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â¿¿Updates: WALL STREET



MUMBAI, India â¿¿ A fatal gang rape in New Delhi didn't deter Germans Carolina De Paolo and Canan Wahner from traveling to India for a six-week tour. The attack was awful, but there is crime everywhere, they figured, and they'd take precautions. Then a man sidled up to Wahner on a train to Goa and ran his hand up her leg a few weeks into the trip. On another train, a different man grabbed De Paolo's breasts from behind. "I wanted to scream and do something, but he ran away," De Paolo said. She never reported the crime, deciding there would be no point. The two women, both 22, say there were times they didn't feel safe, but they insist they still would come to India again. That separates them from many tourists, who are choosing not to come at all. By Kay Johnson.

AP photos.


PAJU, South Korea â¿¿ When North Korea allegedly torpedoed a South Korean ship in 2010, killing 46 sailors, an industrial park jointly operated by South Korean companies and the North's government kept on running. When Pyongyang rained artillery shells on a Seoul-held island later that year, the park's factories continued churning out goods. But in the latest sign that North Korea's warlike stance toward South Korea and the United States is moving from words to action, Pyongyang on Wednesday barred South Korean managers and trucks delivering supplies from crossing the border to the Kaesong industrial park. Kaesong started producing goods in 2004 and has been an unusual point of cooperation in an otherwise hostile relationship between the Koreas. Its continued operation even through past episodes of high tension has reassured foreign multinationals that another Korean War is unlikely and their investments in prosperous dynamic South Korea are safe. By Kim Yong-Ho and Ahn Young-Joon.

AP photos.


MIDDLEBURY, Vt. â¿¿ If you want to go into business during tough economic times, you might want to do it with family. Businesses that are run by families often endure because their focus goes beyond the hard times. They see themselves not only as businesspeople looking to make a profit but as stewards who want to pass something onto their children. By Lisa Rathke.

AP photos.

Eds: This story stands for SMALLBIZ-SMALL TALK, which returns next week.


â¿¿ SMALLBIZ-LENDING â¿¿ Small business lending is showing small signs of growth, according to data compiled by the government. The total amount of small business loans outstanding at the end of the fourth quarter came to $586 billion, up from $584 billion in the third quarter, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.



NEW YORK â¿¿ Weak reports on hiring and service industries sent the stock market sharply lower, giving the Dow Jones industrial average its worst day in more than a month. By Markets Writer Steve Rothwell.

AP photo.

â¿¿ OIL PRICES â¿¿ The price of oil notches the biggest one-day drop since November, as supplies in the U.S. reached the highest level since July 1990. Benchmark oil for May delivery dropped 2.8 percent to close at $94.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


WASHINGTON â¿¿ U.S. service companies expanded in March at a slower pace, dragged down by less growth in new orders and weaker hiring. The Institute for Supply Management says its index of non-manufacturing activity fell to 54.4 last month from 56 in February. Any reading above 50 signals expansion. March's figure is the lowest in seven months. By Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber.

â¿¿ HOME PRICES â¿¿ U.S. home prices jumped in February by the largest amount in seven years, evidence that the housing recovery strengthened ahead of the all-important spring-buying season.


WASHINGTON â¿¿ A survey shows U.S. companies added fewer jobs in March compared with the previous month, as construction firms held off on hiring after three months of solid gains. By Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber.


WASHINGTON â¿¿ Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is warning of sharply deeper cuts to personnel, health care and weapons systems across his department, in order to put the brakes on spiraling costs and reshape the military for leaner budgets and new challenges. By Lolita C. Baldor.


NEW YORK â¿¿ A former Goldman Sachs trader pleaded guilty to wire fraud , admitting that an $8 billion position on a futures contract that cost the company $118 million was 10 times what he was allowed. By Larry Neumeister.

â¿¿ IMMIGRATION-FARM WORKERS â¿¿ Sweeping immigration legislation taking shape in the Senate will aim to overhaul the nation's agriculture worker program to create a steady supply of labor for farmers and growers, who rely more than any other industry on workers who have come to the country illegally.

â¿¿ IMMIGRATION-FAMILIES â¿¿ Religious and labor leaders are criticizing plans by senators writing an immigration bill to boost employment-based immigration and limit visas granted to people because of family ties.



Boeing says it has finished more than half of the testing on its proposed battery fix for the 787, with the rest of the ground and flight tests coming in the next several days. By Business Writer Joshua Freed.

â¿¿EARNS-MONSANTO â¿¿ Monsanto says its net income increased 22 percent in the second quarter on strong sales of its biotech seeds. AP photo.

â¿¿ DETROIT ELECTRIC-SPORTS CAR, HFR â¿¿ Detroit Electric returns to market with $135,000 limited-edition electric sports car. Eds: hold for release until 8:30 p.m. EDT.

â¿¿ LULULEMON-SEE-THROUGH PANTS â¿¿ Lululemon chief product officer leaving, as company updates yoga pants production problems.

â¿¿ MONDELEZ-EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION â¿¿ Mondelez International gave CEO Irene Rosenfeld a pay package worth $22 million last year, as the maker of Oreo cookies and other sweet snacks split from Kraft Foods and began operating as an independent company.

â¿¿ LAS VEGAS SANDS-LAWSUIT â¿¿ Lawyers begin opening statements in the dispute between Las Vegas Sands and a Hong Kong businessman who once consulted for the casino giant. Eds: Developing.

â¿¿ HYUNDAI-KIA-RECALL â¿¿ Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia are recalling almost 1.9 million vehicles to fix problems with air bags and brake light switches.

â¿¿ MASSIVE ONLINE COURSES â¿¿ Stanford University announces that it is joining an initiative co-founded by Harvard and MIT to develop a computer system that allows colleges to offer free online courses, a collaboration that school officials said would benefit both educators and students around the globe.



