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WASHINGTON — Just as the U.S. job market has finally strengthened, the Federal Reserve now confronts a new worry: a sputtering global economy that's spooked investors across the world. The economic slump could spill into the United States, potentially weakening job growth and keeping inflation well below the Fed's target rate. Such fear has led some analysts to suggest that the Fed will wait until deep into next year to start raising interest rates, and more gradually than expected. Yet so far, the prospect of continued lower rates — which make loans cheaper and can fuel stock gains — is being outweighed by investors' mounting fears of weakness from Asia to Europe to Latin America. By Christopher S. Rugaber. UPCOMING: 800 words by 2:30 p.m.
— FINANCIAL MARKETS — Major stock indexes move higher in midday trading, regaining some of the ground they lost the day before. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 520 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.
NEW YORK — Citigroup customers across Central America and parts of Eastern Europe will be looking for a new place to bank next year. Citigroup says it will bow out of the retail banking business in 11 markets, part of an ongoing effort since the financial crisis to restructure and slim down. The news came as the bank announced third-quarter earnings. By Ken Sweet. SENT: 580 words, photo. Incorporates EARNS-CITIGROUP.
SEOUL, South Korea — After an avalanche of data breaches, South Korea's national identity card system has been raided so thoroughly by thieves that the government says it might have to issue new ID numbers to every citizen over 17 at a possible cost of billions of dollars. The admission is an embarrassment for a society that prides itself on its high-tech skills and has some of the fastest Internet access. By Kim Tong-Hyung. SENT: 1,150 words, photos.
MARKETS & ECONOMY:
— EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK — The European Union's Court of Justice hears arguments in a challenge against the European Central Bank's program to purchase government bonds. SENT: 150 words.
— EARNS-JPMORGAN — JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank by assets, reports a third-quarter profit after booking a loss in the same period a year ago, when the company absorbed a big charge for legal expenses. SENT: 380 words.
— J&J-OUTLOOK — Johnson & Johnson lifts its 2014 earnings forecast for a third time, fueled in part by revenue gains from its new blockbuster hepatitis C treatment Olysio. SENT: 430 words. Incorporates EARNS-J&J, also SENT: 170 words.
— EARNS-WELLS FARGO — Wells Fargo & Co. reports third-quarter profit of $5.41 billion. The San Francisco-based bank said it had earnings of $1.02 per share. SENT: 120 words.
— EARNS-CSX —CSX releases quarterly earnings after the market closes. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report.
WASHINGTON — Federal regulators say Pfizer has provided low-quality evidence to support its request to remove a bold-letter warning from its anti-smoking drug Chantix about suicidal behavior. The tablet has carried the FDA's strongest warning label since 2009 following reports of suicidality, hostility and depression among some patients. But Pfizer asked the FDA to drop the boxed warning, pointing to recent studies and analyses suggesting there is no difference in psychiatric problems between people taking Chantix and other smoking-cessation aids. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: 560 words.
WILMINGTON, Del. — The fate of a struggling Atlantic City casino appears to be hanging in the balance as lawyers for its parent company and its main union argued before a judge over whether the Trump Taj Mahal should be allowed to terminate its union contract. Both sides made their arguments in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware, where a judge was expected to rule on whether Trump Entertainment Resorts will be allowed to terminate its union contract. By Wayne Parry. SENT: 450 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.
SALT LAKE CITY — Poison control workers say that as the e-cigarette industry has boomed, the number of children exposed to the liquid nicotine that gives hand-held vaporizing gadgets their kick also has spiked. By Lindsay Whitehurst. SENT: 710 words, photos.
— CHRYSLER-RECALL — Chrysler is recalling 184,215 SUVs worldwide because a wiring problem could disable their air bags and seat belt pretensioners. SENT: 140 words, photos.
— DARDEN-CEO — Olive Garden's parent company Darden Restaurants promotes Chief Operating Officer Gene Lee to interim CEO after a board takeover by an activist investor last week. SENT: 290 words, photo.
— UBS-SECRETS — Jury selection is set to begin for the trial of a former top executive at Swiss bank UBS AG on charges of helping thousands of wealthy Americans conceal some $20 billion in assets from the Internal Revenue Service. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated from 9 a.m. hearing.
— BRITAIN-TESCO — Tesco, one of the world's largest food retailers, suspends three more executives as it investigates why its half-year profit was overstated by 250 million pounds ($407 million). SENT: 140 words.
— BRITAIN-BURBERRY — Fashion luxury brand Burberry says revenues grew 7 percent in the six months through Sept. 30, with strong demand for its iconic trench coat, leather bags and men's tailoring. The company said revenue rose to 1.1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) in the period, reflecting strong performance in Asia and in the Americas. SENT: 130 words.
— UNITED STATES-INDIA-TRADE — The World Trade Organization rules in favor of U.S. poultry and egg farmers in a dispute with India. SENT: 240 words.
