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 EDT.



WASHINGTON The oil industry is ready to safely tap the oil and gas in the U.S. Arctic, despite the risks and the industry's history of mishaps, says Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press. That oil will be needed soon, Tillerson says, to meet the world's growing demand for energy. By Jonathan Fahey. SENT: 1,180 words, photos.


HAVANA The popular online home-rental service Airbnb will allow American travelers to book lodging in Cuba in the most significant U.S. business expansion on the island since the declaration of detente between the two countries late last year. AP Exclusive By Michael Weissenstein. SENT: 970 words, photos.


SAN FRANCISCO An unorthodox stock split designed to ensure Google CEO Larry Page and fellow co-founder Sergey Brin retain control of the Internet's most profitable company could cost Google more than half a billion dollars. By Michael Liedtke. SENT: 600 words, photo.


NEW YORK If you're struggling with a bad credit score, or lack of one , a new formula will roll out in the next few months aimed at making it easier for you to apply for that Visa or MasterCard. The new type of score will be based on your record of paying cell phone and utility bills on time, even if your credit history is checkered. By Ken Sweet. UPCOMING: 750 words by 5 p.m.


A new industry of patient advocates sometimes called patient navigators has emerged, offering to help guide patients through knotty health care situations. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: 900 words.



WASHINGTON The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits drops significantly last week, a sign of a strong job market despite evidence of tepid economic growth in the opening months of 2015. By Josh Boak. SENT: 350 words, photo.


WASHINGTON Orders to U.S. factories rise in February, breaking a six-month losing streak. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 370 words, photo.


WASHINGTON The U.S. trade deficit plunges in February as exports fall but imports drop even more. The narrower gap could give a slight if temporary boost to U.S. economic growth, which has flagged in recent months. By Josh Boak. SENT: 500 words, photo.


WASHINGTON Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates barely move this week, remaining close to historically low levels as the spring home-buying season gets underway. By Marcy Gordon. SENT: 330 words, photo, glance.


NEW YORK Major U.S. stock indexes move higher in afternoon trading as investors welcome economic news on jobs and factory orders. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 650 words, photo. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.



NEW YORK A pay bump for workers at some McDonald's restaurants isn't likely to ease the pressures the chain is facing over labor issues. Protests are planned for McDonald's stores around the country. By Candice Choi. SENT: 670 words, photo.


CAMDEN, N.J. The Florida developer trying to buy Atlantic City's former Revel casino says he's interested in acquiring other properties in and around the resort town. By Wayne Parry. SENT: 580 words.


BENJINA, Indonesia Officials from three countries are traveling to remote islands in eastern Indonesia to investigate how thousands of foreign fishermen wound up there as slaves and were forced to catch seafood that could eventually end up being exported to the United States and elsewhere. By Robin McDowell and Margie Mason. SENT: 600 words, photos.

TARGET-CANADA EXIT Target says it will close the last of its 133 Canadian stores by April 12, a little more than two years after the U.S. retailer crossed the border on its first international expansion. SENT: 250 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

FRANCE-PLANE CRASH The co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 appears to have researched suicide methods and cockpit door security in the days before he crashed the plane into the French Alps, killing everyone aboard, German prosecutors say. SENT: 730 words, photos.

LUMBER LIQUIDATORS-AIR TEST KITS Lumber Liquidators says about 10,000 of its customers have requested in-home air quality test kits, following a TV report that raised concerns over levels of formaldehyde in its Chinese-made laminate flooring. SENT: 320 words.

PFIZER-CHINA VACCINES Pfizer stops selling its Prevnar 7 pneumonia vaccine in China after its import license expired, but the U.S. drugmaker still intends to launch the world's most widely used vaccine, Prevnar 13, in that market. SENT: 300 words.

SIKORSKY-PRESIDENT United Technologies Corp. announces a change in leadership at Sikorsky Aircraft, less than a month after announcing it may spin off the helicopter-making subsidiary. SENT: 330 words.

DUBAI-CANADA-PORT Dubai-based port operator DP World says it has reached a deal to acquire the Fairview container terminal in Canada from Deutsche Bank for 580 million Canadian dollars, or about $457 million. SENT: 220 words.

VIETNAM-SHOE FACTORY STRIKE Workers at a major Vietnamese footwear factory for Nike and Adidas end a weeklong strike after the government agreed to their demands on retirement payouts. SENT: 350 words.

HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS INVESTIGATION A group of 14 attorneys general asks Congress to launch an investigation of the herbal supplements industry and to consider giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stronger oversight of the industry, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced. SENT: 560 words.

AIRPORT WORKERS-STRIKE A few dozen baggage handlers, airplane cleaners and other non-union workers at Philadelphia's airport call a strike to protest what they say are low wages and unfair labor practices. SENT: 160 words, photo.



NEW YORK A revamped Nissan Maxima, a new Chevrolet Spark subcompact, a hybrid version of Toyota's popular RAV4 crossover and other cars making their debut at the New York auto show. By Tom Krisher. SENT: 390 words, photos.


DETROIT Delphi Corp.'s autonomous car completed a 3,400-mile road trip across the U.S. this week in New York. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the car steered itself; only in very tricky situations, like a construction zone, did drivers take control. Now engineers will take the reams of data from the trip and use it to further advance autonomous technology. UPCOMING: 400 words by 3 p.m., photos.



FRANKFURT, Germany Records of the March 5 European Central Bank meeting show top officials expressing determination to stick with the full 1.1 trillion euros ($1.2 trillion) of their planned stimulus even though the 19-country eurozone economy shows signs of finally picking up. By David McHugh. SENT: 450 words, photo.

GREECE-BAILOUT Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says his government will bolster public health care in Greece with the hiring of 4,500 specialized staff and the abolition of a compulsory 5 euro ($5.4) fee for treatment at public hospitals. SENT:450 words, photos.



The first quarter was a winning one for just about all mutual-fund investors, as the vast majority of funds delivered yet another quarter of gains. By Stan Choe. SENT: 870 words.

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.


Mood on the Street

The number of Buy ratings on S&P 500 companies fell in the first quarter and the number of Sell ratings shot up 18 percent, compared with the fourth quarter. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.


CarMax's 4Q profit surges

CarMax reports that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit jumped sharply on strong sales of used cars. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.