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TOP STORIES

Apple sets new tune with Beats buy

SAN FRANCISCO - Apple tries marching to a different tune: swallowing whole a consumer brand in Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion - a first for a company that has been trying to fend off increasingly aggressive rivals and reinforce that it has not lost its magic touch. (APPLE-BEATS/, expect by 2000 GMT/ 4 PM ET, by Edwin Chan, 800 words)

Wal-Mart should face lawsuit over alleged Mexico bribery -U.S. judge

Wal-Mart Stores Inc should face a U.S. lawsuit accusing it of defrauding shareholders by concealing suspected corruption at its Mexico operations, even after learning that a damaging media report detailing alleged bribery was being prepared, a federal judge says. (WALMART-MEXICO/LAWSUIT (UPDATE 1), moved, by

Jonathan Stempel, 520 words) Battle for control destroyed $35

bln Omnicom-Publicis merger

Battle for control destroyed $35-bln Omnicom-Publicis merger

LONDON/NEW YORK/PARIS - The $35 billion merger of U.S.-based Omnicom and France's Publicis collapses after a battle for control destroys plans to create the world's largest advertising agency. (OMNICOM GROUP-PUBLICIS GROUPE/ (UPDATE 7, PICTURE), moved, by Anjuli Davies, Soyoung Kim and Leila Abboud, 1,160 words)

+ See also:

- PUBLICIS GROUPE/CEO (UPDATE 1), moved, by Leila Abboud and Gwénaëlle Barzic, 600 words

Cameron's EU strategy wishful thinking' -UK Deputy PM

LONDON - Prime Minister David Cameron's plans to renegotiate Britain's ties with the European Union are wishful thinking and likely to yield only minor concessions that will do nothing to unite his Conservative party, his coalition partner warns. (BRITAIN POLITICS/CLEGG (UPDATE 2), moved, by Guy Faulconbridge, Andrew Osborn and William James, 880 words)

Pfizer under fire in Europe, US as it weighs next Astra move

LONDON - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer is under fire on both sides of the Atlantic as it weighs its next move to buy British rival AstraZeneca, which could be a sweetened offer next week. (ASTRAZENECA-PFIZER/, moved, by Ben Hirschler, 675 words)

+ See also:

- ASTRAZENECA-PFIZER/CLEGG (UPDATE 1), moved, 235 words

- ASTRAZENECA-PFIZER/RARE DISEASES, moved, 210 words

ECONOMY

ECB stimulus talk knocks euro, peripheral yields

LONDON - Lower-rated euro zone bond yields fall to fresh record lows and the common currency slides further as investors position for more monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 6), moving shortly, by Francesco Canepa, 665 words)

ECONOMY

Senate push for U.S. housing finance bill comes up short

WASHINGTON - Bid by U.S. Senate Banking Committee leaders to secure more support from Democrats for housing finance reform bill falls short, likely dooming effort to push the legislation to a vote on the Senate floor. (USA-HOUSING/SENATE, moved, by Margaret Chadbourn, 700 words)

UK factory output grows at fastest quarterly pace since 2010

LONDON - British factory output grows at its fastest pace in nearly four years during the first quarter of 2014 and the trade deficit narrows, official data shows, adding to signs that the economy is rebalancing. (BRITAIN-ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by David Milliken, 675 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-ECONOMY/GROWTH, moved, 370 words

Juncker says France shouldn't blame its woes on euro

BERLIN - France's economic woes are the result of poor policy choices at home and Paris should stop blaming its problems on the strength of the euro, Jean-Claude Juncker, the centre-right candidate for European Commission president, says. (FRANCE/EURO-JUNCKER (INTERVIEW), moved, by Noah Barkin, 540 words)

German exports post big fall in March, trade drags on Q1

BERLIN - German exports post their biggest fall in nearly a year in March and imports also dip as the crisis in Ukraine and a slowdown in China weighs, narrowing the trade surplus and confirming trade is a drag on growth at the start of 2014. (GERMANY-TRADE/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 450 words)

INVESTMENT & MARKETS

Air getting thin for race to grab yield

LONDON - Investors may be stretching too far for higher return and ignoring risks as a great "Yield Grab-athon" lures many asset managers into potentially severe losses when interest rates eventually drift higher. (INVESTMENT-YIELD/ (ANALYSIS), expect 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Natsuko Waki, 800 words)

COMPANIES

Netflix hikes U.S. subscription price by $1 a month

LOS ANGELES - Netflix Inc increases the price of its most popular video streaming plan by $1 a month to $9 for new customers in the United States, the company's first price hike in its largest market in three years. (NETFLIX-PRICES/ (URGENT), moved, 390 words)

Credit Suisse says doing everything to settle U.S. tax probe

ZURICH - Credit Suisse is doing everything in its power to reach a settlement with U.S. authorities who are probing whether and how its private bankers helped wealthy Americans dodge their taxes, executives will tell the bank's shareholders. (CREDIT SUISSE-INVESTIGATION/, moved, 200 words)

+ See also:

- CREDIT SUISSE-AGM/COMPENSATION, moved, by Joshua Franklin and Oliver Hirt, 620 words

In M&A frenzy, deals that show CEO confidence is returning

NEW YORK - Over the past few years conditions have been ideal for dealmaking. Financing has been cheap, thanks to record low interest rates. Balance sheets have been strong, as companies hunkered down in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 financial crisis. The U.S. economy has come out of recession, but growth is still slow. DEALS-CEO/CONFIDENCE (DEALTALK), moved, by Nadia Damouni, 1,080 words)

Telefonica signals another tough year as earnings fall short

MADRID - Spain's Telefonica set the tone for another difficult year as it misses first-quarter earnings forecasts, hit by falling sales in Europe, weaker currencies in Latin America and the sale of its Czech unit last year. (TELEFONICA-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Julien Toyer and Andrés González, 500 words)

Alcatel-Lucent cuts Q1 loss, pursues turnaround

PARIS - Telecoms network equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent reduced its first-quarter net loss to 73 million euros ($101 million) from 353 million euros a year ago as it cut costs and trimmed unprofitable contracts. (ALCATEL-LUCENT/RESULTS (UPDATE 2), moved, by Leila Abboud and Alexandre Boksenbaum-Granier, 440 words)

ALSO IN THE NEWS

U.S. Postal Service quarterly loss swells to $1.9 billion

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Postal Service ended its fiscal second quarter with a net loss of $1.9 billion, as first-class mail volumes continued to tumble and the government was unable to provide relief. (USA-POSTALSERVICE/RESULTS, moved, 310 words)