BC-Business News Digest

Business News at 5:30 p.m.

The supervisor is Richard Jacobsen (800-845-8450, ext. 1680). For photos, ext. 1900. For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact customersupport(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

If you have questions about transmission of financial market listings, please call 800-3AP-STOX.

A selection of top photos can be found at: http://bit.ly/APTopPhotos.

All times EST.




â¿¿ Note: The story MUTUAL FUND FLOWS listed on earlier digests will not move in this cycle. The story is expected to move Thursday.



WASHINGTON â¿¿ The Federal Reserve sends its clearest signal to date that it will keep interest rates super-low to boost the U.S. economy even after the job market has improved significantly. The Fed says it plans to keep its key short-term rate near zero at least until the unemployment rate drops below 6.5 percent â¿¿ as long as expected inflation is tame. For the first time, the Fed is making clear to investors and consumers that it will link its actions to specific economic markers. By Economics Writer Marty Crutsinger.

AP photo


â¿¿ BERNANKE-NEWS CONFERENCE â¿¿ Bernanke says fiscal cliff standoff hurting economy, but Fed expects a resolution. AP photo.

â¿¿ FED-FORECAST â¿¿ Federal Reserve projects only modest economic growth next year, high unemployment through 2015. AP photo.

â¿¿ FEDERAL RESERVE-COMPARING STATEMENTS â¿¿ A comparison of the Federal Reserve's statements from its two-day meeting that ended Wednesday and its meeting on Oct. 23-24.

â¿¿ FEDERAL RESERVE-TIMELINE â¿¿ Key Federal Reserve actions to aid economy since financial crisis erupted in 2008.


WASHINGTON â¿¿ It's the scenario that's been spooking employers and investors and slowing the U.S. economy: Congress and the White House fail to strike a budget deal by New Year's Day. Their stalemate triggers sharp tax increases and spending cuts. Those measures shrink consumer spending, stifle job growth, topple stock prices and push the economy off a "fiscal cliff" and into recession. The reality may be a lot less bleak. Even if New Year's passed with no deal, few businesses or consumers would likely panic as long as an agreement seemed likely soon. By Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber.

AP photo


â¿¿ FISCAL CLIFF-ECONOMY-Q&A â¿¿ How much will my taxes go up? Questions and answers about the US 'fiscal cliff.'

â¿¿ FISCAL CLIFF â¿¿ Fiscal cliff talks intensify, but with little apparent progress as end-of-year deadline looms. AP photos.

â¿¿ FISCAL CLIFF-OBAMA'S STRATEGYâ¿¿ Playing both sides, President Barack Obama is trying to balance his public pressure campaign on Republicans over the looming "fiscal cliff" with his private negotiations with GOP leaders. AP photo.



NEW YORK â¿¿ As negotiations bog down over the fiscal cliff, small business owners are worrying about what will happen to their companies if there's no agreement on billions of dollars in tax increases and budget cuts. Many owners are concerned consumers would spend less, dealing a sharp blow to their revenue. Others are trying to forecast how much money they'll lose if billions of dollars in federal spending, including government contracts, are cut. One thing is certain: Small businesses in general stand to be hurt badly if a deal isn't struck. By Business Writer Joyce M. Rosenberg.

AP photo


â¿¿ SMALLBIZ-SALES â¿¿ Report: Small business sales up 5.2 percent in November as holiday shopping offsets Sandy impact.


DALLAS â¿¿ American Airlines is changing the way it charges you to fly. American will charge up to $88 more per round trip for passengers who want a basic ticket that includes checking baggage or changing the reservation later on. Currently the airline levies separate fees for those and other extras for everyone except premium passengers. By Airlines Writer David Koenig.



NEW YORK â¿¿ Airlines have found a way to take the edge off the stress of flying and make a few extra bucks along the way: Fancy new cocktails, craft beers and elegant wines. By Airlines Writer Scott Mayerowitz.

AP photos, video


The three biggest U.S. airlines are all close to adding Internet access on overseas flights. United, Delta, and American each say they expect to have their first planes equipped for Internet access on international travel in the weeks ahead. By Airlines Writer Joshua Freed.


LOS ANGELES â¿¿ The world's attention wavered between the tragic and the silly in 2012. The year's top searches, according to Google, are Whitney Houston, who died in February; Korean rapper PSY's "Gangnam Style" music video; and Superstorm Sandy. By Ryan Nakashima.

AP photos.




NEW YORK â¿¿ Over the years, some smartphones have gotten larger and some tablet computers have gotten smaller. So it should come as no surprise that devices in between are starting to appear. Known informally as phablets, these giant phones have screens measuring 5 inches or more diagonally. Recent large phones from HTC and Samsung are decent gadgets â¿¿ but not for the size of their screens, which offer few of the benefits and many of the drawbacks of tablet computers. By Technology Writer Anick Jesdanun.

AP photos.