— ITALY-LUXURY SALES — A tumultuous series of geopolitical events has slowed global sales in the luxury goods sector, according to a study, while deeper, longer-term trends in the sector are being shaped by social media. SENT: 330 words, photo.
— ITALY-LUXOTTICA — The founder of the Luxottica luxury eyewear maker has taken over temporarily as CEO amid management turmoil that has tanked the company's stock. SENT: 150 words.
TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:
AUGMENTED REALITY-WORK OR PLAY?
NEW YORK — Augmented reality brings virtual monsters and heroes to life on city streets and even your own backyard. But as wearable technology becomes more mainstream, AR is moving beyond games. Businesses are finding practical uses that can solve real problems. By Salim Essaid. SENT: 560 words, photos, video.
NEW YORK — The Nielsen company says ABC's evening newscast did not break a 263-week winning streak by its rivals at NBC, which had been reported last week. News ratings for the week beginning Sept. 29 were affected by a software error that created miscalculations of television viewership dating back to last March. Industry officials said the error meant ABC's viewership was consistently over-estimated. SENT: 120 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.
— JPMORGAN-CYBERCRIME — JPMorgan Chase's CEO Jamie Dimon says that more coordination between businesses and government is needed to combat the rising threat of cyberattacks. SENT: 310 words, photo.
— ZUCKERBERG-DONATION — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are donating $25 million to the CDC Foundation to help address the Ebola epidemic. SENT: 260 words, photos.
— FRANCE-TWEET PAYMENTS —Twitter may limit its messages to 140 characters, but in France, you'll soon be able to do more — send cash. A big banking group, BPCE, on Thursday will announce the move, which aims to give people a fast way to pay another person with an account on the social media site. By Lori Hinnant. SENT: 230 words.
HEALTH OVERHAUL-VERSION 2-OLD AND NEW
WASHINGTON — HealthCare.gov, the website for health insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law, has been revamped as its second enrollment season approaches. But things are still complicated, since other major provisions of the Affordable Care Act are taking effect for the first time. A look at website and program changes just ahead. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Calvin Woodward. SENT: 600 words, photo.
— DIGITAL CURRENCY — A man accused of creating an online, underworld bank that helped launder $6 billion for drug dealers, child pornographers, identity thieves and other criminals is facing his first court appearance in Manhattan. SENT: 310 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated from 12:45 hearing.
— ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER-PUBLISHER — The Orange County Register hires former casino executive Richard Mirman to be its interim publisher and chief executive. SENT: 250 words.
— GERMANY-DESERT SOLAR — It sounded like a good idea: build massive solar energy plants in the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East to supply Europe with 15 percent of its electricity needs by 2050. But the consortium behind the ambitious plan now admits defeat following disagreements over funding and persistent political instability in the desert nations where the plants were going to be built. SENT: 130 words.
IRELAND-END TO AUSTERITY
DUBLIN — Ireland unveils its first expansive budget since the collapse of the Celtic Tiger economy six years ago, ending an era of austerity earlier than expected thanks to the return of Europe-leading growth. Measures unveiled in the 2015 budget will increase spending and tax breaks by a combined 1.2 billion ($1.5 billion), including a plan to build 6,700 state-funded homes for the poor as Ireland seeks to stimulate even more tax-driving growth. By Shawn Pogatchnik. SENT: 540 words, photos.
FRANKFURT, Germany — Europe gets more bad news about its dominant economy when the German government slashed its growth estimates for this year to 1.2 percent from 1.8 percent. The cut follows a run of disappointing data on exports, industrial production and factory orders — the heart of Germany's manufacturing and export-dominated economy. By David Mchugh. SENT: 400 words, photo.
LONDON — U.K. authorities say inflation fell to its lowest point in five years, dropping to 1.2 percent in September as shoppers benefited from a supermarket price war and lower petrol prices. SENT: 130 words.
— GERMANY-ECONOMY — The German government slashes its growth forecast for this year and next, blaming troubles abroad for unsettling businesses while arguing the domestic economy remains strong. SENT: 130 words, photo.
— CHINA-ECONOMY — Major water conservancy projects and other infrastructure investment will help ensure China meets its economic growth target of 7.5 percent for the year, the country's top economic planner says. SENT: 240 words.
— INDIA-INFLATION — India's benchmark inflation rate falls to a five year low of 2.4 percent in September as food and vegetable prices drop. SENT: 220 words.
— GREECE-ECONOMY — Stocks have been hammered in Greece and borrowing costs continued to rise, amid renewed political uncertainty over the future of the country's bailout program. SENT: 140 words.
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Dividends are up
Dividends keep climbing, even in some unfamiliar corners. Bigger profits for businesses means more can pay dividends to their shareholders, and 563 companies increased their dividends or paid one for the first time last quarter. That means the U.S. stock market is on pace to pay out a record amount this year, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.
JP Morgan returns to profit
JP Morgan Chase kicks off the quarterly earnings season for the financial sector by reporting that it returned to profitability in the third quarter. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.