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Associated Press

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Editors:

Among the stories for Thursday from The Associated Press:

TOP STORIES

APPLE-STOCK

NEW YORK — Apple's profit growth has stalled and Wall Street is dumping its shares. But are investors giving the company, which is still enormously profitable, a fair shake? Many analysts believe Apple should be worth more. By Peter Svensson.

With:

— SKOREA-EARNS-LG DISPLAY — LG Display warns that earnings will decrease in the current quarter as demand for iPhones wanes.

GEITHNER-LEGACY

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has saluted the outgoing Timothy Geithner as one of the best U.S. Treasury secretaries ever. Not since the Great Depression had an administration inherited so many grave financial threats at once. To many, Geithner deserves credit for helping steady the banking system as well as helping restore investor confidence. Yet his toughest critics say Geithner's policies consistently favored big banks over ordinary struggling Americans. By Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger.

AP photos.

Also:

OBAMA-SEC

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will nominate Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, tapping an attorney with broad experience in prosecuting white-collar crimes to lead an agency that has a central role in implementing Wall Street reform. By White House Correspondent Julie Pace.

AP photo.

Eds: Obama to announce nomination at 2:30 p.m. EST

BANGLADESH-FACTORY FIRE

DHAKA, Bangladesh — When fire ravaged a Bangladeshi garment factory, killing 112 workers, dozens of their families did not even have a body to bury because their loved ones' remains were burned beyond recognition. Two months later, the same families have yet to receive any of the compensation they were promised — not even their relatives' last paychecks. By Julhas Alam.

AP photos

DAVOS FORUM

DAVOS FORUM-EUROPE

DAVOS, Switzerland — Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron slams moves to forge a United States of Europe. Cameron, who has shaken up Europe's political landscape by offering to let citizens vote on whether to leave the 27-nation European Union, says forcing countries into a single entity would be a "great mistake." By Angela Charlton.

AP photos.

Also:

DAVOS FORUM-BRITAIN-G8

LONDON — U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron says he will use his country's year-long presidency of the G-8 to target tax-dodging tactics by businesses. Public anger has been mounting in Britain after lawmakers accused major multinational companies including Starbucks, Google and Amazon of "immorally" avoiding paying tax. By Cassandra Vinograd.

AP photo.

MARKETS & ECONOMY

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to the lowest level in five years, evidence that employers are cutting fewer jobs and may step up hiring. The Labor Department says weekly unemployment benefit applications dropped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 330,000. By Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber.

— LEADING INDICATORS — A measure of the U.S. economy designed to signal future activity increased in December from November, suggesting growth may strengthen in 2013.

The Conference Board says its index of leading indicators rose 0.5 percent in December, the best showing since September.

DEFICIT SPENDING

WASHINGTON — The nation's sharp disagreements over taxes and spending are on a re-routed collision course, as Senate Democrats launch a plan that includes new taxes and House Republicans vow to speed up their plan to balance the federal budget with spending cuts alone. By Charles Babington.

AP photo

WALL STREET

NEW YORK — A sharp drop in Apple's stock is sending the Nasdaq composite lower after the electronics giant predicted slower sales. Other market indicators are higher

AP photos.

— OIL PRICES — Oil prices get slight boost above $95 from data showing manufacturing in China at 2-year high.

— GAY RIGHTS-FEDERAL CONTRACTORS — Gay rights advocates are renewing their push for President Barack Obama to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gay employees.

EARNINGS

EARNS-UNITED CONTINENTAL

The parent company of United Airlines is reporting a $620 million loss in the fourth quarter as passengers stayed away following its problems earlier in the year with integrating Continental. By Joshua Freed.

Also:

EARNS-SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

Southwest Airlines says fourth-quarter earnings fell by nearly half on higher spending for fuel, labor and maintenance. But the airline's revenue is rising because the average fare is almost $8 higher than a year ago. By David Koenig.

EARNS-3M

3M, which makes Post-it notes, industrial products and construction materials, says its fourth-quarter net income rose 4 percent as growing profits in health care and consumer goods offset declines in other areas. By Joshua Freed.

