BUSINESS

BC-APFN-Business News Digest

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Business News at 1:30 p.m.

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All times EDT.

TOP STORIES:

PAY-ECONOMY'S WEAK LINK

WASHINGTON — The U.S. job market has steadily improved by pretty much every gauge except the one Americans probably care about most: Pay. The unemployment rate has sunk to a nearly normal 6.1 percent. Employers have added a robust 2.5 million jobs the past 12 months. Layoffs have tumbled. Yet most people are still waiting for a decent raise. Friday's August jobs report confirmed that average hourly pay has crept up only about 2 percent a year since the recession ended five years ago — barely above inflation and far below the gains in most recoveries. Just why pay has been so weak and when it might strengthen are key issues for the Federal Reserve in deciding when to raise interest rates. The trend has mystified analysts. By Christopher S. Rugaber. UPCOMING: 900 words by 3 p.m.

With:

— U.S. WORKERS-DIM PROSPECTS — The corporate executives who decide whether U.S. workers get meaningful raises have looked at the broader economy and have a message: Don't expect a pay increase anytime soon. SENT: 740 words.

GENERAL ELECTRIC-LEAVING HOME

General Electric, a household name for more than a century in part for making households easier to run, is leaving the home. The company is selling the division that invented the toaster in 1905 and now sells refrigerators, stoves and laundry machines. The move is part of GE's focus on building industrial machines such as aircraft engines, locomotives, gas-fired turbines and medical imaging equipment. The hope is that GE, once revered for its outsized financial performance, can get back on investors' good side after a decade of lackluster returns. By Jonathan Fahey. SENT: 450 words. UPCOMING: 800 words by 3 p.m., photos.

With:

— ELECTROLUX-GENERAL ELECTRIC-APPLIANCES — Sweden's Electrolux to buy the appliances business of General Electric for $3.3 billion, boosting its presence on the North American market. SENT: 340 words.

APPLE

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple is finally ready to roll out its next big thing in tandem with a long-awaited iPhone boasting a larger screen. The trend-setting company is widely expected to launch its entry into the still-nascent market for wearable technology at an event in the same Silicon Valley auditorium where Apple's late co-founder, Steve Jobs, unveiled the industry-shifting Mac computer 25 years ago. By Michael Liedtke. UPCOMING: 800 words by 3 p.m., photos

THE NEXT $9 BILLION

In the not-too-distant future, a football fan might be able to take a seat at the stadium, punch up any game on a seatback monitor, keep tabs on the real-time stats of a fantasy team, order up a hot dog and beer and even have a brand-new jacket brought to the seat if the wind kicks up. This is the future of the NFL — the $9 billion league that kicked off the 2014 season this week and has plans on going bigger over the next decade. By Eddie Pells. SENT: 990 words, photos.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

CONSUMER BORROWING

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve reports on consumer borrowing for July. In June, consumers expanded their borrowing at a slower rate compared with May, suggesting that many remain hesitant about spending. Auto and student loans drove much of the gains in June and have risen 8.4 percent year-over-year. By contrast, credit card debt has risen just 1.3 percent in the past year. By Christopher S. Rugaber. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 3 p.m., 350 words by 3:45 p.m.

FINANCIAL MARKETS

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are edging lower in midday trading as a slump in the price of oil drags down the energy sector. By Ken Sweet. SENT: 350 words, photo. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

INDUSTRY:

CORPORATE INVERSIONS-LEW

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says the Obama administration will decide 'in the very near future' what it can do to make it less profitable for U.S. companies to shift their legal addresses to other countries. More U.S. companies are shifting their addresses abroad in an effort to reduce their U.S. taxes, known as a corporate inversion. Lew says these companies are eroding the U.S. tax base and shifting the burden of funding the government to other taxpayers. By Stephen Ohlemacher. SENT: 690 words.

OBIT-CHICK-FIL-A FOUNDER

ATLANTA — S. Truett Cathy, the billionaire founder of the privately held Chick-fil-A restaurant chain that famously closes on Sundays but also drew unwanted attention on gay marriage in recent years because of his family's conservative views, died, a company spokesman says. He was 93. SENT: 880 words, photos.

— SOUTHWEST-NEW PAINT JOB — Southwest Airlines is putting a new paint job on its planes, adding a splash of bright color as it enters middle age and faces many changes. Blue is still the dominant color, but the planes will also have red, yellow and blue swooshes on the tail and wing tips and "Southwest" in big letters along the side of the fuselage. SENT: 250 words, photos.

— HERTZ-CEO — Hertz Chairman and CEO Mark Frissora steps down from his posts for personal reasons. He had had served as CEO since January 2007. SENT: 270 words, photo.

