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  • HONG KONG, Dec 25- Chinese investment banks have awarded pay rises to their staff for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis, buoyed by a surge in China- related deals, but salaries and bonuses still trail far behind those paid by Western banks. "This is the first time since 2009 we have seen an increase of base and total compensation," said Maggy Fang,...

  • Figures on government spending and debt Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 3:51 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Figures on government spending and debt.

  • Sears has not named his replacement. Jooma joined Sears in 2007 after senior e-commerce positions at electronics retailer Circuit City and OfficeMax, according to his LinkedIn profile. The move comes as Sears is attempting to restore profitability by shrinking its network of stores and promoting the integration of its bricks-and-mortar and online...

  • CHICAGO, Dec 24- U.S. consumers have not turned out in force for the final shopping days before Christmas, suggesting that traditional retailers will just meet industry sales forecasts in a season marked by deep discounts and growing encroachment from online rivals led by Amazon.com Inc.. "The past weekend will not save this holiday season," said Craig Johnson,...

  • Sears has not named a replacement. Jooma joined Sears in 2007 after senior e-commerce positions at electronics retailer Circuit City and OfficeMax, according to his LinkedIn profile. The move comes as Sears is attempting to restore profitability by shrinking its network of stores and promoting the integration of its bricks-and-mortar and online...

  • Where to watch 'The Interview' online Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 2:47 PM ET

    The online release comes a day after the studio reversed its previous decision not to show the movie after hackers stole internal documents and emails from Sony. In "The Interview," Seth Rogen and James Franco play journalists tasked by the CIA with killing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Buy or rent the film from Google Inc.' s platform.

  • 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....

  • ( (Adds comment from Google and White House). Microsoft Corp and Sony itself are also showing the comedy, the studio said, a day after agreeing to release it at some 200 independent theaters. The showing is a chance for Google and Microsoft, which have been bit players in a VOD market dominated by Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc and cable and satellite operators, to raise their...

  • NEW YORK— Celebrities react to Sony's announcement Wednesday that it released Seth Rogen and James Franco's North Korea satire, "The Interview," on digital platforms:. — "You wanna watch The Interview? Thanks Sony for making it happen.

  • US removes Gambia from trade agreement Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 2:11 PM ET

    DAKAR, Senegal— Activists have praised the U.S. government's decision to remove Gambia from a trade agreement in response to human rights abuses, including a law signed in October that imposes life imprisonment for some homosexual acts. The White House announced Gambia's termination as a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act late Tuesday,...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 24- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Wednesday it had fined MF Global Holdings Ltd for wrongdoing during the collapse of the futures brokerage, but will continue its lawsuit against the firm's former chief, Jon Corzine. A federal judge in Manhattan approved a settlement in which the company will pay a $100 million fine and be...

  • Court orders release of jailed real estate mogul Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 2:09 PM ET

    BILLINGS, Mont.— A federal appeals court ordered the release Wednesday of a real estate mogul who was jailed last week in Montana after being found in contempt of court over his sale of a Mexico resort. The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals comes after onetime billionaire and Yellowstone Club founder Tim Blixseth, 64, was jailed Thursday for not giving...

  • FDA denies approval for Actavis hypertension treatment Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 2:07 PM ET

    Dec 24- Generic drug maker Actavis Plc said the U.S. health regulator denied an approval for its hypertension treatment, a fixed-dose combination of nebivolol and valsartan. Actavis did not give any further details on the contents of the letter. In a study, the drug combination was found more effective in reducing blood pressure in patients of hypertension,...

  • 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...

  • "Really it started almost at the level of cold-calling, talking to people who really hadn't spoken to us in a long time," said Nagisa Manabe, who joined the USPS in May 2012 as chief marketing and sales officer from Coca-Cola Co after a career in the private sector. With further drops in its traditional bread-and-butter products ahead, the USPS wants to capitalize on...

  • How the Dow Jones industrial average fared Wednesday Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 1:56 PM ET

    Stocks closed mostly higher Wednesday, a day after the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 18,000 for the first time. Investors were encouraged by the latest positive news on the U.S. economy. Trading ended early ahead of the Christmas holiday.

  • Iowa regulator takes control of struggling insurer Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 1:55 PM ET

    Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart said the 120,000 members of CoOpportunity Health in Iowa and Nebraska may find it in their best interests to find new carriers by Feb. 15, the deadline for open enrollment for 2015 coverage. CoOpportunity Health will no longer offer its policies through Iowa's online marketplace, leaving plans offered by Coventry...

  • *Prices erase earlier losses, yield curve resumes flattening. NEW YORK, Dec 24- Long-dated U.S. "People are gaining confidence that the economy is on very solid ground, and the Fed is probably going to move earlier than June, and that all rates should rise," said Charles Comiskey, head of Treasuries trading at Bank of Nova Scotia in New York.

  • BP appeals rejection of removing spill claims head Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 1:42 PM ET

    NEW ORLEANS— BP PLC is asking the federal appeals court in New Orleans to kick out the administrator of damage settlement claims from its 2010 oil spill. A 75- page brief submitted Tuesday to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals contends, among other things, that Patrick Juneau had secretly drafted court papers filed against BP before he was appointed claims...

  • MF Global Holdings to pay $1.21B in restitution Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 1:39 PM ET

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Wednesday that a New York court required the payment to ensure that claims made of its subsidiary, MF Global Inc., are paid. MF Global Inc. had already settled with the CFTC in 2013. It was required to repay $1.21 billion to its customers, plus a $100 million penalty. MF Global Holdings, the New York- based parent company,...