BC-Business News Preview

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Among the stories Thursday from The Associated Press:



FRANKFURT, Germany — Europe's biggest banks are facing a day of judgment as the European Central Bank prepares to unveil the results of a yearlong search through the dark corners of their finances. It's a step that comes none too soon for the struggling economy of the 18-country eurozone. The results due Sunday will seek to identify banks that are too weak to lend to businesses or make it through another recession — and force them to strengthen their finances. The hope is that healthier banks would offer loans at cheaper rates, helping the economy. First, however, there could be days of market volatility as any banks that fail the review scramble to raise money or need bailouts. By David McHugh. SENT: 780 words, photos.


— EUROPE-ECONOMY — A stronger than anticipated economic survey helps shore up European markets following a run of disappointing news that raised the specter of another recession across the 18-country eurozone. SENT: 570 words.


DETROIT — Two U.S. senators are calling on U.S. auto safety regulators to immediately issue a nationwide recall for cars with faulty air bags made by Takata Corp. By Tom Krisher. SENT: 150 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.



WASHINGTON — The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits rises last week after falling to a 14-year low the previous week. Despite the increase, weekly applications remain at historically low levels that suggest hiring is gaining steam. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 350 words, photo.


WASHINGTON — A gauge designed to predict the economy's future health posts a solid increase in September after no gain in the previous month. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 130 350 words by 10:45 a.m.


WASHINGTON — Average U.S. mortgage rates continued to slide this week, raising prospects of a wave of consumers refinancing their loans. The 30-year mortgage fell further below 4 percent. By Marcy Gordon. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 350 words by 11 a.m.


NEW YORK — U.S. stocks rise in early trading, driven by encouraging earnings from companies including Caterpillar and General Motors. Investors were also encouraged by some positive manufacturing news out of Europe. By Steve Rothwell. SENT: 420 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.



LONDON — The chairman of Tesco, the world's second-biggest retailer behind Walmart, announces his resignation amid an accounting scandal in which the company admitted it had overstated its projected profits. Richard Broadbent said he will step down once a successor is found while the company confirmed its financial troubles continued, with a 99 percent drop in first-half net income to 6 million pounds ($9.6 million). By Danica Kirka. SENT: 580 words, photo.


WASHINGTON — Voters may not know it, but the millions of dollars paying for ads on ballot measures they will consider next month come from large companies and national advocacy groups. Many of the messages are tailored to defend or expand the business interests of companies such as Coca-Cola, Monsanto and ExxonMobil, yet few have their names in the ads. By Philip Elliot. SENT: 900 words, photos, glance.



— RUSSIA-TOTAL CEO KILLED — The general director of Moscow's Vnukovo Airport and his deputy resign and Russian investigators detain four other airport employees following a plane crash that killed French oil executive Christophe de Margerie and three crew members. SENT: 300 words, photo.

— CHIQUITA-SAFRA-CUTRALE — Brazilian companies Cutrale and Safra are again raising their bid for banana producer Chiquita, to $681 million. SENT: 130 words.

— HEALTH OVERHAUL-VERSION 2 —'s new EZ application for coverage can't be used by legal immigrants or naturalized U.S. citizens, prompting concern that many Hispanics and Asians will go right back into long enrollment queues this year. SENT: 770 words, photo.



DETROIT — Big profits from rising SUV and truck sales in North America helped General Motors nearly double its third-quarter net profit and more than offset its struggles in Europe and South America. The automaker posted net income of $1.38 billion, or 81 cents per share, from July through September. It was the first quarter this year without significant charges for recalls. By Tom Krisher. SENT: 410 words, photo. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

— EARNS-SOUTHWEST AIRLINES — More passengers and lower fuel prices are pushing Southwest Airlines to record profits, and the airline expects an even bigger break at the gas pump this winter. SENT: 250 words, photo.

— EARNS-3M — Diversified manufacturer 3M's third-quarter net income rose 6 percent on higher revenue across all divisions. SENT: 230 words, photo.

— COMCAST-RESULTS — Comcast Corp.'s third-quarter net income jumps 50 percent in the third quarter, helped by a one-time tax settlement, growth in Internet subscribers and fewer defectors from its cable service. SENT: 410 words, photo.

— EARNS-CATERPILLAR — Caterpillar's belt tightening pays off in the third quarter as the manufacturer easily beat Wall Street expectations and raised its outlook for the year. SENT: 300 words, photo.

