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  • HOUSTON, May 22- Hundreds of barrels of oil that gushed from a ruptured coastal pipeline in scenic California this week could stiffen opposition to large oil projects that companies want to build in the state, notably those to deliver cheap U.S. crude on trains. A leak of 100,000 barrels of crude off Santa Barbara in 1969 led to bans on new leases for offshore...

  • NEW YORK, May 22- U.S. stock investors have been enjoying an extended period of low volatility and steady gains, but with the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates this year and major indexes near records, the market could get a bit choppier in coming weeks. Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday said she expected the U.S. central bank to raise rates in 2015,...

  • *Microsoft was willing to offer about $55 bln- CNBC. May 22- Microsoft Corp and Salesforce.com Inc held "significant talks" this spring but failed to agree on a price, CNBC reported, citing people familiar with the matter. A potential bidder can go up to $70 billion on the high end and Microsoft, Oracle Corp and Amazon.com Inc are the companies most likely to be suitors,...

  • PARIS, May 22- France's highest administrative court on Friday approved two out of three main restrictions on private chauffeured vehicle services such as Uber that were introduced last year after complaints from traditional cab drivers of unfair competition. France's constitutional council said drivers of private chauffeured vehicles must return to...

  • The talks underscored Altice's intentions to pursue a deal with Time Warner Cable, which is also being courted by Charter Communications Inc after Comcast Corp abandoned its $45.2 billion offer for Time Warner Cable last month over U.S. antitrust concerns.

  • Ouch! French high court deals blow to Uber Friday, 22 May 2015 | 8:13 AM ET
    An Uber app on a mobile phone in Washington, D.C.

    France's highest court on Friday backed restrictions on unlicensed taxi services in a decision adding to U.S. start-up Uber's legal troubles.

  • PARIS, May 22- France's highest administrative court on Friday backed restrictions on unlicensed taxi services in a decision adding to U.S. start-up Uber's legal troubles. A Paris appeals court had been waiting for the decision before ruling on whether to ban Uber's unlicensed taxi service, known as UberPOP. Created by two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs...

  • PHILADELPHIA— The chairman of Temple University's physics department schemed to provide U.S. technology secrets to China in exchange for prestigious appointments for himself, federal authorities said in charging him with four counts of wire fraud. Xi Xiaoxing, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in China, appeared in federal court Thursday in...

  • California farmers strike a deal to cut water use Friday, 22 May 2015 | 2:27 AM ET

    SACRAMENTO, Calif.— California regulators Friday accepted a historic offer from a group of farmers holding some of the state's strongest water rights to voluntarily reduce their water use by one-quarter to stave off deeper, mandatory cutbacks amid one of the worst droughts on record. The rare concession from the farmers is the latest indication of the...

  • May 21- Uber Technologies Inc is seeking a $1 billion credit line from banks, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The cab-hailing company is in talks with a number of large banks for the loan, asking them how much they would commit and at what terms, the Journal reported, citing the people. San Francisco- based Uber, which has grown...

  • May 21- Apparel retailer Gap Inc reported an 8 percent fall in quarterly profit, hurt by a stronger dollar, supply delays in the United States and lower demand for its namesake brand. Gap's Old Navy line, however, has attracted more customers with its affordable-yet-trendy merchandise, helping it become the largest brand by sales in the company's portfolio.

  • PayPal will be spinning off from parent company eBay later this year at a time when it's facing new competitive challenges. Alibaba, Amazon and even Facebook are promoting online payment systems, while Apple Pay and Google Wallet are competing to handle transactions in stores and on mobile devices. Schulman spoke after an event where PayPal announced new...

  • Gap meets 1Q profit forecasts Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 4:03 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO _ Gap Inc. on Thursday reported fiscal first-quarter net income of $239 million. The average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was also for earnings of 56 cents per share. Fifteen analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $3.7 billion.

  • Gap's 1Q profit down 8 percent on currency fluctuations Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 4:03 PM ET

    NEW YORK— Gap Inc. reported an 8 percent decline in its first-quarter profit, as results were hurt by currency fluctuations and persistent sluggish sales at its Gap and Banana Republic stores. The San Francisco- based company, however, stuck with its annual profit outlook Thursday. The company's Old Navy brand has been a bright spot, while it's trying to turn...

  • California home prices, sales rise in April Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 3:56 PM ET

    The median sales price for new and existing single-family homes and condominiums rose to $405,000, a gain of 1.5 percent from $399,000 in March and 5.7 percent from $383,000 the same period last year, CoreLogic said. "We hit our lull, and the lull is now behind us," said Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics LLC, a Los Angeles consulting firm, who...

  • SAN FRANCISCO, May 21- In Goldman Sachs Group Inc's latest move to bolster its street cred as a cool, tech-savvy bank, the firm held its annual shareholder meeting in its San Francisco headquarters on Thursday. In just the past few weeks, Goldman has hired an executive to build a digital lending platform, co-led a $50 million investment in a bitcoin startup and...

  • Genealogy site Ancestry.com explores sale: Sources Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 8:17 AM ET
    A detail from the ancestry.com home page

    Ancestry.com is exploring a sale that could value it at between $2.5 billion and $3 billion, including debt.

  • SACRAMENTO, Calif.— California farmers who hold rights to water that date as far back as the Gold Rush are bracing for their first state-ordered conservation in decades, as a record drought prompts some of the deepest cuts yet in the country's most productive agricultural state. Regulators said those first orders Friday will impact holders of century-old...

  • Detroit is the latest major city to see an influx of whites who may not find the suburbs as alluring as their parents and grandparents did in the last half of the 20th century. "For any individual who wants to build a company or contribute to the city, Detroit is the perfect place to be," said Bruce Katz, co-director of the Global Cities Initiative at the Washington-...

  • Renters appear more satisfied in many pricey US cities Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 12:02 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— High rents are worth it. At least that's the sentiment of apartment dwellers in New York, San Francisco and Washington, who say they're more satisfied living in those cities than do renters in far more affordable areas such as Milwaukee, Albuquerque and Detroit. The finding comes from a survey released Thursday by Apartment List, a San Francisco- based...