NEW YORK â¿¿ It's no secret that Apple wants to get into the living room by making its own TV set, and there have been plenty of rumors and reports about how and when it's going to happen. Now, an analyst says he's learned that the set will go on sale late this year, for $1,500 to $2,500. By Technology Writer Peter Svensson.


SIEM REAP, Cambodia â¿¿ Google's first high-end laptop, the Chromebook Pixel, is an impressive machine. But it isn't very practical â¿¿ at least not yet â¿¿ for most people. It works well when you have a steady Internet connection, but can't do much once you lose that. I brought the Pixel along for a nearly three-week trip to Thailand and Cambodia, where I knew I wouldn't have the type of round-the-clock access I'm used to in the U.S. I was surprised by how much I could do, but quickly got frustrated when I couldn't do more. By Technology Writer Anick Jesdanun.

AP photos.


NEW YORK â¿¿ Paperless Post has defied its original digital business model successfully once. Now the online invitation and greeting card startup is taking that defiance a step further. Now Paperless Post is teaming up with stationery and card maker Crane & Co. to print wedding invitations. By Business Writer Joseph Pisani.

AP photos.

â¿¿ DISNEY-LUCASARTS â¿¿ Four months after acquiring "Star Wars" maker Lucasfilm, The Walt Disney Co. is shutting down video game production at subsidiary LucasArts and laying off staff as it focuses on the less-risky, less-expensive path of licensing its characters and stories to other developers.

â¿¿ NBC-LENOâ¿¿ Jay Leno says he will be leaving NBC's "Tonight Show" next spring, to be replaced by Jimmy Fallon. AP photos.

â¿¿ AMAZON-DIGITAL SONGS FOR VINYL â¿¿ In an odd combination of old and new, Amazon says that every time a person buys a vinyl record from its online store, it will give that customer a digital version of the songs for free.

â¿¿ RDIO-NEW VIDEO SERVICE â¿¿ Rdio, the music streaming service started by the founders of Skype, is getting into video.

â¿¿ INTEL-EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION â¿¿ Intel CEO Paul Otellini's 2012 compensation rises 10 percent despite cut in incentive pay.



FRANKFURT, Germany â¿¿ European Central Bank head Mario Draghi will try Thursday to reassure markets that turmoil from bailing out Cyprus won't worsen the euro currency union's debt crisis â¿¿ despite heavy losses there for savers and restrictions on taking money out of the country. The ECB's 23-member governing council is expected to leave its key benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low 0.75 percent at its monthly rate-setting meeting in Frankfurt, Germany. By Business Writer David McHugh.


â¿¿ CYPRUS-FINANCIAL CRISIS â¿¿ The International Monetary Fund has agreed to its part of the bailout for Cyprus, saying it will contribute 1 billion euros ($1.28 billion). The European Union and the IMF this week finalized the details of the bailout, which was agreed on in principle last week. IMF head Christine Lagarde said in a statement issued Wednesday that the fund will provide about a tenth of the overall package of 10 billion euros ($12.8 billion).

â¿¿ EUROPE-ECONOMY â¿¿ Inflation across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro fell for the third month running in March to its lowest level in nearly three years, official figures showed.


MOSCOW â¿¿ A key investor in Russia's 2014 Olympics is lobbying the government to offer tax rebates for companies operating there to help offset the rising costs. By Aliya Vasilyeva.

â¿¿ BRITAIN-RBS â¿¿ Royal Bank of Scotland shareholders have filed a 4 billion pound ($6 billion) lawsuit against the company, claiming they were misled into thinking the bank was healthy just before its collapse.

⿿ ITALY-MAFIA SEIZURE ⿿ Italian police have seized a record ⿬1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) in cash and property from a single person, a Sicilian alternative energy entrepreneur alleged to have close ties to the Mafia.

â¿¿DUBAI-NEW AIRPORT â¿¿ Dubai aviation officials say scheduled passenger flights will begin in October from a new airport built with the goal of becoming the world's busiest.

â¿¿ HONG-KONG-PORT-STRIKE â¿¿ A strike by Hong Kong dockworkers that is slowing cargo shipments at the world's third busiest port looks set to drag into a second week.

â¿¿ JAPAN-ECONOMY â¿¿ Japan's central bank is holding its first policy meeting under a new governor amid expectations of fresh moves to ease monetary policy and spur a recovery in the world's third-largest economy.

â¿¿ INDIA-ECONOMY â¿¿ Prime Minister Manmohan Singh woos India's top business leaders, promising to cut the red tape stifling investment in the country and invest in badly needed infrastructure projects.



WASHINGTON â¿¿ Americans have grown more cautious and disciplined in handling their money since the financial crisis struck in 2008, a survey by a leading mutual fund company suggests. People say they don't spend as much, save as little or embrace as much risk as they did during the crisis, according to a survey of nearly 1,200 people by Fidelity Investments. As a group, people say they're saving more in 401(k) retirement plans and reducing debt. By Personal Finance Writer Mark Jewell.


WASHINGTON â¿¿ Many workers are getting false or misleading information about options for their 401(k) accounts when they change jobs, congressional auditors say in a report that urged regulators to offer consumers clearer guidance about their retirement money. By Sam Hananel.


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An uneven rise

The Standard & Poor's 500 index returned to a record high last week, but it hasn't been an equal-opportunity recovery. The market has been split between clear winners and losers since Oct. 9, 2007, when the S&P 500 last set a record high.


Zynga's play in the U.K.

Shares of Zynga surged after the online game maker announced plans to expand its small presence in the United Kingdom. The maker of FarmVille and other games will launch casino games for players on Facebook and mobile platforms in the U.K. later this year.

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