Among the stories for Wednesday from The Associated Press:
NEW YORK — The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 15,000 for the first time Tuesday. Now that stocks have scaled these heights, what's next? Four market experts give their views. By Steve Rothwell And Bernard Condon
TOKYO — Toyota's quarterly profit more than doubled to 313.9 billion yen ($3.2 billion) as cost cuts and better sales worked with a weakening yen to add momentum to the automaker's comeback. By Yuri Kageyama.
NEW YORK — There's no business like small business. Mix the high stakes of running a small business with a dash of family drama and throw in a camera crew and you get hit reality television shows such as "Pawn Stars," ''Welcome to Sweetie Pie's" and "Duck Dynasty." Turning small business owners into stars has become a winning formula for television producers, but the businesses featured in the shows are cashing in, too. Sales explode after just a few episodes have aired, transforming nearly unknown small businesses into household names. Some small business owners also are benefiting financially from opening gift shops that sell souvenirs or getting involved in other ventures that spawn from their new-found fame. By Joseph Pisani.
Eds: This story stands for SmallBiz-Small Talk. Small Talk will return next week.
— SMALLBIZ-REALITY SHOWS-GLANCE — A look at some reality TV shows that feature small businesses and the average number of people that are watching.
MARKETS & ECONOMY:
— LEW-LOOPY SIGNATURE — Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew's loopy signature is showing signs of improvement as he gets ready to affix his "Jacob Lew" to the nation's currency. AP photo.
— OVERTIME ALTERNATIVE — The Republican-led House is poised to approve a bill that would give private sector workers the option of choosing paid time off instead of cash wages for working overtime.
—PAID SICK LEAVE — A national push for paid sick days is poised to score a significant victory in New York City. The City Council is expected to vote to require businesses to provide sick leave to an estimated 1 million workers who don't have it now.
NEW YORK — Stocks are edging higher on Wall Street, a day after the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 15,000.
— OIL PRICES — The price of oil is trading near $96 a barrel as investors weighed a rise in China's trade data against expectations of another increase in U.S. crude supplies.
DUBLIN, Ohio — Wendy's first-quarter net income fell 83 percent from year-ago results that included a big gain on the sale of an investment. By Candice Choi
WASHINGTON — Mortgage giant Freddie Mac earned $4.6 billion from January through March, helped by a stronger housing market. Freddie said it paid a dividend of $7 billion to the U.S. Treasury and requested no additional federal aid for the fourth consecutive quarter.
— NETHERLANDS-EARNS-ING — Dutch financial company ING Groep NV reported that its first-quarter earnings rose as it sold businesses and improved profit margins at its banking arm. Its insurance arm reported a loss.
— GERMANY-EARNS-EON — German utility company E.ON says net income rose 25 percent in the first quarter thanks to the sale of some businesses. The company said its operations otherwise remained under pressure from a slack economy and competition for its gas-fired electricity plants from renewable energy sources and coal.
— NETHERLANDS-EARNS-AEGON — Aegon NV, the Dutch insurer that does most of its business in the United States under the Transamerica brand, says first quarter profits fell sharply due to stock market losses.
— JAPAN-US-SUBARU PLANT EXPANSION— Subaru said it is investing $400 million to expand its Indiana factory and will add 900 workers to build the Impreza small car there in 2016. — CHINA-GM-CADILLAC FACTORY— General Motors Co. said its main Chinese joint venture has received government approval to build a Cadillac factory as part of GM's efforts to expand its share of China's luxury auto market. GM also opened a factory in Indonesia ito manufacture its Chevrolet Spin, a seven-seat subcompact multipurpose vehicle.
— INDONESIA GENERAL MOTORS — General Motors to launch its manufacturing facility in Bekasi, West Java.
— ITALY-FERRARI — Ferrari says it will limit sales of its high-performance street cars this year to below 7,000 units to protect the brand's aura of exclusivity.
NEW YORK — McDonald's says a key sales figure slipped again in April, with the world's biggest hamburger chain citing fears over a new strain of avian flu for weakness in China.
A new genetic test to gauge the aggressiveness of prostate cancer may help tens of thousands of men each year decide whether they need to treat their cancer right away or can safely monitor it. AP photo.
NEW YORK — Coca-Cola says it will work to make lower-calorie drinks and clear nutrition information more widely available around the world. The goal is to have diet options available wherever regular versions are sold.
— DELTA AIR LINES-DIVIDEND — Delta Air Lines Inc. says it will start paying a quarterly dividend and buy back some of its shares — investor-friendly moves that are common in other industries but rare for airlines.
—CALIFORNIA OIL DRILLING — Federal land managers have cited the toll of environmental litigation — as well as budget problems and low staffing — in postponing all oil and gas lease auctions in California until October.
TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:
BEIJING — Signs are growing that the sustained surge in cyberattacks emanating from China is imperiling its relations with the U.S., lending urgency to fledgling efforts by both governments to engage on the issue. By Christopher Bodeen.
— GERMANY-EARNS-TELEKOM — Deutsche Telekom stopped losing U.S. customers in the first quarter after it dropped conventional two-year contracts. While reporting a modest increase in first quarter net profit, Deutsche Telekom said its T-Mobile USA division saw a small increase in customers under its own brand for the first time in four years.
— SPAIN-EARNS-TELEFONICA— Spanish telephone company Telefonica says its first-quarter net profit rose 21 percent to 902 million euros ($1.18 billion) despite a fall in revenues in its key Latin American market.
BEIJING — China reported stronger April trade but analysts said export data were inflated and its shaky recovery might be weaker than it looks. By Joe McDonald.
BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet has signed off on plans to hand the European Central Bank the power to oversee the continent's lenders, the centerpiece of plans to stabilize the 17-nation euro area's financial system. The formal approval by ministers moves a European banking union one step closer to reality, but doesn't resolve an argument over whether there also should be a centralized authority to unwind failing banks. By Juergen Baetz
— EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK — A top European Central Bank official, executive board member Joerg Asmussen, takes part in panel discussion on inflation.
— GERMANY-ECONOMY — German industrial production increased by 1.2 percent in March compared with the previous month — an unexpectedly robust performance that adds to this week's upbeat signals for Europe's biggest economy. Economists had forecast that production would decline by 0.1 percent in March.
— GERMANY-MANAGERS' PAY — The German government plans to give companies' shareholders a greater say in setting managers' pay.
— SPAIN-FINANCIAL-CRISIS— The Spanish government claims its austerity measures and reforms are paying off. Conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told Parliament that Spain was no longer close to a financial abyss and the threat of needing a bailout had receded. AP photos
— SPAIN-SWITZERLAND-HSBC— Spain's National Court has ruled against extraditing a former HSBC employee to Switzerland, where he faces charges of stealing and revealing client information.
— UN-UKRAINE— Ukraine's foreign minister says he expects his country will sign a cooperation agreement with the European Union later this year despite the EU's objections to the jailing of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
LONDON — The British government says it will announce bills to tighten immigration controls, reform pensions and reduce red tape for business when it lays out legislative plans for the next year at the state opening of Parliament. Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that its agenda will contain "bills on growth, immigration, pensions, consumer rights (and) social care." By Jill Lawless.
WARSAW, Poland — News that Talisman Energy Inc. is pulling out of exploration for shale gas in Poland is a blow to the country's hopes that its deposits of the hydrocarbon will soon cut its dependence on Russian supplies and support the weakening economy. Canada's Talisman said it had not found enough gas to warrant further expensive exploration or extraction procedures. The company's retreat — the second by a major company in less than a year — suggests Poland was too optimistic about the value of its deposits, or at least the speed with which it can retrieve them. By Monika Scislowska.
NAIROBI, Kenya — The colorful handmade giraffes, elephants and warthogs made in a Nairobi workshop were once only dirty pieces of rubber cruising the Indian Ocean's currents. Kenya's Ocean Sole sandal recycling company is cleaning the East African country's beaches of used, washed-up flip-flops.
— BANGLADESH-BUILDING COLLAPSE — Bangladeshi police say the death toll from the collapse of a building housing five garment factories has passed 800 and is continuing to climb.
—UN-GREEN ECONOMY — The U.N.'s environment agency says the global market for low-carbon and environment-friendly goods and services is projected to almost triple to $2.2 trillion by 2020. AP photo.
— UN-YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT — Youth unemployment is likely to rise globally to 12.8 percent by 2018, wiping out gains made in the recent economic recovery, the U.N.'s labor office said. AP photo.
— NEW-ZEALAND-CURRENCY — New Zealand's central bank has intervened in the currency market for the first time in five years to try to curb the local dollar's rise.
— CHINA-AIR-CHINA — Air China is planning to buy 100 Airbus jets to expand its fleet as it seeks to keep up with growing demand from Chinese travelers.
— NEW ZEALAND-ENERGY SALE — New Zealand's government says it has raised more than a billion dollars from the contentious sale of a 49 percent stake in a state-owned power company.
— ITALY-CARGO SHIP CRASH — At least four people died after a cargo ship slammed into a control tower in the Italian port of Genoa, toppling it into the harbor, rescue officials said. AP photos.
—NORWAY-CABIN CREW STRIKE — The Norwegian airline Wideroe says its cabin crew has gone on strike after labor negotiations broke down, grounding all aircraft and stranding 11,000 passengers in Norway and northern Europe.