BC-APFN-Business News Digest

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Business News at 5 p.m.

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All times EST.

—Adds: BUDGET DEFICIT, APPLE EVENT-5 THINGS TO KNOW, HEROIN ANTIDOTE-COST

—Updates: FINANCIAL MARKETS, RIGHT TO WORK-WISCONSIN, SILICON VALLEY-SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION, APPLE WATCH

TOP STORIES:

APPLE WATCH

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple makes the case for moving the mobile Internet from your pocket to your wrist. By Brandon Bailey. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5:30 p.m.

With:

APPLE EVENT-5 THINGS TO KNOW

SAN FRANCISCO — All eyes were focused on the watch, but Apple CEO Tim Cook also unveiled a new MacBook and announced other deals at a company event in San Francisco. Here are five things you need to know. SENT 690 words, chunky text, photos.

And:

— APPLE EVENT — Live blog of Apple event. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 1,575 words, photos.

CREDIT REPORT-CHANGES-Q&A

NEW YORK — Disputing a mistake on your credit report could get easier and the effects of medical debt less severe under changes being made by the three largest credit-reporting agencies. By Michelle Chapman and Alex Veiga. SENT: 580 words, photos. Incorporates CREDIT REPORTS-ASSISTANCE.

BULL MARKET-SIXTH ANNIVERSARY-Q&A

NEW YORK — In 2009 the housing market had collapsed, Lehman Brothers had gone under, the U.S. was in a deep recession and stocks had plunged 57 percent from their high in Oct. 2007. Fast forward six years, and investors are enjoying one of the longest bull markets since the 1940s. By Steve Rothwell. SENT: 1,140 words, photos, graphic, interactive.

With:

— BULL MARKET-SIXTH ANNIVERSARY-GLANCE — The numbers behind the stock market's bull run. SENT: 230 words.

— FINANCIAL MARKETS —The stock market's bull run turns six. The anniversary is marked with modest gains. SENT: 800 words, photo.

EUROPE-STIMULUS-FIVE THINGS

FRANKFURT, Germany — The European Central Bank has hit the launch button on its 1.1 trillion euro ($1.2 trillion) stimulus program by starting to buy government bonds. Here are five things to know about the program and its effects. By David McHugh. SENT: 780 words, photo. Incorporates EUROPE-STIMULUS.

GENERAL MOTORS-STOCK BUYBACK

DETROIT — General Motors agreed to buy back $5 billion in stock by the end of next year as part of a plan to return more cash to shareholders. In return, an activist shareholder decided to drop a potentially divisive bid for a seat on the company's board. By Tom Krisher. SENT: 760 words, photo.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

TRADE-CURRENCY MANIPULATION

WASHINGTON — Supporters of President Barack Obama's trade agenda are battling opponents' demands to bar China from keeping its currency value artificially low, a way to subsidize exports. Insisting on confronting China's currency practices could "wreck our trade agenda," said Tony Fratto, a former Republican White House spokesman and Treasury official now working for pro-trade groups. By Charles Babington. SENT: 830 words, photos.

BUDGET DEFICIT

WASHINGTON — Slowing health care costs are driving down the price tag of President Barack Obama's health overhaul, just as the Supreme Court is weighing whether to strike a key part of the law. By Stephen Ohlemacher. SENT: 700 words.

— ECONOMY SURVEY — Most business economists expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in the second half of this year, but say uncertainty over the Fed's plans is no longer slowing U.S. economic recovery, according to a new survey. SENT: 500 words.

INDUSTRY:

MCDONALD'S-SALES

NEW YORK — McDonald's says global sales declined again in February, including a 4 percent drop in the U.S. where it is fighting to reinvigorate its image. By Candice Choi. SENT: 480 words, photo.

MALL OPERATORS-HOSTILE BID

INDIANAPOLIS — Simon Property Group launches a hostile bid worth about $16 billion for Macerich Co. after saying the rival mall operator refused to discuss a combination. A deal would combine two of the largest mall operators in the United States. By Tom Murphy. SENT: 390 words, photo.

— ALCOA-ACQUISITION — Alcoa is buying titanium supplier RTI International Metals in a deal valued at $1.5 billion, as it continues to build its stake in products for the aerospace industry. SENT: 300 words, photo.

