BC-APFN-Business News Preview
Among the stories Wednesday from The Associated Press:
NEW YORK — U.S. financial markets open sharply lower as the Dow Jones industrial average heads toward its fourth consecutive loss. Traders piled into bonds, fleeing risky assets and driving the yield on the 10-year Treasury below 2 percent. The slide comes amid lingering fears of a global economic slowdown. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 320 words, photo. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.
PARIS — Pencils down, papers over. France finds itself in the uncomfortable position of a student at the end of exams as it hands in its 2015 budget plans to European Union authorities for review. Wednesday's deadline for the bloc's 28 member states to submit their budgets opens up a two-week window during which France and a few other countries who know they've missed several targets in their budget plans must wait and hope for leniency, or be forced into a redo. It's a process that will either cause humiliation for France, Europe's second largest economy, or make a mockery of the EU's new debt rules meant to avoid a repeat of the debt crisis. By Greg Keller. SENT: 840 words, photo.
MARKETS & ECONOMY:
WASHINGTON — U.S. retail sales retreat in September as purchases of autos, gasoline, furniture and clothing slowed, a sign that recent job gains have yet to significantly boost consumer spending. By Josh Boak. SENT: 570 words, photo.
WASHINGTON — Inflation was limited last month because of falling gasoline and food costs that have lowered the prices that U.S. companies received for their goods and services. By Josh Boak. SENT: 440 words, photo.
WASHINGTON — U.S. businesses increase their stockpiles in August by the smallest amount in more than a year, while sales fall by the largest amount since January. The data suggest that the economy is still having trouble gaining momentum. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 340 words.
WASHINGTON — New York manufacturers are growing at the slowest pace in six months as new orders shrink and shipments barely rise. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that its Empire State Manufacturing index dropped to 6.2 in October, down sharply from a five-year high of 27.5 in September. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 320 words.
— GREECE-ECONOMY — Concerns that the Greek government could collapse next year, putting its bailout program in danger, caused a massive sell-off in the country's stock and bond markets on Wednesday, with the main stock index down 9.8 percent. SENT: 300 words.
The drugmaker Shire wants AbbVie to stick with its roughly $55 billion acquisition bid, and it is reminding its U.S. counterpart of the hefty breakup fee it will receive if things don't work out. Shire's U.S.-traded shares shed about a quarter of their value before markets opened and a day after AbbVie Inc. disclosed that it was reconsidering a deal it had fought for weeks to put together. By Tom Murphy. SENT: 440 words, photo.
WHOLE FOODS-PRODUCE RANKINGS
NEW YORK — Whole Foods plans to start rolling out a system that ranks fruits and vegetables as "good," ''better" or "best" based on the supplier's farming practices. Most notably, the supermarket chain says its "responsibly grown" labeling system for produce and flowers will prohibit the use of several common pesticides. The rankings will also take into account factors such as water and energy usage. By Candice Choi. SENT: 620 words, photo.
— GLOBAL AUTO SALES — Volkswagen edges out General Motors for second place in the global auto sales race during the first three quarters of the year, but Toyota was expected to keep its lead to stay in first place. SENT: 120 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.
— CHINA-CARNIVAL — Carnival Corp., the world's No. 1 cruise company, says it's exploring the possibility of a ship building joint venture with a state-owned Chinese company and Italy's Fincantieri. SENT: 300 words.
— NORWAY-STATOIL — Helge Lund, the CEO of Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil, resigns after 10 years in charge of the government-controlled company. Lund will become chief executive of British oil and gas company BG Group in March 2015. SENT: 120 words.
— GERMANY-RYANAIR — The European Commission orders Ryanair to repay more than 300,000 euros ($400,000) provided by a German airport to sustain the Irish budget airline's business, ruling it amounted to illegal state aid. SENT: 140 words, photo.
— THAILAND-SKYSCRAPER — A Thai property developer announces plans to build a skyscraper in the Thai capital that will be among the 10 tallest buildings in the world when it is completed in 2019. SENT: 250 words, photo.
— OBAMA-UNEMPLOYED GRANTS — The Obama administration is announcing $170 million in grants divided among 23 work projects across the country that aim to reduce the number of long-term unemployed Americans. SENT: 330 words.
— GERMANY-TRANSPORT STRIKES — A union representing pilots at Lufthansa's short-haul Germanwings unit calls members out on a 12-hour strike, hard on the heels of a walkout by German train drivers in a separate dispute. SENT: 140 words.
— EARNS-BANK OF AMERICA — Bank of America reports third-quarter net income of $168 million. On a per-share basis, the bank said it lost 1 cent in the latest quarter. That compared with a profit of 20 cents a year earlier. SENT: 230 words, photo.
TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:
NEW YORK — China's half billion online shoppers will soon have an easier way to shop in the U.S. Alipay, the payments unit recently spun off from Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba, is launching a service for U.S. retailers called ePass. Alipay has already been working in beta mode with retailers such as luxury deal site Gilt.com, The Gap and H&M. By Mae Anderson. SENT: 400 words.
DIGITAL LIFE-REVIEW-SAMSUNG NOTE PHONE
NEW YORK — With Apple's release of larger-screen iPhones last month, Samsung's flagship Galaxy phones no longer have the distinction of being "the next big thing," as Samsung's ads like to tout. But there's still plenty to like in Samsung's phones, including the new Galaxy Note 4 phone out this week. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 890 words, photos.
— QUALCOMM-CSR — Qualcomm is buying British chip maker CSR in a deal worth approximately $2.5 billion as it pushes aggressively into technology that connects devices over the Internet. SENT: 280 words.
LISBON, Portugal — Unlike fellow bailout country Ireland, which this week announced an end to years of austerity, Portugal's government is prolonging into 2015 the main features of its unpopular debt cuts. The country's economic upswing has been less remarkable than Ireland's and it is still fighting to restore its fiscal health after needing a bailout in 2011. The government is expected to resist the temptation to sweeten its policies in what will be an election year and instead keep focusing on debt cuts. By Barry Hatton. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 300 words by noon.
— BRITAIN-ECONOMY — Britain's unemployment rate drops to 6 percent for the June to August period, down from 6.4 percent in the three months before and the lowest rate since 2008. SENT: 140 words.
— SKOREA-ECONOMY — South Korea's central bank lowers its key interest rate to a record low as it tries to bolster a fragile economic recovery. The bank also downgraded its growth forecasts for Asia's fourth-largest economy. SENT: 310 words.
— GERMANY-ENERGY SWITCHOVER — The cost to Germans of subsidizing renewable energy is set to decline next year for the first time, though the impact on their electricity bills will be only slight. SENT: 140 words, photo.
— JAPAN-NUCLEAR — A Japanese governor says the country should not restart any nuclear plants until the cause of the Fukushima meltdown is fully understood and nearby communities have emergency plans that can effectively respond to another major accident. SENT: 530 words.