components and automotive lighting division to a consortium led by investment fund GO Scale Capital in a deal worth up to $2.9 billion. SENT: 140 words.

TOWERBROOK-JJILL-ACQUISITION Woman's clothing retailer J.Jill says it is being acquired by investment management firm TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. SENT: 140 words.

EUROPE-MILK Dairy farmers protest the lifting of European Union milk quotas, fearing that the move will flood the market with cheap surplus milk. SENT: 600 words, photos.

WORLD TRADE CENTER LEASES A financial services company and a technology firm have signed five-year leases at New York City's One World Trade Center. SENT: 140 words.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

IBM-INTERNET OF THINGS IBM is investing $3 billion to build an "Internet of Things" division aimed at harnessing the massive trove of data collected by smartphones, tablets, connected vehicles and appliances and using it to help companies better manage their businesses. SENT: 350 words.

INTERNET GAMBLING Morgan Stanley has cut its estimate of the potential U.S. Internet gambling market by nearly half. SENT: 140 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

3D PRINTED HAND 3D print technology will provide a cheap, lightweight 'robohand' to 7-year-old California girl. By John Rogers. SENT: 580 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated after Faith Lennox receives her new hand about 10 a.m., photos.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY-NEWSPAPERS Warren Buffett's company adds two small Virginia newspapers to its collection of more than two dozen small and medium-sized newspapers. SENT: 370 words.

CHINA-INTERNET ATTACKS Chinese authorities have taken over computers both inside and outside the country to launch cyberattacks against the website of an anti-online censorship group and a U.S.-based web resource that hosts some of the group's data, according to an analysis released by the group. SENT: 340 words.

INTERNATIONAL:

JAPAN-CHINA-ASIAN BANK

TOKYO Japan is not planning to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, its government spokesman says, while Taiwan announces it would apply for membership, joining dozens of countries in signing up to an initiative opposed by Washington. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 530 words, photo.

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NORWAY-ASIAN BANK Norway says it intends to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a prospective founding member to promote closer ties to the Asia-Pacific region, a move that could help the country's frozen relations with China thaw. SENT: 430 words.

And:

CHINA-DEPOSIT INSURANCE China announces plans to offer deposit insurance in May for the first time as part of steps to liberalize the state-owned banking industry. SENT: 210 words.

EUROPE-ECONOMY

LONDON Official figures raise hopes that the current bout of deflation across the 19-country eurozone could be over much sooner than anticipated while unemployment has fallen to a near three-year low. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 710 words.

With:

BRITAIN-ECONOMY Britain's national statistics agency says the economy grew faster than previously thought last year. SENT: 140 words.

UNITED STATES-SYRIA The U.S. Treasury Department is imposing new sanctions on a Syrian bank official and 3 companies for helping fund the war campaign the Syrian people. SENT: 140 words.

GREECE-BAILOUT Talks between Greece and its creditors over budget reforms the country is proposing to unlock remaining bailout funds wrap up for now in Brussels. SENT: 510 words, photos.

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CENTERPIECE

S&P 500: 1Q Winners & Losers

Plans to merge with ketchup maker H.J. Heinz helped pushed shares of Kraft Foods to be one of the top performers in the S&P 500 in the first quarter, while a struggling SanDisk trailed the pack. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.

COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

Movado jumps on strong 4Q

Movado shares rise after the luxury watch maker reported a stronger-than-expected fourth quarter profit. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.