BC-APFN-Business News Digest

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Here are AP Business News' latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EST.

TOP STORIES:

PAYROLL PHISHING-W2 TAX SCAM — Employers are being tricked into sending detailed employee tax information to scammers as part of an emerging tax fraud campaign. Two prominent technology firms, Seagate Technologies and SnapChat, are among recent victims. By Michael Liedtke and Sarah Skidmore Sell. SENT: 830 words, photos.

Also:

PHISHING-TAX SEASON — Think twice before you click on that email link — what may look like a legitimate communication from your boss, human resources department or email provider may actually be part of a phishing scheme designed to steal confidential information. Many companies are now learning that lesson in the worst way possible. By Bree Fowler. SENT: 900 words, photo

MILLENNIAL CAR BUYERS — Millennials had the auto industry scratching its head for years with their reluctance to buy cars. Now they're finding jobs and starting families and finally splurging on a set of wheels. By Dee-Ann Durbin. SENT: 950 words, photos.

TAMPON TAX — A movement to abolish taxes on tampons and even make them free to poor women is breaking down taboos around discussion of menstruation. By Colleen Long and Jennifer Peltz. UPCOMING: 600 words by 2 p.m., photos, video.

ON THE MONEY-FREE CREDIT SCORES — It might be the most important piece of financial information about you — and it's finally easier for you to actually get a look at it. Big banks and credit card companies are increasingly offering customers free access to their FICO score. By Ken Sweet. UPCOMING: 800 words by 2 p.m., photos.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS — Stocks move higher on some strong earnings reports and a rise in crude oil prices. Several energy companies are rebounding from big drops the day before. Murphy Oil is up 2.3 percent. By Bernard Condon. SENT: 580 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK-FIVE THINGS — Five things to look out for at the European Central Bank's policy meeting, when it is expected to provide more stimulus to the eurozone economy. By David McHugh. SENT: 970 words, photos.

WHOLESALE INVENTORIES — U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles by the largest amount in five months, but their sales fell for the sixth time in the past seven months. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 130 words.

INDUSTRY:

GOP 2016-TRUMP-BUSINESSES — After winning the day's two biggest prizes in the Republican race for president, Donald Trump had his steak, water and wine on display to defend his business record. By Jill Colvin. SENT: 630 words, photos, video.

GOP 2016-TRUMP TAX CREDIT — In three consecutive years, Donald Trump has received a property tax credit for people with incomes of less $500,000. By Jeff Horwitz. SENT: 680 words, photos.

GERMANY-EARNS-BMW — German luxury carmaker BMW AG has reported record profit of 6.0 billion euros ($6.6 billion) for last year, a 10 percent increase. SENT: 220 words, photos.

VALEANT-BOARD ADDITIONS — Embattled drug company Valeant Pharmaceuticals has added three directors to its board, including an executive from activist investor Bill Ackman's hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management. SENT: 320 words.

CHIPOTLE-STORE CLOSURE — Chipotle says one of its stores in Massachusetts is closed after four employees said they were feeling ill. SENT: 400 words, photos.

VERMONT PAID SICK LEAVE — Vermont has become the fifth state to require employers to provide paid sick leave to workers. SENT: 130 words.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

SKOREA-GAME-HUMAN VS COMPUTER — Google's computer program AlphaGo defeats its human opponent, South Korean Go champion Lee Sedol, in the first face-off of a historic five-game match. By Youkyung Lee. SENT: 530 words, photos.

BANGLADESH-HACK ATTACK — The Bangladesh central bank says it is working to recover some $100 million allegedly stolen by Chinese hackers from an account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. SENT: 340 words.

GAMES-HITMAN — The creators of "Hitman" are pulling the trigger on an unorthodox way of releasing their espionage saga that could reshape how the interactive industry approaches video game launches. "Hitman" publisher Square Enix and developer IO Interactive are unloading the latest installment of their assassination simulator episodically instead of all at once. By Derrik J. Lang. SENT: 530 words, photos.

FRANCE-UBER — France's top administrative court has upheld the right of car services like Uber to use geolocalization for potential customers, dealing a blow to a law pushed by taxi drivers who say the app-based ride-hailing company is competing unfairly. SENT: 130 words.

SELF-DRIVING CARS-CRASH — Newly released video shows the moment a Google self-driving car learned the hard way not to tussle with a public bus. By Justin Pritchard. SENT: 910 words, photos, video.

FINLAND-EARNS-SUPERCELL — The maker of the "Clash of Clans" mobile game, Supercell, says its pre-tax profit last year grew more than 60 percent to 838 million euros ($964m) while revenue surged a third to 2.1 billion euros. SENT: 130 words, photos.

INTERNATIONAL:

JAPAN-NUCLEAR REFUGEES — They feel like refugees, although they live in one of the world's richest and most peaceful nations. Five years ago, these people fled their homes, grabbing what they could, as a nearby nuclear plant melted down after being hit by a tsunami, spewing radiation. About 100,000 are still scattered around the nation, and many fear returning home. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 1,400 words, photos.

CHINA-RURAL-URBAN DIVIDE — A much-shared online post about a city woman's horror at the squalor of her boyfriend's hometown turned out to be fake, but revealed volumes about the divide between impoverished rural China and its affluent cities — a split the country's leadership has vowed to address. By Didi Tang. UPCOMING: 800 words.

GREECE-BAILOUT — Bailout inspectors return to Greece to complete a review of the government's economic reforms, which is needed before the country can get more rescue loans and much-needed debt relief. By Derek Gatopoulos and Elaine Ganley. SENT: 420 words.

ANDORRA-BANK PROBE — The tiny European state of Andorra says a study shows one of its banks had 923 accounts suspected of money laundering, a finding the bank's principal shareholders have blasted as false and misleading. SENT: 230 words.

FRANCE-STRIKES — Tens of thousands of people protested across France on Wednesday against President Francois Hollande's determination to achieve what his conservative predecessor didn't even dare to try — tamper with the 35-hour workweek. By Samuel Petrequin. SENT: 720 words.

MONEY & MARKETS SUMMARY:

COMPANY SPOTLIGHT — Pet food maker Blue Buffalo, which is climbing out of a long slump, reported strong fourth-quarter results.

CENTERPIECE — Chipotle's recent food scares have prompted the burrito maker to revamp its food prep practices, increase safety training and launch free food giveaways. But will it be enough to help it reverse a slide in sales?

HOW TO REACH US:

Business News Supervisor Richard Jacobsen (800-845-8450, ext. 1680). For photos (ext. 1900.) For graphics/interactives (ext. 7636.) Expanded AP content: http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and technical issues: customersupport@ap.org, or 877-836-9477. Questions about transmission of financial market listings, call 800-3AP-STOX.

The full digest for AP's Money & Markets service can be found at markets.ap.org. For questions about M&M content, contact Stan Choe (800-845-8450, ext. 1807). For technical support: Todd Balog (816-654-1096).