— UNITED CONTINENTAL-RESULTS — United Airlines appears to be hitting its stride after struggling to make a 2010 merger pay off. The airline's formula is lower fuel prices and more revenue for every mile that passengers fly. SENT: 400 words, photo.

— EARNS-AMERICAN AIRLINES — American Airlines Group repors third-quarter earnings of $942 million, topping Wall Street expectations. SENT: 300 words, photo.

— EARNS-UNION PACIFIC — Union Pacific delivers a 19 percent increase in its third-quarter profit as the railroad hauled 7 percent more freight and increased rates. SENT: 380 words, photo.

— SWITZERLAND-EARNS-CREDIT SUISSE — Credit Suisse's profits more than double in the third quarter as Switzerland's second-largest bank benefited from cost cutting, brisk business in emerging markets and the services it provides for wealthy clients. SENT: 310 words, photos.

— SKOREA-EARNS-HYUNDAI MOTOR — Hyundai Motor Co. says its profit sank nearly 30 percent for the July-September quarter, hurt by a stronger South Korean currency and weak sales growth in its home market. SENT: 370 words, photo.

— FINLAND-EARNS-NOKIA — Nokia appears to have turned around its fortunes after the sale of its ailing cellphone unit to Microsoft, reporting a third-quarter net profit of 747 million euros ($950 million), from a loss of 91 million euros a year earlier. Sales grew 13 percent. SENT: 250 words.

— NETHERLANDS-UNILEVER — Unilever PLC, the maker of consumer products including Dove soaps, Lipton teas and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, says it saw price deflation in Europe's largest markets in the third quarter. SENT: 140 words.

— GERMANY-EARNS-DAIMLER — Automaker Daimler says its net earnings rose by nearly half in the third quarter as revenue rose 10 percent and the company booked a one-time gain from the sale of a stake in a maker of heavy-duty engines. SENT: 130 words.

— FRANCE-PERNOD RICARD — Pernod Ricard SA, maker of Absolut vodka and Martell cognac, returns to growth after Asian, Middle Eastern and African markets stemmed a monthslong slide, but sales in China continued to decline steeply. SENT: 130 words.



BEIJING — China may ban Facebook, but not its co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who delighted an audience of students in Beijing with a 30-minute chat in his recently learned Mandarin Chinese. There was no explicit discussion of China's ban on the social media site, which has been in place since 2009, though an indirect reference to it drew laughter during the question-and-answer session Wednesday at the prestigious Tsinghua University. By Didi Tang. SENT: 680 words, photos, video.



WARSAW — European Union leaders meeting in Brussels to stamp their new, ambitious greenhouse gas emissions plan should prepare for unyielding opposition from coal-reliant Poland and some other East European countries who say their developing economies and electricity bills would suffer too much from the new target. Poland is ready to veto the plan that would oblige 28 EU member states to jointly cut their greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below the 1990 levels by 2030. Failure to seal the new goal at the European summit would delay groundwork for a crucial global climate deal. By Monika Scislowska. SENT: 740 words, photo.


NEW DELHI — After months of criticism for not moving aggressively enough on promises of an economic overhaul, India's new prime minister announces a string of policies designed to kick-start Asia's third-largest economy. By Muneeza Naqvi. SENT: 870 words, photo.

— CHINA-MANUFACTURING — A gauge of the health of China's manufacturing industry inches higher in October but factory output was at a five-month low in a sign of slowing domestic and foreign demand. SENT: 190 words.

— SPAIN-UNEMPLOYMENT — Spain's unemployment rate drops to 23.7 percent in the third quarter from 24.5 percent in the previous three-month period thanks to a recovering economy and a bumper summer tourism season. SENT: 130 words.

— SWEDEN-BUDGET — Sweden's left-leaning government proposes raising taxes and welfare benefits and boosting military spending in its first budget bill since taking office after last month's election. That would reverse many reforms by the previous center-right government, which had trimmed Sweden's famously high taxes. SENT: 130 words.

— GLOBAL CORRUPTION — An anti-corruption watchdog says that several of the Group of 20 global economic powers are making little or no effort to enforce rules barring multinational companies from paying bribes abroad, and only Canada has improved significantly in the past year. SENT: 130 words.