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NEW YORK — Soaring inflation. A collapsing dollar. Bubbles in financial markets that would soon collapse. One presidential candidate even suggested that the Federal Reserve chairman should be roughed up. During the past five years, as the Fed has pumped ever-more money into the economy, critics warned that it would lead to all kinds of disasters. Yet the central bank kept extending its bond-buying program, known by the wonky name of quantitative easing, or QE. It was an unprecedented effort aimed at lowering borrowing costs, encouraging spending and reviving a dormant economy before it could slump back into recession. Now, $4 trillion later, QE is drawing to a close, and the question is: Did it work? Economists have quibbles, but many agree that the Fed accomplished the bulk of its goals. By Matthew Craft. SENT: 1,270 words, photos.


DETROIT — Owners of electric vehicles have already gone gas-free. Now, a growing number are powering their cars with sunlight. Solar panels installed on the roof of a home or garage can easily generate enough electricity to power an electric or plug-in gas-electric hybrid vehicle. The panels aren't cheap, and neither are the cars. By Auto Writer Dee-Ann Durbin. SENT: 830 words, photos.


Retailer resistance to Apple Pay had been expected because the tech giant isn't offering any incentives to install point-of-sale terminals or train staff on the mobile payment service. But the decision to not accept Apple Pay by retailers like CVS and Wal-Mart that already have contactless terminals in the checkout line is a "skirmish" rooted in competition. Will pressure from customers wanting to pay-by-phone make them change their minds? By Mae Anderson. UPCOMING: 500 words by 2 p.m., photo.


— APPLE-ALIBABA — Apple CEO Tim Cook says Apple's new mobile payment system had over 1 million activations in the first three days after it became available. SENT: 580 words, photo.


— LOWE'S-ROBOTS — The robots are coming. Lowe's is testing whether new bots on wheels can improve its customer service, like helping a shopper find a match for something as simple as a nail. Four robots are being tested an Orchard Supply Hardware store owned by Lowe's Companies Inc. in San Jose, California. SENT: 250 words, photos.


DAMASCUS, Syria — The middle-aged salesman sat glumly among an array of shorts, khaki leisure suits bedecked with gold belts and dresses with plunging necklines in the ancient Damascus bazaar — luxuries few can afford in today's Syria. He, like many traders, lost most of his customers when Syria's uprising erupted in 2011 against the rule of President Bashar Assad, and his new clientele is far poorer: Syrians fleeing the fighting with barely any possessions. Now, he fears there's even worse to come, as the U.S.-led bombings of the Islamic State group target the country's modest oil reserves under the militants' control, sending oil and diesel prices soaring. By Diaa Hadid. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.


WASHINGTON — AT&T is being sued by the government over allegations it misled millions of smartphone customers about its unlimited data plans. The Federal Trade Commission says AT&T failed to adequately disclose to customers that it would reduce data speeds if they went over a certain amount of data use in a billing cycle. The practice, known as throttling, slows down things like web browsing, GPS navigation or watching streaming videos. By Jennifer C. Kerr. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.


NEW YORK — Facebook has been on a roll lately, and its stock hit an all-time high of $81.16 ahead of the earnings report. Investors are looking for another stellar quarter with higher advertising revenue, increased user figures and updates on how video ads and other new products are faring. By Barbara Ortutay. UPCOMING: 130 words after release, 500 words by 5 p.m., photo.



WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer confidence rebounds strongly in October, as solid job gains raised expectations for economic growth. The Conference Board says that its confidence index climbed to 94.5, reversing a dip to 89 in September from a nearly seven-year high of 93.4 in August. By Josh Boak. SENT: 440 words, photo.


WASHINGTON — Orders to U.S. companies for long-lasting manufactured goods fall for a second month in September, while a key category that signals business investment plans dropped by the biggest amount in eight months. The declines, however, were likely a temporary soft patch that will likely be followed by a resumption of stronger growth. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 610 words, photo.


WASHINGTON — U.S. home prices grow more slowly in August amid modest sales, a trend that could help make homes more affordable for buyers in the months ahead. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 510 words, photo.


NEW YORK — U.S. stocks rise as investors weighed earnings reports from several companies and awaited news from a two-day U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that ends Wednesday. By Bernard Condon. SENT: 600 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

— NIGERIA-STOCK EXCHANGE — The Nigerian Stock Exchange says it's become a full member of the World Federation of Exchanges just as it prepares to woo Asian fund managers. SENT: 290 words.



DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The Middle East is getting the world's first Macy's department store outside the United States, and just for good measure, its second Bloomingdale's too. Property developer Gulf Related and Dubai-based retail conglomerate Al Tayer Group says they plan to open both stores in a new shopping center being built in the United Arab Emirates capital, Abu Dhabi. By Adam Schreck. SENT: 470 words, photos.


DALLAS — American Airlines and US Airways will combine their frequent flier programs early next year and, for now, will continue to base free flights on how many miles customers fly. By David Koenig. SENT: 370 words.

— MARVEL CHARACTERS-COPYRIGHT — Spider-Man, X-Men and The Hulk will loom large in a federal appeals court as a Colorado company battles with Disney for the rights to Marvel's iconic comic book characters in a longtime dispute. SENT: 290 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

— EBOLA-SWITZERLAND-VACCINE — The Swiss agency that regulates new drugs says it has approved an application for a clinical trial with an experimental Ebola vaccine at the Lausanne University Hospital. SENT: 280 words, photos.

— BRITAIN-LLOYDS — Britain's Lloyds Banking Group says it will eliminate 9,000 jobs over the next three years and shut some 200 branches in a bid to improve efficiency. SENT: 310 words, photos.

— FERTILIZER PLANT-ILLINOIS — Cronus Chemicals plans to build a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant in eastern Illinois, state economic officials confirme. SENT: 230 words.

— MISSING INVESTMENT ADVISER — A former Georgia investment adviser is sentenced to 30 years in prison for committing fraud that fueled a bank's collapse, cost investors millions of dollars and turned the accused banker into a fugitive who was ultimately — and mistakenly — declared dead. SENT: 560 words.

— GOVERNMENT-MINIBIKE FINE — A South Carolina company that sells minibikes and go-carts agrees to pay $4.3 million in a settlement with the Consumer Product Safety Commission — the largest-ever civil penalty levied by the agency. SENT: 140 words.


— EARNS-AETNA — Aetna becomes the latest major health insurer to thump third-quarter expectations and raise its 2014 forecast, but the company's shares slip after it also said expenses climbed more than expected for part of its enrollment. SENT: 480 words, photo.

— EARNS-DUPONT — The DuPont Co. says that strong performance in its nutrition and health unit and lower raw material costs contributed to an increase in third-quarter earnings. SENT: 610 words, photo.

— EARNS-PFIZER — Pfizer reports better-than-expected third quarter earnings Tuesday as higher sales in emerging markets like China helped offset missing revenue from former blockbuster drugs that have lost patent protection. SENT: 440 words, photo.

— JAPAN-EARNS-HONDA — Honda's net profit for the July-September quarter surges nearly 18 percent but the Japanese automaker lowered its earnings forecast for the full year Tuesday, pointing to difficulties in China and its home Japan market. SENT: 360 words, photo.

— BRITAIN-EARNS-BP — British oil company BP says its earnings have fallen in the third quarter as the price of crude oil dropped globally. SENT: 130 words.

— EARNS-UBS— Swiss banking giant UBS AG is reporting a third-quarter net profit of 762 million Swiss francs ($803 million), up 32 percent from the comparable period a year ago based on solid returns from its investment banking and wealth management. SENT: 140 words, photos.

— EARNS-NOVARTIS — Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG posts a 45 percent rise in net profit in the third quarter, boosted by strong sales of new products such as Gilenya for multiple sclerosis and the leukemia drug Tasigna. SENT: 140 words, photo.

— EARNS-SANOFI — French drug maker Sanofi sees its stock price plunge after it reported a slide in quarterly earnings and warned of pricing pressure on its blockbuster diabetes treatment in the U.S. SENT: 320 words.


— FIAT CHRYSLER-QUALITY CHIEF — Doug Betts, Fiat Chrysler's longtime quality chief, abruptly leaves the company, one day after its brands performed poorly in Consumer Reports magazine's annual reliability rankings. SENT: 550 words, photo.

— GENERAL MOTORS-PRODUCTION — General Motors is moving production of a critical component in the Chevrolet Volt from Mexico to Michigan. GM CEO Mary Barra is expected to announce the plan in a speech to the Detroit Economic Club. SENT: 430 words.



LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — Personal information about more than 18.5 million Californians was hacked, stolen or otherwise exposed last year and as many as one-third of those people will become victims of fraud, California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a new report on data breaches in the nation's biggest state. By Brandon Bailey. SENT: 650 words, photo.

— JAPAN-INDIA-SOFTBANK — Japanese telecommunications company Softbank Corp. says it bought stakes in two Indian technology companies and could splash $10 billion on investments in the country over the next decade. SENT: 350 words, photo.

— CALL OF DUTY-WALMART — The latest installment in the blockbuster "Call of Duty" video game franchise goes on sale next week and those that need to be first in line will have to head to Wal-Mart. SENT: 170 words.


— SWEDEN-INTEREST RATES — The Swedish central bank cuts its key interest rate to 0 percent, saying the economy is "relatively strong" but that inflation is too low. SENT: 320 words.

— CHINA-AFGHANISTAN — Afghanistan's new president visits Beijing seeking Chinese help in rebuilding his country and promoting regional stability. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai received pledges of hundreds of millions of dollars in aid in a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He also plans to urge potential investors to help bankroll Afghanistan's development, especially its mining industry. SENT: 630 words, photos.

— CLIMATE CHANGE — The European Union's environment agency says the bloc's greenhouse gas emissions dropped by nearly 2 percent last year, putting the EU very close to reaching its emissions target for 2020. SENT: 290 words.

— ITALY-EXPO — Police detain 13 people in a mafia investigation that showed how the southern 'ndrangheta mob allegedly infiltrated bidding for contracts related to Milan's world's fair. SENT: 150 words.

— TURKEY-MINE COLLAPSE — Underground waters flood a section of a coal mine in southern Turkey, trapping at least 18 workers, officials and reports said — an event likely to raise even more concerns about the nation's poor workplace safety standards. SENT: 260 words.

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Power surge

Utility stocks are at the top of the charts this year. The Dow Jones Utilities average reached an all-time high Monday and is up more than 18 percent this year. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.


Kohl's shares sink

Investors sell off shares of Kohl's after it warns that its profit for the year will come in at the low end of its outlook. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.