— CANDY IN DRINKS — Sugar is a bad word in some circles but that isn't stopping Sonic from pouring candy into its drinks. And given their success, CEO Cliff Hudson says Sonic is looking at adding a second candy-drink mashup this summer. SENT: 300 words.

— HEROIN ANTIDOTE-COST — Rising price of drug that reverses heroin overdoses worries advocates who fear more deaths. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

— TRUMP CASINO NAME LAWSUIT — Donald Trump reaches an agreement with billionaire investor Carl Icahn to allow his name to remain on the Trump Taj Mahal Casino. SENT: 420 words.

— GREECE-SIEMENS-INDICTMENTS — Greek authorities indict more than 60 people to stand trial over an alleged bribery scandal 17 years ago, involving a telecom contract for German industrial giant Siemens AG. SENT: 130 words.

— HONG KONG-IATA-AIR SAFETY — The number of deaths in jetliner disasters spiked last year despite there being fewer accidents in total, an international airline industry group says. SENT: 400 words.

— MEDICARE-RURAL HOSPITALS — A law that allows rural hospitals to bill Medicare for rehabilitation services for seniors at higher rates than nursing homes and other facilities has led to billions of dollars in extra government spending, federal investigators say. SENT: 620 words.

— RIGHT TO WORK-WISCONSIN — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signs into law a measure that prohibits requiring a worker to pay union dues, striking another blow against organized labor four years after the state effectively ended collective bargaining for public-sector employees. SENT: 550 words.

— SUPREME COURT-MORTGAGE BROKERS-OVERTIME PAY — The Supreme Court sides with the Obama administration in upholding a rule making mortgage brokers eligible for overtime pay under federal labor law. SENT: 140 words.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

SILICON VALLEY-SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION

SAN FRANCISCO — A woman behind a high-profile sexual discrimination lawsuit against one of Silicon Valley's most prestigious venture capital firms testifies that female employees were treated disrespectfully — and some were not even invited — when the company held a series of events. By Sudhin Thanawala. SENT: 350 words, photos.

— OBAMA-TECHNOLOGY JOBS — Targeting stagnant wages in an otherwise improving economy, President Barack Obama calls on employers, educational institutions and local governments to develop a home grown high technology workforce that could help drive up higher-income employment. By Jim Kuhnhenn. SENT: 530 words, photo, video.

— CYBERATTACKS-JOURNALISTS — More than a year after researchers revealed a campaign to compromise the computers of an Alexandria-based Ethiopian broadcaster, the same perpetrators are still at it — illustrating how hard it is to stop electronic espionage in the digital age. By Raphael Satter. SENT: 380 words, photos.

— SOLAR PLANE — With its wings stretched wide to catch the sun's energy, a Swiss-made solar-powered aircraft took off from Abu Dhabi just after daybreak in a historic first attempt to fly around the world without a drop of fossil fuel. SENT: 840 words, photos, video.

— SWEDEN-SONY MOBILE-LAYOFFS — Sony says it will cut 1,000 jobs at a mobile phone unit in Lund, Sweden. SENT: 120 words.

INTERNATIONAL:

GREECE-BAILOUT

BRUSSELS — Greece and its creditors must "stop wasting time" and speed up talks on the reforms the country should make to get more rescue loans, the head of the eurozone's 19 finance ministers warns. By Elena Becatoros. SENT: 500 words, photos.

MOROCCO-MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS

CASABLANCA, Morocco — Over the past year, Morocco has been working to grant legal status to the tens of thousands of immigrants who arrive with European dreams to give them an opportunity to settle and take advantage of the health and education system — and even help them start small businesses. By Andrew Drake. SENT: 740 words, photos.

— GERMANY-ECONOMY — Germany's trade surplus narrows in January as a drop in imports was outpaced by a decline in exports. SENT: 120 words.

— JAPAN-ECONOMY — Japan's economy escaped recession last quarter but grew less than first estimated as demand and wages remained weak, the government says. SENT: 560 words, photo.

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.

CENTERPIECE

Emerging winners and losers

Stocks from different developing countries are no longer moving together in herds. Countries that are big producers of commodities are struggling, while countries that are net importers of commodities, meanwhile, are reaping the benefits of lower costs. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.

COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

GM plans $5 billion buyback

General Motors has headed off a proxy fight by agreeing to buy back $5 billion in stock by the end of next year. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.