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BC-Business News Digest

â¿¿ GERMANY-ECONOMY â¿¿ German industrial orders drop more than expected in November because of weaker foreign demand, while exports slide by 3.4 percent.

â¿¿ FRANCE-ECONOMY â¿¿ President Francois Hollande says his plans to put France's bloated government on a diet include cutting state aid to companies.

â¿¿ EGYPT-ECONOMY â¿¿ Qatar is doubling its financial aid to the Egyptian government with a new injection of $2.5 billion, underlining its role in propping up Cairo's foreign currency reserves and highlighting its strong ties with the Muslim Brotherhood leadership.

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A sampling of Money & Markets modules is below. The full digest for AP's Money & Markets service can be found at markets.ap.org. For questions about Money & Markets content, please contact Trevor Delaney (800-845-8450, ext. 1807). For technical support: Todd Balog (816-654-1096). After 6 p.m., contact the AP Business News desk (800-845-8450, ext. 1680) for content questions; 1-800-3AP-STOX for technical support and 212-621-1905 for graphics help.

CENTERPIECE

Earnings kick off

Corporate America hasn't closed its books for 2012. This week, companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index begin reporting their earnings for the fourth quarter of last year. Overall, analysts expect fourth quarter earnings for the S&P 500 to increase by 3.3 percent over the same period in 2011. That would mark the second quarterly increase since the S&P 500 posted relatively flat earnings in the second quarter -- growth of just 0.8 percent.

COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

Lampert to take over

After a year as CEO of Sears Holdings, Louis D'Ambrosia is stepping down next month due to family health matters. Edward Lampert, the retailer's chairman and its largest shareholder, will take over on Feb. 2.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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