BUSINESS

BC-APFN-Business News Preview

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Among the stories Monday from The Associated Press:

TOP STORIES:

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: 1,090 words, photos, graphic, interactive.

With:

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

APPLE-WATCH EVENT

SAN FRANCISCO — All eyes on Apple as tech giant releases its smartwatch. Is this the next Apple device you didn't know you needed but won't be able to live without? By Nick Jesdanun and Brandon Bailey. SENT: 800-word setup, photos. UPCOMING: Running updates from 1 p.m. event, taking analytical approach by 4 p.m., 700 words, photos.

GENERAL MOTORS-STOCK BUYBACK

DETROIT — General Motors heads off a potentially divisive proxy fight by agreeing to a $5 billion stock buyback that starts immediately and will close by the end of next year. By Tom Krisher. SENT: 800 words.

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.

FINANCIAL MARKETS

NEW YORK — The U.S. stock market is opening modestly higher following a sell-off Friday. SENT: 130 words, photo. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

— 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: 350 words.

— 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: 280 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.

— CREDIT REPORTS-ASSISTANCE — The three largest credit-reporting agencies say they'll change how they handle records, including making the dispute process easier for consumers and providing a waiting period before medical debts are reported. SENT: 380 words, photos.

— 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:

— OBAMA-TECHNOLOGY JOBS — Facing stubbornly stagnant wages, President Barack Obama has obtained commitments from more than 300 employers as well as local governments in 20 regions of the country to train and hire high technology workers in an effort to drive up higher-income employment. Obama is to announce the program, called TechHire, during a speech to the National League of Cities. SENT: 330 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated from speech, expected to begin at 11:30 a.m.

— 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.

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. SENT: 480 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated from meeting into the night.

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.