BC-Business News Digest
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GLOBAL ECONOMY-US IMPACT
WASHINGTON — Beyond the turmoil shaking financial markets, the U.S. economy remains sturdier than many seem to fear. The Dow Jones industrial average has lost 900 points since Oct. 8, largely on fears of another recession in Europe, a slowdown in China and world-spanning crises that include the Ebola outbreak and the rise of the Islamic State. Yet economists aren't reducing their forecasts for the U.S. economy. The IMF, which cut global growth forecasts last week, actually upgraded its outlook for the United States. Economists say troubles elsewhere aren't severe enough to derail a U.S. economy gaining strength from a stronger job market, falling fuel prices, lower mortgage rates and improvements in household finances and confidence. By Paul Wiseman. UPCOMING: 850 words by 4 p.m.
OIL PRICES-GLOBAL IMPACT
NEW YORK — A sudden plunge in the price of oil after years of stability is sending economic and political shockwaves around the world. Oil exporting countries such as Russia, Venezuela and Iraq are bracing for potentially crippling budget shortfalls while importers like China, India and Europe are benefiting from the lowest prices in four years. U.S. consumers are enjoying lower prices too, but they could put the brakes on the U.S. oil boom. By Jonathan Fahey. SENT: 1,000 words, photos, graphic.
CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple unveils the iPad Air 2, the world's thinnest tablet, as the company tries to drive excitement amid slowing demand for tablet computers. Apple also announces Yosemite, a new Mac operating system. Apple Pay, the company's new system for using iPhones to make credit and debit card payments at retail stores, will make its debut Monday. Apple CEO Tim Cook made the announcement during a company event and said deals have been made with hundreds of additional credit card issuers since the mobile pay service was announced last month. By Brandon Bailey and Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 1,000 words, photos. UPCOMING: will be updated from 1 p.m. event, photos.
APPLE-IS IT ENOUGH?
CUPERTINO, Calif. — Can Apple deliver another iRevolution? Since the iPad the company has released mostly updates of existing products, improvements perhaps, but not yet the next device you didn't know you needed but now can't live without. A look at whether the latest products are enough to drive excitement among customers and investors. By Brandon Bailey. UPCOMING: 500 words, photo.
MARKETS & ECONOMY:
WASHINGTON — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid dropped to the lowest level in 14 years last week, the latest signal that companies are cutting fewer workers and hiring could remain healthy. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 480 words, photo, glance.
WASHINGTON — Average U.S. mortgage rates tumble this week. The 30-year loan hit its lowest level since June 2013 as Treasury bond yields marked new lows amid concern over global economic weakness. By Marcy Gordon. SENT: 450 words, photo, glance.
WASHINGTON — U.S. manufacturing output rises in September, led by gains for aerospace products, furniture, clothing and plastics. By Josh Boak. SENT: 610 words, photo.
CHELSEA, Mass. — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is visiting the Boston area to tour a local job center and to speak at a conference on economic opportunity, as the central bank's first female head continues her focus on employment issues in her first year in office. By Philip Marcelo. SENT: 240 words, photo. UPCOMING: 130 words by 2 p.m., 350 words by 2:45 p.m.
WASHINGTON — U.S. homebuilders' confidence falls in October after four months of gains which had pushed the indicator to the highest point in nine years. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 310 words, photo.
WASHINGTON — Factories in the Philadelphia region expand at a weaker pace in October as shipments and hiring slow. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 320 words.
WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department releases foreign holdings data for August. In July, Foreign buyers of U.S. Treasury securities trimmed their holdings in July after hitting a record level in June. The two biggest purchasers, China and Japan, both cut back. By Martin Crutsinger. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 4 p.m., 350 words by 4:45 p.m.
NEW YORK — U.S. financial markets drift higher in afternoon trading, recovering from a steep decline earlier in the day and putting indexes on track for their first broad gain in a week. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 720 words, photo. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.
DETROIT — Nearly 907,000 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep SUVs and cars are being recalled for alternators that can fail and heated power mirror wiring that can short and cause minor fires. The recalls, posted by U.S. safety regulators, push the total number of recalls so far this year 544, totaling a record of more than 52 million vehicles. By Tom Krisher. SENT: 550 words, photo.
— MATTEL'S GONE GIRL-BARBIE — Mattel's got girl problems and her name is Barbie. Sales of the iconic doll continue to slide and a surprising drop in sales of its American Girl toys could become another headache for the toy company as it heads into the crucial holiday season. SENT: 320 words, photo. Incorporates EARNS-MATTEL.
