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Stocks slump as earnings disappoint

Jul 31, 2014

By STEVE ROTHWELL and KAY JOHNSON, AP Business Writers

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks fell in early trading Thursday as investors reacted to some disappointing earnings reports and assessed the implications of the approaching end to economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve. That stimulus has ...

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Obama cracks down on labor breaches by contractors

Jul 31, 2014

By JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an election-year rebuttal to Republicans, President Barack Obama will sign an executive order Thursday requiring federal contractors to give their workers more rights in labor disputes. The move comes one day after House GOP lawmakers voted to ...

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US stocks open lower; Yum Brands sinks

Jul 31, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are opening lower as investors react to more disappointing earnings from companies.

L-3 Communications Holdings plunged 14 percent, the most in the Standard & Poor's 500 index, after the company reported that it was investigating accounting irregularities at is Aerospace ...

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MasterCard 2Q profit rises on volume growth

Jul 31, 2014

PURCHASE, N.Y. (AP) — MasterCard's second-quarter net income climbed 9.8 percent as it benefited from volume growth and handled more transactions in the period.

The company's results topped analysts' estimates. Shares rose in premarket trading on Thursday.

MasterCard Inc. is the world's ...

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Russia tensions hurting European companies

Jul 31, 2014

By GEIR MOULSON, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — Russia's standoff with the West is hurting European companies, from heavy industry to sports goods makers, even before the latest sanctions have a chance to take effect.

A group representing Germany's machinery industry cut its output forecast sharply ...

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Target names Pepsi's Cornell as chairman, CEO

Jul 31, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target is bringing in an outsider as its CEO for the first time as the retailer fights to redefine itself to American shoppers.

The Minneapolis-based company said Thursday that it named PepsiCo executive Brian Cornell to the top spot, replacing John Mulligan, who had been acting ...

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US jobless aid applications rise to 302,000

Jul 31, 2014

By JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — More people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, but jobless claims remain at pre-recession levels.

The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment aid rose 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 302,000. The prior week's was ...

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As US economy accelerates, Fed remains cautious

Jul 31, 2014

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — After a grim start to 2014, the U.S. economy has rebounded with vigor and should show renewed strength into next year.

That was the general view of analysts Wednesday after the government estimated that the economy grew at a fast 4 percent ...

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Homeowner who fought off Trump is moving on

Jul 31, 2014

By SAMANTHA HENRY, Associated Press

She once called Donald Trump "a maggot, a cockroach and a crumb." This week, he remembered her as "an impossible person."

The woman who became a folk hero for resisting decades-long efforts by big-name developers like Trump to displace her Atlantic City ...

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Russia ordered to pay another $2.5 bln for Yukos

Jul 31, 2014

PARIS (AP) — The European Court of Human Rights has ordered Russia to pay out nearly 1.9 billion euros ($2.5 billion) to shareholders of Yukos, the oil producer that the government had dismantled over a decade ago.

Thursday's ruling said Russia must produce a plan to distribute the funds within ...

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Eurozone inflation drops further to 0.4 percent

Jul 31, 2014

BRUSSELS (AP) — Official data show the inflation rate in the 18-nation eurozone fell further in July, to 0.4 percent from 0.5 percent a month earlier.

The preliminary figures published Thursday by the European Union's statistical agency are likely to add pressure on the European Central Bank to ...

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Swiss central bank reports $17.7B half-year profit

Jul 31, 2014

GENEVA (AP) — Switzerland's central bank posted a profit Thursday of 16.1 billion Swiss francs ($17.7 billion) for the first half of the year, a big turnaround from its loss of 9 billion francs for 2013.

The Swiss National Bank's profit is largely based on gains in the gold, foreign exchange and ...

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Alcatel loss narrows in 2Q but revenue stagnates

Jul 31, 2014

PARIS (AP) — Telecommunications equipment company Alcatel-Lucent SA says its net loss narrowed in the second quarter thanks to lower accounting charges, while revenue stagnated and restructuring charges mounted.

The company, which has racked up billions of euros of losses since its creation and ...

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Adidas issues profit warning on Russia, golf risks

Jul 31, 2014

BERLIN (AP) — Sports equipment maker Adidas has lowered its full-year profit target, citing risks in the Russian market and weakness at its golf business.

Adidas AG, based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, said Thursday it now expects net profit of about 650 million euros ($870 million) this year, down ...

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Siemens earnings up 27 pct in April-June quarter

Jul 31, 2014

BERLIN (AP) — Siemens says its net profit rose 27 percent in the April-June period after earnings a year earlier were weighed down by restructuring costs, though the strong euro hurt its revenue and new orders figures.

The Munich-based industrial conglomerate on Thursday reported net earnings of ...

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Fast food ambitions in China hurt by safety scares

Jul 31, 2014

By JOE McDONALD, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Already China's biggest restaurant operator with 4,600 outlets, KFC is pursuing Chinese consumers so avidly it opens two more every day.

That dramatic growth comes with a big catch: KFC's quality control is struggling to keep up.

The Louisville,

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AB InBev earnings rise, sees US improving

Jul 31, 2014

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Budweiser brewer AB InBev SA, the world's largest beer maker, says sales and underlying earnings grew in the second quarter, with 7.2 percent growth in Brazil, thanks in part to the World Cup, and it sees an improving economic outlook in the U.S.

But net profit fell sharply ...

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Sanofi 2nd quarter profit surges

Jul 31, 2014

PARIS (AP) — French drug maker Sanofi said Thursday its earnings soared in the second quarter thanks to lower accounting charges than a year earlier, and the company lifted it full-year profit forecast.

Sanofi reported net profit of 777 million euros ($1.04 billion) in the second quarter, up from ...

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Samsung profit falls as smartphone sales slow

Jul 31, 2014

By YOUKYUNG LEE, AP Technology Writer

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics Co. reported a bigger-than-expected fall in second quarter profit on Thursday and said it was uncertain if earnings from its handset business would improve in the current quarter.

Samsung warned earlier this month ...

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Asian markets drift after US Fed stays course

Jul 31, 2014

By KAY JOHNSON, AP Business Writer

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Asian stock markets were uninspired by an upbeat report on the U.S. economy, with most drifting lower Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would make further cuts to its monetary stimulus as expected.

KEEPING SCORE: The Hang Seng in ...

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