— EARNS-UNION PACIFIC — Union Pacific says its fourth-quarter profit chugged ahead 7 percent because it raised shipping rates on the railroad and collected more fuel surcharges.

INDUSTRY

— GERMANY-COMMERZBANK-JOBS — Commerzbank, Germany's second-biggest bank, says it plan to cut as many as 6,000 jobs over the next three years as it tries to reduce costs.

— BELGIUM-STEEL LAYOFFS — ArcelorMittal to close plants in Belgium, threatening 1,300 jobs, due to collapsing demand for steel in Europe and the sector's overcapacity. AP photos.

— BRITAIN-HORSEMEAT-BURGER KING — Burger King says it has stopped buying beef from an Irish supplier after traces of horse DNA were found in beef burgers sold in Britain and Ireland.

— BRITAIN-BARCLAYS-LIBOR — A British court has rejected an attempt by Barclays to shield the names of more than 100 present and former employees of the bank allegedly involved in manipulating a key interest rate index or who for other reasons came to the attention of investigators.

— BRAZIL-EMBRAER— Brazilian planemaker Embraer says it has signed a contract with Republic Airways Holdings Inc. for the sale of 47 E-175 passenger jets for an estimated US$2 billion.

— JAPAN-TOYOTA-BMW — Toyota and BMW are working together on next-generation batteries for green vehicles.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA

NETFLIX-HOUSE OF CARDS

NEW YORK — In Netflix's bid for a flagship original drama of its own — a "Sopranos" to its HBO — the subscription streaming service is presenting a high-class adaptation of a British political thriller, "House of Cards." The entire first season will be available on Feb. 1 — a potentially landmark event that could herald the transition of television away from pricey cable bundles and toward the Internet. By Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle.

AP photo.

FINLAND-EARNS-NOKIA

HELSINKI — Struggling Nokia turns a $270 million profit in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $1 billion a year earlier, but revenue drops 20 percent as it fails to make gains in the fiercely competitive smartphone market. Its outlook for the current quarter is grim, with the handset maker citing lower-than-expected demand for its flagship Lumia phones and cheaper Asha models as it struggles against the dominance of market leaders Samsung and Apple.

AP photo.

— FRANCE-TWITTER — A French court has sided with a Jewish group seeking to identify authors of anti-Semitic messages that circulated the social network Twitter last autumn.

— BRITAIN-SONY HACK — British regulators fine Sony $396,000 for failing to prevent a 2011 cyberattack on its PlayStation Network which put millions of users' personal information — including names, addresses, birth dates and account passwords — at risk. AP photo

— VATICAN-SOCIAL NETWORKS — Pope: Social networks aren't a virtual world church can ignore, but a real world to evangelize.

INTERNATIONAL

GREECE-UP IN SMOKE

ATHENS, Greece — A steep increase in heating costs has led many Greeks to switch from heating oil to wood-burning fireplaces. But the price of using cheaper fuel is growing. Illegal loggers are slashing through forests already devastated by years of summer wildfires. Air pollution from wood smoke is choking the country's main cities. And there has been an increase in blazes caused by carelessly attended woodstoves. By Nicholas Paphitis.

AP photos

With:

— GREECE-FINANCIAL-CRISIS —Greece's government announced emergency powers to force striking subway workers back to work, with those defying it risking arrest.

— CHINA-ECONOMY — Survey finds China manufacturing activity hits 2-year high in latest sign of economic recovery. AP photo

— SPAIN-FINANCIAL CRISIS — Spain's unemployment rate shoots up to a record 26 percent in the fourth quarter, with almost six million people out of work.

— JAPAN-TRADE — Japan's trade deficit rose to a record $78.3 billion in 2012 as fuel imports surged and a bitter territorial dispute with China hammered its exports.

— SKOREA-ECONOMY — South Korea's economy grew 2 percent in 2012, its weakest performance in three years, and is not expected to rebound strongly this year.

— SKOREA-EARNS-HYUNDAI MOTOR — Hyundai's fourth-quarter profit is the lowest in nearly 2 years on the won's surge and lower demand at home.

— ITALY-MONTE DEI PASCHI — The Bank of Italy says former managers of bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena hid complex financial transactions that reportedly will cost it $293 million in 2012 profits.

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