BC-APFN-Business News Preview

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Among the stories Wednesday from The Associated Press:

TOP STORIES:

AMAZON-NEW KINDLE — Will loyal fans of e-books be willing to shell out a tablet price for a dedicated e-book reader? Amazon's latest Kindle is its smallest and lightest yet. But it's also the most expensive, at $289.99. The company is betting that its sleek frame and a cover that doubles as a rechargeable battery will be strong selling points. By Mae Anderson. SENT: 570 words, photo.

SMALLBIZ-SMALL TALK-MINIMUM WAGE — In the aftermath of California and New York becoming the first states to raise the minimum wage to $15, some small businesses that employ hourly workers are rethinking how they can absorb the increase. By Joyce Rosenberg. UPCOMING: 800 words by noon, photo.

WOMEN-ONLY RIDES — Ride-hailing companies catering exclusively to women are cropping up and raising thorny legal questions, namely: Are they discriminatory? By Philip Marcelo. SENT: 820 words, photos.

BANKS-REGULATORS-LIVING WILLS — Federal regulators say that five of the biggest banks in the U.S. have inadequate plans for unwinding operations in case of failure, potentially leaving them unable to cope with financial distress without another taxpayer bailout. By Marcy Gordon. SENT: 660 words.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS — U.S. stocks are rising in early trading, led by gains in banks after JPMorgan Chase turned in results that weren't as bad as analysts anticipated. SENT: 150 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

RETAIL SALES — U.S. retail sales fell last month as Americans cut back on their car purchases, the latest sign that consumers are reluctant to spend freely. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 370 words.

PRODUCER PRICES — U.S. producer prices fell in March for the fifth time in the past eight months, reflecting a drop in food prices which offset the biggest increase in energy prices in 10 months. Even with the increase in energy, inflation remained at modest levels. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 380 words, photos.

BUSINESS INVENTORIES — The Commerce Department reports on business stockpiles in Februrary. By Martin Crutsinger. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 10 a.m. 300 words by 10:45 a.m.

FED-BEIGE BOOK — The Federal Reserve releases its latest 'Beige Book' survey of economic conditions. The Beige Book is based on anecdotal reports from businesses and will be considered along with other data when Fed policymakers meet later this month. By Martin Crutsinger. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of survey at 2 p.m. 350 words by 2:45 p.m.

CONGRESS-PUERTO RICO — House Republicans hope an emerging compromise can satisfy Puerto Rico's government, creditors and the GOP rank and file about how the U.S. territory can deal with its $70 billion debt and emerge from its financial crisis. By Mary Clare Jalonick. SENT: 630 words.

EARNINGS:

EARNS-JPMORGAN CHASE — JPMorgan Chase says its first-quarter profit fell more than 8 percent from a year earlier, and future profit growth could be threatened after it failed a key regulatory test designed to prevent another financial crisis. By Ken Sweet. SENT: 520 words, photos.

PERSONAL FINANCE:

ON THE MONEY-YOUR MONEY FOR A PRICE — Banks are rolling out services that allow their customers to cash a check before it clears — for a fee, of course. Traditional banks have avoided offering the service, which is usually aimed at people with low income, but now they want to get in on a business that has come to be dominated by local check-cashing stores. By Ken Sweet. UPCOMING: 600 words by 1 p.m.

INDUSTRY:

PEABODY ENERGY-BANKRUPTCY — Peabody Energy, the nation's largest coal miner, has filed for bankruptcy protection as a crosscurrent of environmental, technological and economic changes wreaks havoc across the industry. SENT: 420 words, photo, photos.

GERMANY-VOLKSWAGEN — Volkswagen said Wednesday that its top managers' bonuses will be cut significantly, citing the need to send a "signal" on executives' pay following the automaker's diesel emissions scandal. By Geir Moulson. SENT: 460 words, photos.

DOG FOOD TRUCK — Stand on any block around lunchtime near Amazon.com's downtown Seattle headquarters and there are two common sights: people walking their dogs and people buying lunch at food trucks. Now, one truck is combining both by catering to humankind's best friend. By Manuel Valdes. SENT: 380 words, photos, video.

FAA BILL-AIRLINE PASSENGERS — Republican leaders are lauding an aviation policy bill before the Senate as the most passenger friendly in years, but there are limits to friendship. SENT: 580 words, photos.

MCCORMICK-PREMIER FOODS — Spice and herb seller McCormick says it is scrapping its plan to buy British food maker Premier Foods, after takeover talks between the two companies failed. SENT: 110 words.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

VERIZON-CONTRACT TALKS — About 39,000 Verizon landline and cable workers on the East Coast walk off the job after little progress in negotiations since their contract expired nearly eight months ago. By Michael Balsamo. SENT: 640 words, photos.

INDONESIA-UBER — Ride-hailing app Uber launches a motorbike taxi service in the Indonesian capital where Southeast Asian rivals Go-Jek and Grab are already battling for dominance. By Michael Balsamo. SENT: 720 words, photos.

HEALTH & MEDICINE:

CANCER DRUGS PROJECT — A project to speed development of cancer-fighting drugs that harness the immune system has academic and drug industry researchers collaborating and sharing their findings like never before. By Linda A. Johnson. SENT: 720 words, photos.

PAINKILLERS-PAIN MEASURES — Critics of how prescription painkillers are administered in the U.S. are calling on health officials to phase out hospital procedures and questionnaires used to manage pain. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: 440 words, photos.

INTERNATIONAL:

CHINA-TRADE — Chinese exports rise for the first time in nine months, in a sign that the outlook may be improving for the world's No. 2 economy. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 300 words, photo.

EUROPE-ECONOMY — The eurozone's industrial sector looks set to be a major contributor to first quarter economic growth across the 19-country region even after official figures show its production fell by a monthly 0.8 percent in February. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 400 words.

BELGIUM-AIRPORT — Belgian air traffic controllers continued their wildcat strike for a second day on Wednesday, forcing the cancellation of flights at Brussels airport and angering the government as the nation struggles to recover from last month's suicide bombings. SENT: 220 words.