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  • *Wall Street on track for second day of strong gains. NEW YORK, Dec 18- Global equities markets rallied on Thursday, with Wall Street up more than 1 percent for a second straight day with investor sentiment buoyed by comments from the U.S. Wall Street primary dealers, on average, expect the first rate hike to come in June 2015, according to a Reuters poll.

  • Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 1:16 PM ET

    NEW YORK— Online shopping has become as volatile as stock market trading. Take Aishia Senior, who recently watched the price on a coat she wanted rise and fall several times between $110 and $139 in a span of six hours on Amazon.com. "It's definitely annoying," said Senior, who lives in New Haven, Connecticut. "

  • DAVENPORT, Iowa, Dec 18- Life-long Republican Bob Shelley neatly folds his newspaper and uses it as a coaster, placing his coffee mug over a photo of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who just announced he will explore a bid for the White House in 2016.. In Iowa, which holds the first presidential nominating contest in early 2016, voters are used to hearing out...

  • *Wall Street on track for second day of strong gains. NEW YORK, Dec 18- Global equities markets rallied on Thursday, with Wall Street up more than 1 percent for a second straight day on what investors viewed as a favorable result from the Federal Reserve's most recent meeting. A Reuters poll of Wall Street dealers puts expectations for the first interest-rate...

  • Grain higher and livestock higher Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 11:02 AM ET

    CHICAGO— Grain futures were higher Thursday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for Mar delivery was unchanged at $6.4850 a bushel; Mar corn was 2 cents higher at $4.1025 a bushel; Mar oats were unchanged at $3.15 a bushel; while Mar soybeans gained 8 cents at $10.4325 a bushel. Feb live cattle was. 03 cent higher at $1.5585 a pound; Jan feeder cattle was...

  • Wisconsin ranks 32nd in private-sector job growth Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 10:01 AM ET

    MADISON, Wis.— Wisconsin ranks 32nd in private-sector job growth and lags behind the national average for the 12- month period that ended in June, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers are consistent with where Wisconsin has ranked in recent years. Wisconsin ranked 32nd nationally in...

  • *Oracle up in premarket after results. NEW YORK, Dec 18- U.S. stocks were set for a stronger open on Thursday, building on gains in the prior session after the U.S. "The bottom line is a June is still in play and even doves need to tighten at some point when the numbers start looking good," said James Liu, global market strategist at JPMorgan Funds in Chicago.

  • Kraft Foods CEO to retire; Cahill named successor Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 9:12 AM ET

    NORTHFIELD, Ill.— Kraft Foods Group Inc. says that CEO Tony Vernon plans to retire later this month. Vernon has served as CEO since the consumer packaged food and beverage company's spinoff from Mondelez International Inc. in October 2012. While Vernon plans to retire from the CEO post on Dec. 27, he will remain with the Northfield, Illinois- based company through...

  • "If people think this is just to raise the flag, it's not going to last long," said Christopher Flensborg, Head of Sustainable Products and Product Development for Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB, the Swedish bank that's the world's largest underwriter of green bonds. Green bonds used to come exclusively from AAA-rated organizations like the World Bank; the...

  • DAVENPORT, Iowa, Dec 18- Bob Shelley neatly folds his newspaper and uses it as a coaster for his coffee mug. By no coincidence, it covers the face of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who just announced he will explore a bid for the White House in 2016.. Carol Crain, a volunteer at the Scott County Republican headquarters in downtown Davenport, says Republicans "are...

  • Video game developer to open studio in New Orleans Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 5:14 PM ET

    NEW ORLEANS— Enticed to Louisiana by the state's generous tax incentives, a video game developer plans on opening a studio in New Orleans that will employ 80 people. Kerry Ganofsky, the company's CEO, said Wednesday that Louisiana's tax incentives were fundamental in the decision to open a studio in New Orleans. Bobby Jindal, who was on hand for the announcement,...

  • SEATTLE, Dec 17- Boeing Co will deliver a record 754 commercial aircraft in 2015, an increase of up to 5.5 percent, the U.S. Aerospace Industries Association forecast on Wednesday, reflecting expectations of steadily rising production at the world's biggest plane maker. The Washington, D.C.- based trade group said its forecast is based on information supplied by...

  • *Egypt says confident Russia will honour contracts. MOSCOW, Dec 17- Russia, one of the world's main wheat exporters, is taking steps to restrict grain exports in an attempt to cool domestic prices, as it tackles a financial crisis linked to plunging oil prices and Western sanctions. A Russian grain exporters' lobby-- the National Association of Exporters of...

  • You're going to see volatility here, "said Daniel Flynn, energy analyst at Chicago's Price Futures Group. Brent for February delivery was up $1.05 at $61.06 a barrel by 2:37 p.m. EST, after hitting a session high of $63.40. The biggest slide in oil prices since the 2008 financial crisis had accelerated after OPEC met in November, when Gulf producers resisted calls...

  • Bird flu found in wild birds in Washington state - USDA Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 12:18 PM ET

    Dec 17- Two strains of avian influenza have been confirmed in wild birds in Washington state, near the U.S. border with Canada, but there is no immediate cause for public health concerns, U.S. agriculture officials said on Wednesday. The other strain, H5N8, was found in captive gyrfalcons that were fed hunter-killed wild birds, the USDA said. Neither virus has been...

  • *Countries are Egypt, Turkey, India and Armenia. MOSCOW, Dec 17- Russia, one of the world's main wheat exporters, has cut grain exports to all but a few countries after imposing tougher quality checks, an exporters' lobby group said on Wednesday. A Russian grain exporters' lobby- the National Association of Exporters of Agricultural Products- wrote to the government to...

  • US puts hefty duties on solar goods from China, Taiwan Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 1:28 AM ET
    Vivint Solar technicians install solar panels on the roof of a house in Mission Viejo, Calif.

    The U.S. confirmed steep import duties on solar products from China and Taiwan on Tuesday which could inflame trade tensions between the countries.

  • 113th Congress ends with more fights than feats Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 1:16 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The tempestuous 113th Congress has limped out of Washington for the last time, capping two years of modest and infrequent legislating that was overshadowed by partisan clashes, gridlock and investigations. That was the fewest since at least 1947 and 1948, when what President Harry Truman dubbed "the do-nothing Congress" enacted over 900 laws.

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 16- The United States confirmed steep import duties on solar products from China and Taiwan on Tuesday in a decision that may inflame trade tensions between the two countries. Producers in China face separate anti-subsidy duties. The move is set to deal a heavy blow to China and Taiwan's solar panel shipment to the U.S. market in the short term,...

  • HONG KONG, Dec 17- The billionaire behind shopping mall developer Dalian Wanda says China's era of rapid urbanisation will end within a decade, so he is speeding up his company's shift toward tourism and entertainment after a $3.7 billion initial public offering. Wang Jianlin became China's fourth-richest man in part by following the migration of 300 million...