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  • APPLE BUILDING SECRET TEAM TO WORK ON VIRTUAL REALITY- FT@. Jan 29- Apple Inc has assembled a large team of experts in virtual and augmented reality and built prototypes of headsets that could one day rival Facebook's Oculus Rift or Microsoft's Hololens, the Financial Times reported. The newspaper had previously reported the hiring of leading virtual reality...

  • CHICAGO, Jan 29- Faced with unappealing prices for most major crops, farmers in the southern U.S. The region, stretching from Texas to Nebraska, is traditionally one of the world's leading producers of wheat and cattle. The U.S. Agriculture Department said farmers in Oklahoma planted fewer than 5 million acres of wheat for the first time since 1964..

  • NEW YORK, Jan 29- BlackRock Inc said on Friday it will change the benchmarks on four iShares Treasury exchange-traded funds from Barclays' Treasury bond indexes to ICE's Treasury bond indexes, effective on or after March 31. The funds are among the most popular U.S. taxable bond ETFs with combined assets of nearly $36 billion, according to data from Morningstar.

  • A new deal is crucial for the many thousands of businesses that until late last year relied on "Safe Harbour", a framework which protected Europeans' data moving to the United States, when it was struck down by an EU court over concerns about U.S. European Union data protection law says companies cannot transfer EU citizens' personal data to countries outside the...

  • NEW YORK, Jan 29- The Federal Reserve needs more time to assess how global economic weakness and financial market turmoil will hurt the U.S. economy and will be patient about policy decisions, a Fed policymaker said on Friday. In an interview with Reuters, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan offered his explanation of the central bank's decision this week to drop a...

  • CRUDE OIL FUTURES PARE GAINS AFTER BAKER HUGHES REPORT SHOWING OIL DRILLERS CUT RIGS FOR SIXTH STRAIGHT WEEK.

  • U.S. OIL DRILLERS CUT RIGS FOR SIXTH STRAIGHT WEEK -BAKER HUGHES.

  • NEW YORK, Jan 29- An Arizona man who co-created software distributed by an organization called Blackshades that was used to hack into a million computers worldwide was sentenced on Friday to five years of probation. District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan after pleading guilty in 2013 to distributing malware and conspiring to commit computer hacking.

  • *Q4 US GDP data misses estimate. Jan 29- Wall Street was higher on Friday after the Bank of Japan cut a key interest rate below zero and Microsoft led a rally in technology stocks. "You've got again a sense that we're back to an easier central bank environment," said Steve Blitz, chief economist at ITG.

  • