BC-APFN-Business News Digest

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Business News at 5:15 p.m.

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DETROIT — It is a case of buyer beware — with potentially dangerous consequences. Sellers of used cars are under no legal obligation to have a defective part repaired before someone else buys the vehicles. By Tom Krisher and Dee-Ann Durbin. SENT: 1,050 words, photo.


— USED CAR DANGERS-STATES — State by state breakdown of recalled vehicles without repairs. SENT: 450 words.

— USED CAR DANGER-WHAT TO DO — How to find out if a used car has an unrepaired recall. SENT: 300 words.



DETROIT — Buick makes a surprise appearance in Consumer Reports top 10 car brands, and the Tesla Model S is the highest-ranked car for the second straight year. Otherwise, the annual rankings are again dominated by brands and models from Japan and Germany. By Tom Krisher. SENT: 520 words, photos, glance.


WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen navigates the tricky job of managing expectations in her first public comments on interest rate policy in more than two months. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 900 words, photos.


— FINANCIAL MARKETS — The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index deliver a new set of record highs, beating marks they set last week. SENT: 1,100 words, photo.


BRUSSELS — Greece clears a major hurdle in its ongoing battle to remain solvent after its European creditors approved a 4-month extension to its financial bailout — but the cash-strapped country still has a lot to do to convince its partners that it deserves more help beyond the summer. By Lorne Cook and Raf Casert. SENT: 900 words, photos.


STAVANGER, Norway — Losing his job on a Norwegian oil rig meant more to Kristoffer Sandberg than saying goodbye to a high salary. It has caused a shift down in lifestyle and expectations, something an increasing number of people in this small oil-rich country are facing. By Mark Lewis. SENT: 710 words, photos.


NEW YORK — JPMorgan Chase is planning to close 300 bank branches, or about 5 percent of the total, over the next two years, as more customers move to online and mobile banking and the bank looks to reduce its overall expenses. By Ken Sweet. SENT: 490 words.



WASHINGTON — U.S. home price increases level off in December, reflecting a weak sales environment and a small number of homes for sale. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 500 words, photo.


WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer confidence falls this month after a big gain in January but remains higher than it was before the Great Recession. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 360 words, photo.

— IRS AUDITS — Budget cuts forced the IRS to reduce the number of tax audits last year to the lowest level in a decade, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says. And the number of audits could be even lower this year. SENT: 540 words.



WASHINGTON — U.S. banks' earnings drop 7.3 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier as a few big banks incur increased costs to settle legal cases and the industry has declines in income from the mortgage business. The data shows a reversal of the trend of rising earnings as the industry has recovered from the financial crisis. By Marcy Gordon. SENT: 390 words.


ATLANTA — Shoppers liked what they saw at Home Depot during the holidays, helping the home improvement chain beat Wall Street expectations for its fourth-quarter results. The retailer also authorized the repurchase of $18 billion of its own shares, boosted its quarterly dividend by 26 percent and released a better-than-expected outlook for the year. By Michelle Chapman. SENT: 730 words, photo.


NEW YORK — Comcast Corp.'s fourth-quarter net income edges up less than 1 percent as the company adds more customers for its cable TV, high-speed Internet and phone services. By Mae Anderson. SENT: 600 words, photo.

— MACY'S-RESULTS — Macy's delivers a disappointing full-year profit outlook as the department store chain reports sluggish sales for the holiday quarter. SENT: 460 words, photo.



WASHINGTON — Defying the Republican-run Congress, President Barack Obama rejects a bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, wielding his veto power for only the third time in his presidency. By Josh Lederman. SENT: 800 words, photos.


TRENTON, N.J. — Drugmaker Merck & Co. grants a free license allowing one of its HIV medicines to be made and sold inexpensively for use in young children in poor countries hard hit by the AIDS virus. By Linda A. Johnson. SENT: 450 words, photo.

— GOODYEAR-FOREIGN BRIBERY — Goodyear will pay about $16 million to settle federal regulators' charges that it failed to prevent persistent bribery in Kenya and Angola aimed at winning tire sales. SENT: 270 words.

— ANTIFUNGAL DRUG-SAFETY — A consumer safety group is calling on the Food and Drug Administration to pull certain antifungal tablets off the market, saying there are safer medicines that do not carry risks of liver damage. SENT: 290 words.

— AL-SHABAB-SHOPPING MALLS-MINNESOTA — The Mall of America has provided a rare glimpse into security for the nation's busiest shopping center after an online video purportedly produced by a terrorist group urged extremists to attack shopping malls in Western countries. SENT: 350 words, photos, video.

— MITSUBISHI-ELECTRIC CAR — Mitsubishi's 2016 iMiev will remain the cheapest electric car on the market when it goes on sale in the U.S. next month. SENT: 130 words.

— CADILLAC RECALL — General Motors is recalling about 67,000 Cadillac ATS compact sports sedans to fix a problem with the power sunroof controls. SENT: 130 words, photo.

— IRAQ-AIRLINES — The Mideast's biggest airline says it plans to resume flights to Baghdad after halting them last month after an incoming passenger plane came under fire. SENT: 200 words.

— NEW ENGLAND SNOW-REAL ESTATE — The epic snow in New England is causing grief for buyers and sellers of homes. SENT: 570 words, photos.

— SUPREME COURT-RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS — The Supreme Court appears likely to make it easier for participants in employee retirement plans to challenge companies' investment decisions that eat into retirement savings. SENT: 500 words.

— CALIFORNIA-PLASTIC BAG BAN — A trade group has turned in enough signatures to qualify a referendum on California's plastic bag ban law, suspending implementation of the nation's first statewide ban until voters weigh in on the November 2016 ballot, state elections officials say. SENT: 560 words, photo.

— VIKING CRUISES-MISSISSIPPI RIVER — Viking River Cruises, a major European river cruise company, is coming to New Orleans and the Mississippi River. SENT: 320 words.

— OBIT-DONALD KEOUGH — Donald Keough, who steered Coca-Cola through the "cola wars" of the 1980s, has died in Atlanta, the company said. He was 88. SENT: 250 words.

— HEALTH OVERHAUL-TAX TROUBLES — The Treasury Department says it is offering a reprieve for some taxpayers affected by health care law errors. SENT: 440 words.

— REVEL SALE — A Florida developer agrees to buy Atlantic City's former Revel Casino Hotel for $82 million, a week after a bankruptcy judge declared his former deal to buy it at a higher price dead. SENT 440 words.



NEW YORK — The producers of "Modern Family" recorded this week's episode entirely with the iPhone. What could have been a gimmick instead comes across as a new, clever way of storytelling — with jokes and plot twists not possible with the documentary-style approach that "Modern Family" typically uses. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 790 words, photos.


SAN FRANCISCO — A trial is underway in a high-profile sex bias lawsuit captivating Silicon Valley. In his opening statement, a lawyer for plaintiff Ellen Pao says she was passed over for promotion because she was a woman and then fired after she complained. By Sudhin Thanawala. SENT: 550 words, photo.

— SONY-PASCAL REPLACEMENT — Former 20th Century Fox chief Tom Rothman is named co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, replacing the recently departed Amy Pascal. SENT: 440 words, photo.

— REDDIT-NO SEX PICS WITHOUT CONSENT — Reddit, an online community of information boards, bans the posting of nude pictures and sex videos without the parties' consent. Some Reddit subgroups have traditionally posted illicit photos, ranging from hacked nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence to child porn. SENT: 200 words.

— APPLE-DIVERSIFYING EMOJI — Lovers of emojis, the cute graphics that punctuate online writing and texts, will soon be able to pick from different skin tones and depictions of families with two moms or two dads on Apple devices. SENT: 250 words, photo.

— CELLPHONE TRACKING — Federal appeals court takes up wireless cellphone tracking, used to place suspects near crimes. SENT: UPCOMING: 600 words.

— EUROPEAN HACKERS — The U.S. government has announced a $3 million reward for information leading to the arrest of a man American authorities call one of the world's most prolific cyber hackers. SENT: 120 words.


— SPAIN-ECONOMY — Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says Spain's economy will grow by a better-than-expected 2.4 percent in 2015, claiming it as strong evidence that the country has emerged from the severe economic crisis. SENT: 440 words, photos.

— EUROPE-NEW NOTE — The European Central Bank unveils a new version of the commonly used 20-euro note with added anti-counterfeiting features. SENT: 130 words.

— GERMANY-ECONOMY — Millions of German industrial workers are set to get a 3.4 percent pay increase this year following a deal between employers and a major union. SENT: 150 words.

— ALGERIA-SHALE GAS PROTESTS — Hundreds of Algerian police officers seal off avenues in the capital to prevent an opposition demonstration against plans to drill for shale gas in the south of the country. SENT: 310 words, photos.

A sampling of Money & Markets modules is below. The full digest for AP's Money & Markets service can be found at markets.ap.org. For questions about Money & Markets content, please contact Trevor Delaney (800-845-8450, ext. 1807). For technical support: Todd Balog (816-654-1096). After 6 p.m., contact the AP Business News desk (800-845-8450, ext. 1680) for content questions; 1-800-3AP-STOX for technical support and 212-621-1905 for graphics help.


What follows a DATH?

Stock market records don't happen in isolation and at times they coincide. What can investors expect after a double all-time high? UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.


Home Depot shares jump

Home Depot shares jump after the home improvement retailer reports better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.