BUSINESS

BC-APFN-Business News Preview

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Among the stories Wednesday from The Associated Press:

TOP STORIES:

BANK SETTLEMENTS

WASHINGTON — Four big banks will pay $2.5 billion in fines and plead guilty to criminally manipulating global currency market going back to 2007. JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Barclays and The Royal Bank of Scotland conspired with one another to fix rates on U.S. dollars and euros traded in the huge global market for currencies, according to a settlement. By Ken Sweet and Eric Tucker. SENT: 420 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

EUROPE-DELAYED RECOVERY

FRANKFURT, Germany — Though the eurozone's economy is growing, it is not forecast to reach its pre-financial crisis size until 2016 — where as the US long ago passed break even and is 9 percent larger. A look at the main reasons. By David McHugh. SENT: 920 words, chunky text, photos.

SMALLBIZ-SMALL TALK

NEW YORK — Small businesses aren't in the dire straits they were four years ago, but presidential candidates aren't letting go of an issue they think will get them votes. By Joyce M. Rosenberg. SENT: 760 words.

With:

— SMALLBIZ-ISSUES — A sample of the issues on small businesses' agenda for the 2016 presidential election. SENT: 630 words.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are little changed in morning trading as investors weigh several earnings reports and await the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policymaking meeting. By Bernard Condon. SENT: 370 words, photo. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

— SWITZERLAND-UBS-US PROBE — Swiss bank UBS says it is pleading guilty to wire fraud and is paying $545 million to settle U.S. cases of market manipulation. SENT: 140 words.

EARNINGS:

TARGET-RESULTS

NEW YORK — Target is hitting the bulls-eye. The Minneapolis-based retailer reported a nearly 52 percent surge in its first-quarter profit on strong sales of fashion and baby products, evidence that its efforts to revamp its product selection are paying off. By Anne D'Innocenzio. SENT: 600 words, photo.

— EARNS-LOWE'S— Lowe's sees sales and profit rise in the first quarter as the housing market begins to thaw, but the performance was far from what Wall Street had expected and shares tumble 7 percent before the opening bell. SENT: 380 words, photo.

JOHNSON & JOHNSON-OUTLOOK

NEW BRUNSWICK, N. J. — Johnson & Johnson says its pharmaceutical business expects to seek regulatory approval by 2019 for more than 10 new products, each with the potential to top $1 billion in annual sales. By Linda A. Johnson. SENT: 330 words.

INDUSTRY:

TAKATA AIR BAG RECALL-Q&A

DETROIT — After doubling to 34 million on Tuesday, the recall of air bags made by Japanese auto parts supplier Takata Corp. is now the largest in U.S. history. Some facts about the recall. By Dee-Ann Durbin. SENT: 570 words, photo.

MCDONALD'S SHAREHOLDERS-SALARIES

OAK BROOK, Ill. — Labor leaders and workers are expected to gather outside McDonald's Corp. shareholders meeting to drive home their demand for a $15-an-hour wage for fast-food workers. SENT: 250 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

— FRACKING PERMITS-NORTH CAROLINA — A judge orders North Carolina not to approve any fracking operations until the state Supreme Court rules on a legal question about how state panels are formed. By Jonathan Drew. SENT: 170 words.

— DUBAI-EGYPT-PROPERTY — The property developer behind the record-breaking Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai says it will float shares in its Egyptian subsidiary to raise cash for ongoing and future projects in the North African nation. SENT: 140 words, photo.

— WAL-MART VETERANS — Wal-Mart says it is expanding its original plan to hire 100,000 veterans by 2018 to hire a total of 250,000 recently discharged veterans by 2020. SENT: 500 words, photo.

— BLUE BELL-LISTERIA — A man is suing Blue Bell, saying he contracted listeria-related meningitis after eating ice cream produced by the company in 2013. SENT: 150 words.

— PARENTING-BABY GEAR TRENDS — The New York Baby Show was a two-day extravaganza of experts, gadgets and services. Enjoy this sampling of advice on essentials and peek at products from show vendors and panelists. By Leanne Italie. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

— CALIFORNIA DROUGHT-WATER RIGHTS — For the first time in decades, farmers holding the oldest water rights in drought-stricken California are bracing for orders to stop pumping from rivers to irrigate crops. By Scott Smith and Fenit Nirappil. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

LUXEMBOURG-ALTICE-SUDDENLINK

NEW YORK — European cable and mobile phone operator Altice, controlled by founder Patrick Drahi, is fixing its lens on the U.S. market starting with a $9.1 billion deal for St. Louis-based Suddenlink. By Tali Arbel. SENT: 500 words, photo.

DIGITAL LIFE-REVIEW-BEYOND PREMIUM PHONES

NEW YORK — For those not satisfied with just a premium phone, Samsung and LG are offering two models best described as the Lamborghinis of smartphones. Here's what you get. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 640 words, photos.

— CHINA-HANERGY — The share price of a leading Chinese manufacturer of solar panels plunge by almost half and a second company warns it might face trouble paying its debts. SENT: 300 words.

INTERNATIONAL:

EUROPE-US-TRADE-TERRORISM

BRUSSELS — U.S. restrictions on access to documents and insistence on secrecy are undermining trust in trans-Atlantic trade talks and anti-terror data exchanges, the European Union's transparency watchdog says. By Lorne Cook. SENT: 500 words, photos.

JAPAN-ECONOMY

TOKYO — Japan's economy grew at a faster-than-expected 2.4 percent annual pace in the January-March quarter, suggesting a recovery is gaining traction despite persisting weakness in corporate and household spending. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 690 words, photos.

— GREECE-BAILOUT — Greece will not be able to repay a loan to the International Monetary Fund early next month unless a deal is reached with its creditors to unblock bailout funds, the governing party's parliament spokesman says. By Elena Becatoros. SENT: 590 words, photos.

— BRITAIN-ECONOMY — Bank of England policymakers vote unanimously to keep interest rates steady at their meeting this month, even as they hint that record low rates would have to be lifted eventually. SENT: 140 words.