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  • US stocks close higher, extending gains for the week Friday, 26 Dec 2014 | 12:40 AM ET

    Wall Street's "Santa Claus" rally kept delivering gifts a day after Christmas. The Dow Jones industrial average, Standard& Poor's 500 index and the Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks closed at all-time highs on Friday. The consumer is in good shape, "said David Chalupnik, head of equities at Nuveen Asset Management.

  • Shares mostly higher in quiet holiday trading Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 10:19 PM ET

    Japan's benchmark edged lower after the government reported lackluster inflation, industrial production and household spending for November. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index slipped 0.2 percent to 17,779.18 and Singapore's Straits Times index edged 0.1 percent lower to 3,342.20. JAPAN DATA: Japan's inflation rate eased slightly in...

  • SINGAPORE, Dec 26- Gold ticked up in thin post-Christmas trading on Friday, but the metal was headed for a second straight weekly drop as strength in the dollar and equities hurt safe-haven bids for bullion. *Spot gold gained 0.3 percent to $1,177.31 an ounce by 0020 GMT, not too from a three-week low of $1,170.17 hit earlier in the week. *The metal has lost about 1.5...

  • Correction: NKorea-Mystery Outage story Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 8:55 AM ET

    LONDON— In a story Dec. 24 about North Korea's Internet outages, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the Falkland Islands are located in the North Atlantic. LONDON— North Korea's microscopic corner of the Internet has had a rough couple of days, suffering seven outages in 48 hours, according to one Web traffic monitor. "A large city block in London or New...

  • LONDON— Got a nifty little drone for Christmas? Especially if you are in Britain. Spokesman Gerry Corbett says drone technology has improved as costs have come down, making the devices much more affordable, but that new users have to follow regulations.

  • *Many markets closed around the region, as well as London, U.S. Markets are closed in other key countries around the region, including Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea, and will be closed later in London and New York. There were some guys taking profits in the dollar-yen this week, but most people seem happy to be caught long, "said Kaneo Ogino, director at...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 24- U.S. shares ended flat on Wednesday, with the Dow industrials eking out a record close after the latest data showed strength in the world's largest economy, while a mixed economic picture in Europe kept the region's stocks largely in check. Oil prices resumed declines after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a large build in U.S....

  • NEW YORK, Dec 24- Global oil markets fell again on Wednesday in holiday-thin trade, extending more than a week of see-saw volatility as traders jousted over whether a growing supply glut had been fully priced in. "It's a Christmas flood of oil at a time when refiners and producers usually are letting inventories get lower for end-of-year tax reasons," said Phil...

  • *Brent oil drops back near $60 a barrel. NEW YORK, Dec 24- U.S. shares extended a five-day winning streak on Wednesday after the latest data showed strength in the world's largest economy, while a mixed economic picture in Europe kept the region's stocks largely in check. U.S. equity markets will operate on a shortened trading schedule Wednesday, closing at 1 p.m....

  • *Brent seesaws around $60; U.S. crude around $55. Brent seesawed on both sides of $60 and U.S. crude hovered around $55. "It's a Christmas flood of oil at a time when refiners and producers usually are letting inventories get lower for end-of-year tax reasons, but with this flood of supply there's no place to put it," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in...

  • FOREX-Dollar down from highest levels in nearly 9 years Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 9:42 AM ET

    NEW YORK, Dec 24- Investors trimmed dollar positions during the Christmas holiday lull on Wednesday, pulling the greenback down from its highest point in nearly nine years after strong U.S. economic growth data on Tuesday solidified views of coming Fed rate increases. The dollar index reached a high not seen since March 2006, while the two-year yield on U.S.

  • UPDATE 2-Russia's grain exports stop - farm lobby Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 7:59 AM ET

    *About 3 mln T of grain are now stuck in Russia- Union. *Wheat futures rise on Russia export curbs. Russia's main wheat buyers are Turkey, Iran and, very vulnerable to supply disruption, Egypt.

  • FOREX-Dollar holds near highest in almost 9 years Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 7:19 AM ET

    LONDON, Dec 24- The dollar held near its highest point in almost nine years against a basket of currencies on Wednesday after investors brought forward forecasts for when U.S. interest rates will rise. That was the strongest sign yet that growth has shifted into higher gear and it pushed the dollar index to highs not seen since March 2006, while the two-year yield...

  • NKorea outage a case study in online uncertainties Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 6:35 AM ET

    LONDON— North Korea's microscopic corner of the Internet has had a rough couple of days, suffering seven outages in 48 hours, according to one Web traffic monitor. The mysterious problems have some talking of a retaliatory cyberattack by the United States, which holds Pyongyang responsible for last month's spectacular hack of Sony Pictures.

  • LONDON, Dec 24- The rouble slipped on Wednesday after ratings agency Standard& Poor's warned it could downgrade Russia in the new year, while robust U.S. growth data boosted bets on the Federal Reserve raising rates soon, subduing broader emerging markets. The rouble dropped 0.2 percent against the dollar in the wake of S&P warning that Russia's sovereign rating...

  • Egypt tattoo artists meet in Cairo, aim to break taboos Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 2:27 AM ET

    CAIRO— In Egypt, where tattoos are widely considered taboo, organizers have held a convention to challenge stereotypes and show-off the ink designs as an art form. Organizers say they hope to showcase the artistic side of the practice, which is loosely regulated in Egypt and mostly performed by artists using licenses for beauty parlors. Timur Reda, 38, who has...

  • US stocks eke out gains in abbreviated trading day Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 12:52 AM ET

    Investors welcomed Labor Department data showing that applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in seven weeks. The news came a day after the Commerce Department estimated that the economy grew in the July-September quarter at the fastest pace in 11 years. "We're still giddy after yesterday's GDP," said Chris Gaffney, a senior...

  • Drones become popular holiday gifts Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 1:09 PM ET

    Best Buy expanded its selection from one last year to eight different models in stores and five more online because of rising demand. BHPhoto.com now offers 140- plus models online that range from $50.99 to $6500. Will Leverett, 40, from Austin, Texas, bought himself the DJI Phantom 2, and has been using it to take aerial shots of his ranch in Central Texas.

  • Stock swings may signal bull run is in its last throes Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 12:20 PM ET

    LONDON, Dec 23- Stocks are showing the kind of volatility that preceded major falls in the past, suggesting to some that one of the most blistering U.S. rallies on record may be nearing its end. The market is undergoing big swings under the influence of plunging oil prices and resulting turmoil in Russia, as well as the Federal Reserve's only gradual shift away from...

  • France waves discreet goodbye to 75 percent super-tax Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 11:21 AM ET

    One adviser warned it was a Socialist step too far that would turn France into " Cuba without sun." "The reform clearly damaged France's reputation and competitiveness," said Jorg Stegemann, head of Kennedy Executive, an executive search firm based in France and Germany. "It clearly has become harder to attract international senior managers to come to France than it...