Markets

S&P 500

futures were up this morning.

Japan's

Nikkei 225

and Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

both closed higher overnight in thin trading. London's

FTSE

surged at the open while action at most other European bourses was flat.

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

American Express

(

(AXP) - Get Report

AXP:NYSE) announced plans to launch a brokerage firm in Japan next year.

Halliburton

(

(HAL) - Get Report

HAL:NYSE) said it will cut 2,750 more jobs from its

Energy Services Group

. The company had already announced 8,100 layoffs earlier this year.

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan

will keep paying its California members' use of Viagra under a settlement with state regulators.

Shares of

E*Trade Group

(

(EGRP)

EGRP:NYSE) soared Monday after the company boasted 500,000 members on its

Destination E*Trade

web site. Check out

Amy Olmstead's

coverage of the online brokerage industry.

SPX

(

(SPW)

SPW:NYSE) will take a restructuring charge of up to $250 million to close 25

General Signal

offices and cut 1,000 jobs.

For more news on companies and stocks, click

here.

International

After six years and five drafts, China finally approved legislation regulating its securities markets Tuesday.

Continuing its search for a major partner, the U.K.'s

General Electric Co.

is in preliminary merger talks with

Lockheed Martin

(

(LMT) - Get Report

LMT:NYSE).

Telecom Italia

will sell as much as 80% of its pay-TV channel to

Rupert Murdoch's

NewsEurope Corp.

Japan's

Economic Planning Agency

blamed the nation's economic woes on the country's failure to deal quickly with bad loans left by the collapse of the 1980s "bubble" economy.

For more international news and commentary, click

here.

Tech

Apple

(

(AAPL) - Get Report

AAPL:Nasdaq) is set to roll out its new Yosemite desktop systems at the

Macworld Expo

next week in San Francisco.

America Online

(

(AOL)

AOL:NYSE) is filing another lawsuit seeking monetary damages for spam email circulated on its network, this time against a 21-year old Southern California man.

ISP

Pacific Internet

has raised its IPO to 3 million shares from 2.5 million shares amid high demand.

Toshiba

said it will start selling super-slim hard disk drives for laptops in January.

For more tech news and commentary, click

here.

Politics

Two

Khmer Rouge

leaders apologized for atrocities committed during the 1970s and asked Cambodians to "let bygones be bygones."

The

Commerce Department

announced it will update its encryption policy by the end of the year with new rules allowing 56-bit encryption technology to be freely exported to "non-terrorist" countries.

Elsewhere

China will commemorate the 105th anniversary of

Chairman Mao Zedong's

birth by issuing a "Little Red Disc" CD-ROM.

The

National Football League

began its postseason purge with the firings of

Philadelphia Eagles

coach

Ray Rhodes

,

Carolina Panthers

coach

Dom Capers

and

Seattle Seahawks

coach

Dennis Erickson

.