— ABBVIE-SHIRE — AbbVie's board is telling shareholders vote against its own $55 billion takeover bid for the Irish drugmaker Shire after the U.S. made reincorporating overseas a less lucrative tax maneuver. SENT: 360 words, photo.
PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS
WASHINGTON — Millions of Americans still struggle with high-cost private student loans, with many tumbling into default because the companies servicing the loans aren't offering reasonable options for improved terms, a new report says. Distressed borrowers are receiving scant information or help when they run into trouble with their private student loans, and affordable repayment options aren't available, the report released Thursday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says. By Marcy Gordon. SENT: 670 words.
CASINO-BETS WITH FRIENDS
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Sure you love matching little candy pieces with each other, or spelling out words with your pals. But New Jersey gambling regulators want to let you do it for real money. The state says it's seeking game developers' proposals to conduct real-money gambling on skill-based games, which would make New Jersey a nationwide laboratory for a betting phenomenon many have predicted will become the next big thing. By Wayne Parry. SENT: 780 words, photo.
— BRITAIN-TESCO — Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway reduces its stake in British retailer Tesco to under 3 percent, offering a fresh slap to the struggling company. SENT: 140 words.
— ARTISINAL CIDER — With hard cider making a hardcore comeback across the country, apple growers are tapping a juicy new revenue stream by establishing farmstead cideries and planting varieties too tart or tannic for the lunchbox but perfect for smashing and fermenting into distinctive artisanal brews. SENT: 700 words, photos, video.
— SOUTHWESTERN ENERGY-SHALE ACQUISITION — Southwestern Energy will spend about $5.38 billion to acquire drilling assets in West Virginia and southwest Pennsylvania now owned by Chesapeake Energy. SENT: 250 words.
— GERMANY-BASF-ARCHOMA — Chemical and oil company BASF SE says it is selling its textile chemicals business to Swiss-based Archroma for an undisclosed amount. SENT: 140 words.
— NETHERLANDS-KLM — KLM says Pieter Elbers is replacing Camiel Eurlings as president and chief executive officer of the Dutch airline with immediate effect. SENT: 120 words.
— BRITAIN-LONDON MINING — Debt-plagued London Mining PLC files for bankruptcy protection in the wake of a slump in iron ore prices and as the Ebola outbreak complicated the sale of a mine in Sierra Leone. SENT: 140 words.
— JAPAN-JET — The first made-in-Japan passenger jet in four decades reaches a development milestone later this week. A "rolling out" ceremony in Nagoya, central Japan on Saturday will unveil the long awaited Mitsubishi Regional Jet, or MRJ, a fuel-efficient lightweight carbon-fiber composite passenger plane. SENT: 520 words, photos.
— DETROIT BANKRUPTCY — The city of Detroit, with financial help from the state, plans to demolish the home of the Detroit Red Wings and give the land to a creditor for development as part of a major settlement in the city's bankruptcy case. SENT: 360 words, photo. UPCOMING: Will be updated.
Google Inc. releases quarterly results after the market closes. UPCOMING: 130 words after release, 500 words by 5 p.m.
— EARNS-PHILIP MORRIS — Philip Morris International's third-quarter profit drops 8 percent as cigarette sales fell in the overseas markets that it serves and it was hurt by foreign exchange rates for the U.S. dollar. SENT: 520 words, photo.
— EARNS-DELTA — Delta Air Lines says third-quarter profit fell 74 percent on one-time costs such as retiring older planes, although the results excluding those items beat expectations. SENT: 590 words, photo.
— EARNS-GOLDMAN — Goldman Sachs says its third-quarter profit jumped 48 percent as revenue from trading bonds and currencies rose. The bank also raised its dividend by a nickel to 60 cents per share. SENT: 110 words.
— EARNS-UNITEDHEALTH — UnitedHealth Group's third-quarter earnings inches up 2 percent but that was enough to help the nation's largest health insurer trump Wall Street expectations and raise its 2014 forecast for the first time this year. SENT: 340 words, photo.
— SWITZERLAND-EARNS-ROCHE — Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG posts flat sales for the first nine months of 2014, but said the results show strong demand for its cancer drugs and emerging new products. SENT: 290 words.
— SWITZERLAND-EARNS-NESTLE — Nestle S.A., the world's biggest food and drink company, reports a 3-percent drop in group sales for the first nine months of the year, impacted by weakness in currencies against the Swiss franc and other costs. SENT: 210 words.
— EARNS-CAPITAL ONE — Capital One Financial Corp. releases quarterly results after the market closes. UPCOMING: 130 words after release, XXX words by 5 p.m.
TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:
WASHINGTON — FBI Director James Comey warns in stark terms against the push by technology companies to encrypt smartphone data and operating systems, arguing that murder cases could be stalled, suspects could walk free and justice could be thwarted by a locked phone or an encrypted hard drive. By Eric Tucker and Jack Gillum. SENT: 340 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated.
— NETFLIX-STOCK — Netflix shares sink on slower subscriber growth and fears of increased competition ahead. Shares fell 22 percent to $348.76 by midday. SENT: 270 words, photo.
— AMAZON-HOLIDAY HIRING — Amazon is hiring 80,000 seasonal workers for its distribution centers as it aims to more efficiently ship packages during the crucial holiday season. That's up 14 percent from last year as Amazon has opened more centers. SENT: 280 words, photo.
— CBS-STREAMING — CBS is jumping on the cord-cutting bandwagon, launching a stand-alone digital streaming service for $5.99 a month that will offer subscribers access to its current and older shows. SENT: 280 words, photo.
— FACEBOOK-SAFETY CHECK — Facebook is launching "Safety Check," a tool that lets users in areas affected by natural disasters notify friends and family that they are safe. SENT: 200 words, photo.
— RUSSIA-HACKING — The lawyer for a Russian man accused of hacking into U.S. businesses tellls a judge that he is not guilty of new charges filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office. SENT: 160 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.
— FOOD-DINNER DELIVERY — Think of it as Hamburger Helper for the Amazon.com era. A bevy of new online services is angling to be your virtual kitchen assistant, giving you the chance to outsource the tedious aspects of cooking — the shopping, sorting, washing and prepping — so you can focus on the more satisfying assembling and eating parts. SENT: 800 words, photos.
— ATTORNEY GENERAL-AIRBNB — Nearly three-quarters of the New York City listings offered by the short-term rental service Airbnb violate city or state laws, New York state's attorney general says. SENT: 350 words.
ATHENS, Greece — The European Union is promising Greece continued financial support, in the hopes of calming market turmoil triggered by concerns over the government's survival and the future of its bailout program. Greek borrowing costs soared Thursday, with the interest rate on the benchmark 10-years bonds jumping to 8.71 percent — a sign investors are more worried about default. And a third day of heavy selling on the Athens Stock Exchange saw shares lose another 2.2 percent in value, after dropping 12 percent in the previous two days. By Derek Gatopoulos and David McHugh. SENT: 670 words, photos.
— GERMANY-FRANCE — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says there can be no exceptions to European Union rules on national deficit targets. Her comments in a speech to Parliament were a clear message to France. SENT: 490 words, photo.
— RUSSIA-UKRAINE-GAS — The European Union's top energy official says he's cautiously optimistic about chances of a deal to secure gas supplies this winter for Ukraine and Europe as he prepares for new talks with Kiev and Moscow. SENT: 140 words.
— EBOLA-PASSENGER SCREENING — European Union nations are promising to reinforce passenger screening for Ebola at the airports in the hardest-hit West African nations and coordinate a common approach for the deadly virus at EU entry points. SENT: 140 words, photo.
— SPAIN-ECONOMY — Spain sells fewer 10-year bonds than it had hoped in an auction, amid broader jitters in financial markets. SENT: 120 words.
— FRANCE-KAZAKH BANKER — Russian chess master and political activist Garry Kasparov says a Kazakh dissident banker is in danger if a court rules he should be extradited from France. SENT: 270 words, photos.
— INDIA-LABOR LAWS — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces a series of labor reforms aimed at transforming Asia's third-largest economy into an international manufacturing hub. SENT: 300 words, photos.
— INDIA-ECONOMY — India appoints US-based economist Arvind Subramanian as the country's chief economic adviser. SENT: 280 words.
OF MUTUAL INTEREST-HEALTH CARE FUNDS Q&A
No stock is an absolutely safe investment, but health care stocks as a group have held up better than others during past downturns. That's brought more attention to health care stock funds, as worries about weak global economic growth have sent stocks sinking in recent weeks. Health care stock funds have also performed better than any other category over the last five years, but investors should be mindful that conditions have changed for the sector. By Stan Choe. UPCOMING: 900 words by 4 p.m.
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Fund screen: Small stars
The stocks of small companies are some of the hardest hit in the market's recent downturn. The S&P Small Cap 600 index is firmly in correction territory — roughly 12 percent below its 52-week high. Investors who want small-cap stocks in their portfolio mix should take a look at these top performing funds. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.
Disappointing subscriber numbers and increased competition from HBO and CBS, help fuel a steep sell-off in Netflix shares. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.