*PetroChina to triple spending from $500 mln past few years. BEIJING, April 18- Chinese state energy giant PetroChina plans to spend more than 10 billion yuan on shale gas this year, sources with knowledge of the matter said, as domestic competition heats up after rival Sinopec announced a commercial find.» Read More
*Expects 2014 profit at low end of $2.87- $2.90/ shr forecast. Dec 18- General Mills Inc reported lower-than-expected quarterly earnings as ingredient costs rose and U.S. sales of its ready-to-eat meals and frozen foods fell, and it said full-year profit could come in at the low end of its forecast.
But the Fed acted, sticking to an earlier prediction that it could moderate stimulus by the end of the year, "said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington, D.C.. The dollar rose 1.4 percent to 104.05 yen, having earlier climbed to a session peak of 104.16 yen, its strongest since October 2008.
NEW YORK, Dec 18- Michael Steinberg, a top portfolio manager at Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors hedge fund, was found guilty on Wednesday of charges that he traded on insider information. A federal jury in Manhattan found Steinberg, 41, guilty on all five counts of conspiracy and securities fraud he faced.
Dish Network Corp, which lost out to Japanese telecoms giant Softbank in its attempt to buy Sprint Corp several months ago, has since been sizing up T-Mobile US Inc as a takeover candidate and has talked to majority owner Deutsche Telekom AG about a potential deal, the three sources said.
Michael Foods has asked Goldman Sachs' investment banking unit and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to help it prepare for an auction, and is working on detailed financial information to send to potential buyers, the people said.
NEW YORK, Dec 18- The Dow and the S&P 500 closed at all-time highs on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve announced a small reduction in its stimulus program, confirming that the U.S. economy was on firm footing. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 293.03 points or 1.85 percent, to end unofficially at 16,168.29, a record closing high.
WASHINGTON, Dec 18- A judge's bid this week to stop the U.S. government from collecting Americans' phone records raises a question that the U.S. Supreme Court has confronted before: at what point should modern technology force judges to revisit legal precedents?
KUALA LUMPUR/ MANILA, Dec 19- The destruction of an estimated three million coconut palms in last month's deadly typhoon in the Philippines is set to squeeze global supply for years of the tropical fruit used to make products from fuel to health drinks.
TOKYO, Dec 19- Yumiko Kajiwara is a cheerful 46- year-old who has had several part-time jobs, including sorting clothes, cosmetics and cellphone parts at a Tokyo warehouse. Kajiwara is part of a big and growing pool of part-time, temporary and other "non-regular" workers left out of the stability and security of Japan's storied lifetime employment system.
VALLEY OF THE KINGS, Australia, Dec 19- A fleet of charter flights ferry thousands of workers to and from this outback mine site. Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group are bulking up in Western Australia's iron-rich Pilbara desert as if the mining boom had never ended.
Dec 18- The ongoing upheaval in General Motors Co's executive ranks continued on Wednesday with the sudden resignation of Chris Perry as vice president of Chevrolet marketing. Perry, 53, spent just over three years in the job, after being wooed to GM in mid-2010 by Joel Ewanick, his former boss and colleague at Hyundai Motor America.
NEW YORK, Dec 18- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in his final major policy speech before leaving office at year's end, on Wednesday warned that a budding U.S. urban revival is threatened by mushrooming public pension and health-care costs.
NEW YORK, Dec 18- Michael Steinberg, a top portfolio manager at Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors hedge fund, fainted in a Manhattan federal courtroom on Wednesday as he awaited a jury's verdict in his insider trading case. District Judge Richard Sullivan, called jurors into court to read their verdict.
WASHINGTON, Dec 18- Even as a touch of bipartisan bonhomie settles over Washington with the pending passage of a budget compromise, conservatives in Congress are planning their next attempt to rein in government spending when the U.S. bumps up against its borrowing limit in the spring.
BRASILIA/ SAO PAULO, Dec 18- Brazil on Wednesday awarded a $4.5 billion contract to Saab AB to replace its aging fleet of fighter jets, a surprise coup for the Swedish company after news of U.S. spying on Brazilians helped derail Boeing's chances for the deal. In addition to Chicago- based Boeing, France's Dassault Aviation was a contender for the contract.
NEW YORK, Dec 18- General Electric Co expects profit from aviation, healthcare and other industrial units to rise at least 10 percent next year, the conglomerate said on Wednesday, adding it plans aggressive investments in manufacturing while shrinking its finance arm.
*Ukraine turned back on EU pact in favour of Russia. Desperate for cash to cover a big external funding gap, Ukraine turned to Russia, which on Tuesday agreed a $15 billion bailout for Ukraine and slashed the price of gas exports.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 18- Brazilian miner Vale SA expects to more than replace the 4 million tonnes a year of potash it stands to lose from the cancellation of its Rio Colorado project in Argentina as it opens mines in Brazil and Canada, its top executive said on Wednesday.
LONDON, Dec 18- A jump in prices of Ukraine's dollar bonds since Russia offered a $15 billion bailout has vindicated some of the world's biggest investors who bet billions that the high-yield, high-risk creditor could avert default.
*Fed to buy $35 bln in mortgage-backed bonds, $40 bln in U.S. bonds- a month. NEW YORK, Dec 18- U.S. The Fed said it will buy $75 billion of bonds per month, split between $35 billion in mortgage-backed securities and $40 billion in U.S.