LANSING, Mich. â¿¿Now that Michigan has become a right-to-work state, unions in this stronghold of organized labor confront a new and urgent problem: convincing members to continue paying for their services instead of taking them for free. By John Flesher.

AP photos.


WASHINGTON â¿¿ The U.S. federal government's budget deficit widened in November compared to October, a sign that the nation is on a path to its fifth straight $1 trillion-plus deficit. By Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber.

â¿¿ CEO OUTLOOK â¿¿ A survey of U.S. chief executives shows the number of large companies that plan to add jobs or hire more workers is essentially unchanged compared with three months ago, although fewer expect hiring to decrease.


TOKYO â¿¿ It's the $6 trillion question: How to jolt Japan out of its 20-year economic slump. The dozen or so parties vying in a Dec. 16 parliamentary election all agree the world's third-largest economy needs a jump-start, now that it has slid back into recession for the fifth time in 15 years. They are at odds, however, over how to achieve enduring growth. By Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach.

AP photos

â¿¿ GLOBAL CORPORATE DEALS â¿¿ Ernst & Young forecasts that the value of global M&A deals in 2012 was half that of five years ago, when the financial crisis first bared its teeth.


NEW YORK â¿¿ Stocks end the day little changed after a rally prompted by the Federal Reserve's latest economic stimulus program fizzles out. By Business Writer Steve Rothwell.

AP Photo.


LOS ANGELES â¿¿ Lenders drove home repossessions to a nine-month high in November, even as the pace of homes starting on the path to foreclosure slowed to the lowest level in six years, according to new data from foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. By Real Estate Writer Alex Veiga. Eds: The story may not be published, broadcast or posted online before 12:01 a.m. EST on Thursday.



VIENNA â¿¿ With oil prices relatively high, OPEC is sticking to present output targets of 30 million barrels a day. But the group fails to pick a new head because of rivalries between Saudi Arabia and Iran. By George Jahn.

AP photos


â¿¿ OIL PRICES â¿¿ The price of oil rises to almost $87 a barrel after the Federal Reserve makes another big move to stimulate the slow-growing U.S. economy.


NEW YORK â¿¿ A major push is on to move New York City's electrical infrastructure to higher ground or upper floors after Superstorm Sandy sent seawater pouring into low-lying substations and skyscraper basements and plunged half of Manhattan into darkness for four days. By David B. Caruso.

AP photos

â¿¿ ELECTRIC VEHICLES-INDIANAPOLIS â¿¿ Indianapolis plans to replace its entire fleet with electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2025, the first major U.S. city to take such a step.

â¿¿ MINING-GOVERNMENT ROYALTIES â¿¿ Lawmakers seek to rekindle mining reform efforts; want gold, uranium and other metals miners to pay royalties on public land.

â¿¿ RUSSIA-TNK-BP â¿¿ Rosneft will buy 50 percent in Russia's third-largest oil producer TNK-BP for $28 billion, having earlier acquired the other half from BP.

â¿¿ CHINA-AUSTRALIA-BHP-PETROCHINA â¿¿ BHP Billiton will sell its stake in a proposed Australian gas project to Chinese state-owned energy producer PetroChina for $1.6 billion.



NEW YORK â¿¿ Avon plans to cut about 1,500 jobs and exit South Korea and Vietnam, as the struggling beauty-products seller starts on a broad restructuring plan in an effort to turn around results. By Business Writers Mae Anderson and Bree Fowler.


DETROIT â¿¿ Honda is recalling more than 870,000 minivans and SUVs worldwide because they can roll away even though drivers have removed keys from the ignition. The recall affects older models sold mainly in the U.S. â¿¿ big sellers with families because of their ample space and reputation for quality. Owners have reported 16 crashes due to the problem. By Auto Writer Tom Krisher.

â¿¿ GERMANY-DEUTSCHE BANK â¿¿ Deutsche Bank says its co-CEO Juergen Fitschen and Chief Finance Officer Stefan Krause are under investigation as part of a tax evasion probe linked to the bank's emissions trading business.

â¿¿ BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY-BUYBACK â¿¿ Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway pays $1.2 billion to buy back 9,200 shares from the estate of a longtime shareholder.

â¿¿ ELI LILLY-ALZHEIMER'S TREATMENT â¿¿ Lilly will launch another study of its possible Alzheimer's treatment, delaying a regulatory decision on a drug that flashed potential for mild cases of the disease.

â¿¿ JUSTICE-PFIZER â¿¿ The Justice Department says Pfizer Inc. will pay $55 million to resolve allegations that Wyeth LLC promoted the drug Protonix for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Pfizer acquired Wyeth in October 2009.

â¿¿ BRITAIN-BARCLAYS â¿¿ Barclays has appointed the former chief of Britain's financial regulator to the new role of head of compliance at the scandal-hit U.K. bank.

â¿¿ SPAIN-EARNS-INDITEX â¿¿ Spain's Inditex, which owns the Zara clothing store chain, says profit rose 27 percent in the first nine months of the year due to expansion in Asia and North America.

