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  • NEW YORK, July 23- A federal judge on Wednesday said banks faced an uphill battle in convincing her to dismiss a U.S. regulator's claims that they misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into buying mortgage-backed securities that later went sour.

  • Hong Kong at risk of losing retail rent crown Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | 5:00 PM ET

    *Hong Kong rents facing first fall in a decade- CBRE. Hong Kong shop store rents stood at around HK $4,331 per square foot in the first quarter- about 25 percent higher than those in New York and almost triple similar rents in Paris, the world's second and third most expensive cities for retailers respectively, according to property services firm CBRE.

  • WASHINGTON, July 23- Wages may be growing at a faster clip than envisaged by U.S. policymakers, with a recent raft of business surveys showing an increase in the number of companies raising compensation.

  • Cheaper wireless plans cut into AT&T 2Q profit Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | 4:41 PM ET

    NEW YORK— AT&T Inc. on Wednesday posted lower net income for the latest quarter due to cheaper cellphone plans it introduced as a response to aggressive pricing from smaller competitor T-Mobile US. AT&T shares fell 51 cents to $35.37 in extended trading after the release of the results. The Dallas company said it earned $3.55 billion, or 68 cents per share.

  • NEW YORK, July 23- A hedge fund with over $400 million in Puerto Rico bonds has joined a legal challenge against a law that allows the U.S. New York- based BlueMountain Capital Management filed a lawsuit in the district court of Puerto Rico on Tuesday, claiming that the new law, known as the Recovery Act, runs counter to both the Puerto Rican and U.S. constitutions.

  • Delta and Apple are big market movers Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | 4:38 PM ET

    NEW YORK— Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market:. Delta Air Lines Inc., up $1.47 to $39.15. GlaxoSmithKline Plc., down $3.18 to $50.04.

  • BRASILIA/ SAO PAULO, July 23- Brazil's Treasury launched $1 billion worth of a new 30- year benchmark global bond on Wednesday and offered to buy back costlier, shorter-dated maturities as it seeks to take advantage of a growing appetite for Brazilian assets.

  • NEW YORK, July 23- U.S. long-term Treasury debt prices ended slightly lower on Wednesday in thin trading, but their near-term outlook remained positive on safe-haven demand as global tensions in the Middle East and Ukraine persisted. Treasuries maturing August 2022 through May 2024 as part of its economic stimulus program, also helped keep a lid on yields.

  • US stocks drift higher following mixed earnings Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | 4:08 PM ET

    NEW YORK— U.S. stock indexes edged mostly higher as traders looked over a mixed batch of corporate earnings. The S&P 500 edged up three points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,987. That was two points higher than its last record close reached on July 3. Boeing fell 2 percent, the most in the Dow, after reporting disappointing revenue.

  • NEW YORK, July 23- Standard& Poor's said on Wednesday it had raised New York state's debt rating by one notch, putting it just under a top investment grade, due to the state government's stronger budgeting practices.

  • NEW YORK, July 23- The U.S. dollar rose to eight-month highs against the euro on Wednesday as worries over tougher sanctions on Russia and their potential impact on fragile euro zone growth weighed on the single currency. Further escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine could weigh further on the euro if more trade sanctions are enforced on Russia.

  • WASHINGTON, July 23- U.S. regulators and 15 states announced a wave of lawsuits on Wednesday against law firms and mortgage assistance companies they said have scammed borrowers since at least 2011 by falsely promising home loan modifications and other foreclosure relief.

  • WASHINGTON, July 23- A top official will leave the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission to become the head of a banking group 10 days later in a spin through the revolving regulator-to-lobby-group door that is striking even by Washington standards.

  • Meat supplier in China scandal has global reach Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | 3:16 PM ET

    OSI Group, a privately-held company based in Aurora, Illinois, was thrust into the spotlight this weekend when a Chinese TV station reported that one of its Shanghai plants repackaged old beef and chicken and slapped new expiration dates on them.

  • *Israel rejects comparisons with Ukrainian disaster. *Israel offers desert airport as alternative. JERUSALEM, July 23- Israel tried on Wednesday to get U.S. and European commercial flights to Tel Aviv restored after some carriers suspended services, insisting its main airport there was safe despite being targeted by Palestinian rockets.

  • *U.S. crude stocks down 4 mln barrels, Cushing down 1.4- EIA. NEW YORK, July 23 (Reuters)- Oil futures rose on Wednesday, with U.S. crude outpacing Brent, after oil stockpiles in the United States fell more than expected. Brent crude for September delivery was up 9 cents at $107.42 a barrel at 12:59 p.m. EDT ( 1659 GMT), after slipping 35 cents in the previous session.

  • *Adjusted profit $1.04 a share vs estimate of $1.03. July 23- Delta Air Lines reported a higher-than-expected second-quarter profit as it flew fuller planes and enjoyed higher passenger revenue in the United States, boosting its shares by 3 percent.

  • Fair Trade brings big sales and a clear conscience Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | 12:47 PM ET

    NEW YORK— Brooklyn Roasting Co. has a booming business based on helping people thousands of miles away. Sales of its Fair Trade coffee, which comes from Mexico, Peru, Indonesia and Ethiopia, have soared from $900,000 in 2011 to $4.4 million last year.

  • July 23- PepsiCo Inc's higher-than-expected quarterly profit could give the company more ammunition against an activist investor who wants it to separate its snack and beverage businesses. The sales increases were partly a result of price hikes that PepsiCo implemented as it launched new products which usually command higher prices.

  • NEW YORK, July 23- A hedge fund with over $400 million in Puerto Rico bonds has joined a legal challenge against a law that allows the U.S. New York- based BlueMountain Capital Management filed a lawsuit in the district court of Puerto Rico on Tuesday, claiming that the new law, known as the Recovery Act, runs counter to both the Puerto Rican and U.S. constitutions.