BC-Business News Preview

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Editors:

Among the stories for Thursday from the Associated Press:

TOP STORIES:

YELLEN

WASHINGTON — Janet Yellen says that the U.S. economy has regained ground lost to Great Recession but still needs the Federal Reserve's support because unemployment remains too high at 7.3 percent. Yellen made those comments in testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, which is considering her nomination to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 320 words, 500 words by 11:15 a.m.

EARNS-WAL-MART

NEW YORK — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says that its third-quarter profit rose 2.8 percent, but the world's largest retailer reported a sales shortfall as its low-income shoppers feel squeezed around the globe. By Anne D'Innocenzio. SENT: 680 words, photo.

EUROPE-ECONOMY-VITAL SIGNS

LONDON — The 17-country eurozone has just emerged from recession. Yet already, its recovery is faltering. Figures show that the currency union's economy barely grew last quarter. Record-high unemployment is keeping consumer spending weak, a stronger euro is slowing exports, heavily indebted governments need more support and low inflation is causing concern. At the same time, sharp disparities divide the eurozone's major nations: Germany, for example, is thriving, in part at the expense of Italy and others. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

With:

— EUROPE-ECONOMY — The good news is that the 17-country eurozone economy is still growing. The bad news is it couldn't be growing any slower. SENT: 560 words, photo.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

WASHINGTON —The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits slips 2,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, the fifth straight decline that shows businesses see little need to cut jobs. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 480 words.

TRADE GAP

WASHINGTON —The U.S. trade deficit widens in September as imports increased to the highest level in 10 months while exports slipped. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 620 words.

PRODUCTIVITY

WASHINGTON — U.S. workers increased their productivity from July through September at the same modest pace as the previous three months. Steady gains in productivity could dissuade companies from ramping up hiring. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 340 words, photo.

— MORTGAGE RATES — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose for the second straight week amid some signs of economic strength. Still rates remain near historically low levels. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.35 percent from 4.16 percent last week. That's the highest level since Sept. 19, when it was 4.50 percent. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.35 percent from 3.27 percent. The rates, though, are at their lowest levels in four months. SENT: 130 words. 300 words by 11 a.m.

WALL STREET

NEW YORK — Major market indexes are edging mostly higher on Wall Street in early trading Thursday, but a sales slump at network equipment maker Cisco Systems dragged other technology stocks lower. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

— OIL PRICES —Oil slips to near $93 a barrel ahead of US crude stock data and testimony from incoming Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen. SENT: 490 words. UPCOMING: 450 words by 3:30 p.m.

INDUSTRY:

BOEING MACHINISTS

SEATTLE — Despite warnings that production of Boeing's next generation 777 plane could go to another state, machinists in the Northwest reject a contract proposal that would have exchanged concessions for decades of secure jobs. In response, the Boeing Co. said it would begin a bid process to find a home for its 777X production line. By Mike Baker. SENT: 740 words, photos, audio, video.

TOURISTS NEXT DOOR

KAILUA, Hawaii — People from across the world are drawn to the coastal town of Kailua. Its white sand beaches are among the nation's best. Some recommend the Honolulu suburb for its laid-back vibe. And President Barack Obama vacations there with his family each Christmas. But now, the neighborhood board is asking a state tourism agency to stop encouraging visitors to stay overnight in their town. By Audrey McAvoy. SENT: 800 photo, video.

SMALLBIZ-PULSE

NEW YORK — Many small business owners are saying they're ready to hire, according to a survey by Bank of America. Thirty-one percent of the participants in the survey said they plan to hire during the next year. They include many owners who are optimistic about prospects for their businesses over the next 12 months — more than half said they want to hire workers to handle an expected increase in sales. By Joyce M. Rosenberg. SENT: 460 words.

— LOCKHEED MARTIN-JOBS — Lockheed Martin is cutting 4,000 jobs, about 3.5 percent of its workforce, as the defense contractor continues to look for ways to lower costs amid reduced government spending. SENT: 290 words.

— CHINA-VOLKSWAGEN-RECALL — China's government announces the second recall of Volkswagen vehicles this year. Volkswagen AG will recall 640,309 cars and minivans to replace oil in their transmissions that might cause an electrical problem. SENT: 260 words.

— ART AUCTIONS — A prized 1963 Andy Warhol painting that captures the immediate aftermath of a car crash has sold for $105 million at a New York auction, shattering the record for the famed pop artist amid a spending frenzy in the art world. SENT: 430 words.

EARNINGS:

FRANCE-EARNS-EADS

PARIS — Airbus parent company EADS says strong demand for its commercial aircraft helped its third-quarter profits increase by a hefty 45 percent. But the European jet maker warns that its free cash flow would be negative 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) this year because of its investment program. By Greg Keller. SENT: 480 words.