â¿¿ UNITED TECHNOLOGIES-OUTLOOK â¿¿ United Technologies' CEO is scheduled to provide its 2013 outlook. Eds: Developing from 5 p.m. meeting.



SAN FRANCISCO â¿¿ Facebook is trying to make its privacy controls easier to find and understand in an effort to turn the world's largest social network in to a more discreet place. By Technology Writer Michael Liedtke.


VATICAN CITY â¿¿ Pope Benedict XVI hits the 1 million Twitter follower mark as he sends his first tweet from his new account blessing his online fans. By Nicole Winfield.

AP photos

â¿¿ REDBOX INSTANT-VERIZON â¿¿ DVD kiosk operator Redbox takes on Netflix with an $8 unlimited streaming-video plan that has four nights of DVD rentals, Epix and Warner Bros. movies.

â¿¿ YE--TOP 10 VIDEO GAMES â¿¿ Video games blossom creatively in 2012, with top hits "Dishonored," ''Mass Effect 3" and "Walking Dead."

â¿¿ GUATEMALA-MCAFEE â¿¿ Software founder McAfee released in Guatemala, leaves on flight bound for Miami. AP photo.

â¿¿ BRITAIN-TIMES OF LONDON â¿¿ James Harding, editor of media mogul Rupert Murdoch's Times of London, says he is resigning and that he was pressured to step down. AP photos.



BRUSSELS â¿¿ European Union finance ministers move closer to creating a single supervisor for their banks after France and Germany say they have largely patched up their differences over the new body's powers. By Sarah Dilorenzo and Raf Casert.

AP photos.


LONDON â¿¿ Industrial production across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro unexpectedly slumps in October, another sign that the region's recession is getting worse and weighing on big economies like Germany. By Pan Pylas

AP photos


â¿¿ GREECE-FINANCIAL CRISIS â¿¿ Greece will buy back $41.5 billion of its bonds, easing its debt load and meeting a key condition for receiving rescue loans.

â¿¿ SPAIN-FINANCIAL CRISIS â¿¿ $51.3 billion in aid approved by European authorities Spain's troubled banks has arrived.

â¿¿ ITALY-FINANCIAL CRISIS â¿¿ Italy's borrowing costs drop despite political uncertainty; home sales dive in stuck economy.

â¿¿ BRITAIN-UNEMPLOYMENT â¿¿ U.K. unemployment drops to 7.8 percent in the three months through October, as the number of jobless falls by the largest amount since 2001.

â¿¿ GERMANY-PROPERTY SALE â¿¿ In the country's largest privatization in five years, Germany sells 780 state-owned offices, malls and hotels to Texas private equity firm Lone Star for $1.43 billion.

â¿¿ INDIA-INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION â¿¿ India industrial output rises 8.2 percent in October, but experts are cautious about an economic revival.

â¿¿ SERBIA-TYCOON DETAINED â¿¿ Serbia's billionaire retail tycoon Miroslav Miskovic, one of the Balkan country's most influential figures, is detained along with his son and eight others in what the government says is an anti-corruption sweep.


GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN, France â¿¿ Life in this Burgundy village revolves around wine. Everyone seems to have an opinion about the recent sale of a local vineyard to a Macau casino magnate. "It's a piece of French heritage that's heading abroad," says mechanic Bertrand Babouhot. On the other side of the globe, farmer Margaret Peacock expresses similar outrage over the sale of 13 dairy farms in New Zealand to a wealthy property developer from Shanghai. Such sentiments have long been directed at Americans and Japanese. Now it's China's turn. By Sarah DiLorenzo and Nick Perry.

Eds: This story is part of "China's Reach," a project tracking China's influence on its trading partners over three decades and exploring how that is changing business, politics and daily life.

AP photos, interactive


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.



The Mayan calendar is supposed to end next week and that has led some to believe we're on a countdown to a global apocalypse. Some of the believers are stockpiling food and preparing to flee urban areas. But whether the aim is to survive a global cataclysm, or just ride out the aftermath of a natural disaster, having one's finances in order is perhaps the most critical part of being prepared. Here are six tips on how to prepare your finances for everything short of the end of the world. By Alex Veiga.



Dividend forecast

The final verdict on the "fiscal cliff" isn't in, but it seems pretty certain the dividends will be taxed at a far higher rate in 2013. Even so, higher taxes won't necessarily cause companies to pull back on paying dividends.


Avon to cut 1,500 jobs

Avon Products has embarked on a plan to save $400 million in three years. The first steps for the beauty products seller are to cut about 1,500 jobs and exit two Asian markets.

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

If you liked this article you might like

What's Behind the Surge in Energy Stocks

What's Behind the Surge in Energy Stocks

Hillary Clinton Says Prosecuting Individuals is Key to Wall Street Reform

Hillary Clinton Says Prosecuting Individuals is Key to Wall Street Reform