— CHIQUITA-MEETING — Chiquita is postponing a vote on its proposed merger with the Irish fruit seller Fyffes as it awaits a new bid from another potential buyer. SENT: 170 words, photo.

— WALGREEN-BOARD — Walgreens is naming Jana Partners founder Barry Rosenstein to its board and the activist investor will get a say in choosing at least one additional director. SENT: 380 words, photo.

— CASH ACCESS HOLDINGS-MULTIMEDIA-ACQUISITION — Global Cash Access Holdings is getting into the casino gaming business, spending about $1.2 billion to buy Multimedia Games Holdings. SENT: 150 words.

— BOEING-RYANAIR — European airline Ryanair has committed to order 100 of Boeing's 737 MAX 200 airplanes, valued at $11 billion at current list prices. SENT: 270 words.

— GAS DRILLING-BIBLICAL BILLBOARD — An Ohio man who uses a biblical reference and a statement against "poisoned waters" in opposing the disposal of gas-drilling wastewater says the messages will come down. SENT: 350 words, photo.

— CHRISTIE-SPORTS BETTING — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie issues a directive allowing his state's casinos and racetracks to immediately offer sports betting without fear of criminal or civil liability. SENT: 670 words.

— PROCTER & GAMBLE-GREENPEACE ARREST — One of nine Greenpeace activists charged in a protest at Procter & Gamble Co. headquarters in Cincinnati has pleaded guilty to a single felony count. SENT: 360 words.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

DIGITAL LIFE-A CLOSER LOOK-DOUBLE-LAYER PASSWORDS

NEW YORK — Recent hackings have increased calls for adding a second layer of security to Google, Apple and other accounts. Here's a look at what those services offer and how to turn the security features on. By Anick Jesdanun. UPCOMING: 950 words by 3 p.m., photos.

— AMAZON FIRE-PRICE CUT — Amazon slashes the price of its Fire smartphone, a day before Apple is expected to unveil its latest version of the iPhone. SENT: 160 words, photo.

— MICROSOFT-REVAMPED MSN — Microsoft is giving its MSN news service a crisper look, new lifestyle tools and seamless syncing across devices. SENT: 300 words, photos.

— TWITTER SHOPPING — Twitter is testing a way to let users go shopping or make charitable contributions between tweets. SENT: 120 words, photo.

INTERNATIONAL:

BRITAIN-SCOTLAND

LONDON —Britain's main political leaders scrambled Monday to offer Scotland greater autonomy in a last-minute bid to stave off independence, as the pound sank on opinion polls suggesting separatists are gaining ground — and may even be in the lead. A Yes vote in next week's referendum would end Scotland's 307-year-old union with England and plunge Britain into uncharted constitutional and economic waters. By Jill Lawless. SENT: 750 words, photos.

DUBAI-AIRPORT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Dubai's ruler endorses a $32 billion expansion plan for the city's second airport that aims to make it the world's biggest, the emirate's airport operator says. In the latest sign that the Middle East's brash commercial hub is determined to move on from its 2009 financial crisis, the approval sets in motion a vast building project that will boost capacity exponentially at the airport. By Adam Schreck. SENT: 730 words, photos.

— TUNISIA-ECONOMIC STRUGGLE — Tunisia's prime minister calls for greater foreign investment to help support the country's ailing economy and the transition to democracy. Tunisians overthrew their dictator in 2011 and are set to complete the democratic transition with autumn elections, but the economy is beset by high unemployment, low growth and inflation that is making daily life difficult in this country of 10 million. SENT: 390 words, photos.

— CHINA-TRADE — China's exports grow more than forecast in August while imports shrink unexpectedly for the second month in a row, a reminder of the fragile recovery in the world's No. 2 economy, customs data shows. SENT: 340 words.

— GERMANY-ECONOMY — German exports soar in July to their highest monthly value ever, helping Europe's largest economy post a record trade surplus, another sign it is bouncing back after a surprise second-quarter contraction. SENT: 140 words, photo.

— FRANCE-CONVICTED TRADER — A Frenchman convicted in one of history's largest trading fraud cases emerges from a prison south of Paris on conditional release before being equipped with an electronic bracelet to monitor his movements. SENT: 140 words.

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CENTERPIECE

Index vs. active

The latest report card on the performance of mutual fund managers against the benchmark indexes for their funds is out, and the numbers aren't impressive. Over the last five years, more than 70 percent of U.S. stock fund managers have failed to outperform their benchmark. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.

COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

Campbell Soup outlook disappoints

Campbell Soup shares decline as the company issues an outlook for its 2015 fiscal year that disappointed investors. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.