—EARNS-VIACOM — Viacom's fourth-quarter net income rose 24 percent, helped by the success of the film "World War Z" and greater advertising revenue. SENT: 240 words, photo.

— BRITAIN-EARNS-BURBERRY — Luxury goods maker Burberry saw its six-month revenue exceed 1billion pounds ($1.5 billion) for the first time as it reaps the benefits its digital marketing strategy. SENT: 140 words.

ASHINGTON:

OBAMA

WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama is taking his economic message to Ohio, using a Cleveland steel plant as the setting to promote his energy efficiency, business attraction and auto industry policies. By Jim Kuhnhenn. SENT: 150 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated from Obama remarks, scheduled for 3:40 p.m.

HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL-PROBLEMS

WASHINGTON — Add simmering Democratic discontent to the problems plaguing "Obamacare," now that first-month enrollment figures are out. The White House is rushing to come up with an unspecified fix as early as this week to counter the millions of health coverage cancellations going to consumers, at the same time it promises improvements in a federal website so balky that enrollments totaled fewer than 27,000 in 36 states combined. By David Espo. SENT: 830 words, photo.

With: — HEALTH CARE-STATES — A state-by-state glance at health insurance enrollment through the ACA.

INTERNATIONAL:

TYPHOON-UNCHARITABLE CHINA

BEIJING — The outpouring of international aid to the Philippines makes China's contribution for typhoon relief look like a trickle: Several countries and even Swedish furniture chain Ikea have done more than the world's second-largest economy. That won't help Beijing's campaign to win over neighbors with its soft power. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 1,140 words, photos.

SAUDI-MIGRANT CRACKDOWN

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Garbage is piling up on streets, grocery stores have shut their doors and almost half of Saudi Arabia's small construction firms have stopped working. The mess is because foreign workers on which many businesses rely are fleeing, have gone into hiding or are under arrest amid a crackdown launched Nov. 4 targeting the kingdom's 9 million migrant laborers. By Abdullah Al-Shihri and Aya Batrawy. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.

JAPAN-WIKILEAKS-TRADE

TOKYO — A document from secret U.S.-led trade talks published by WikiLeaks is revealing rifts that add to doubts over whether the dozen nations involved will manage to finalize a deal by the end of the year as planned. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 660 words.

JAPAN-CHOCOLATE FACTORY

TAKASAKI, Japan — The opening of a Swiss-owned chocolate factory northwest of Tokyo is a small but sweet milestone in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's crusade to lure foreign investment to Japan after decades of keeping local industries protected from outside competition. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 740 words, photos.

BOSNIA-TRAINS TO NOWHERE

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — They were seen as a shining example of Bosnia's rebirth from war: a fleet of high-speed trains built-to-order in the West. Eight years later, they haven't made a single ride. The reason: They're just too fast for Bosnia's 60-year-old rails. By Aida Cerkez. SENT: 560 words, photos.

— BANGLADESH-GARMENT WAGES — More than 200 Bangladesh garment factories reopen after the country's prime minister stepped in to resolve clashes over minimum wages. The end of the 4-day shutdown came after factory owners met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and agreed to a 77 percent increase in the minimum wage for new unskilled garment workers to 5,300 takas ($66) a month. SENT: 360 words.

— IRELAND-FINANCIAL CRISIS — Ireland will exit its international bailout agreement next month without the safety net of a precautionary credit line, a sign that the Irish are confident they won't suffer a beating in the bond markets. By Shawn Pogatchnik. SENT: 680 words.

— GREECE-FINANCIAL CRISIS — Greece's unemployment rate stands at 27.3 percent in August, unchanged from the previous month. The government described the stabilization as the "first sign of recovery" for the crisis-hit country. SENT: 340 words, photos.

— EUROPE-FINANCIAL CRISIS — European finance officials face a thorny debate over how to clean up busted banks as time gets shorter to reach a deal. SENT: 130 words.

— FRANCE-ECONOMY — The French economy is shrinking again, statistics show, underscoring that it is still in trouble despite a rebound last quarter. SENT: 250 words.

— GERMANY-ECONOMY — German economic growth slows in the third quarter as exports weighed on the economy. SENT: 140 words.

— INDIA-ECONOMY — India's stubbornly high inflation rate rises in October to 7 percent, the highest level in eight months despite efforts by the central bank to rein in prices by hiking interest rates. By Kay Johnson. SENT: 310 words.

— PHILIPPINES-TYPHOON-ELECTRICITY — Philippine Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla says it may take six weeks before the first typhoon-hit towns get their electric power back. SENT: 110 words.

— JAPAN-ECONOMY — Japan's economy slows in the third quarter as consumer spending remained sluggish despite government efforts to energize growth with public works and lavish monetary stimulus. SENT: 270 words, photos.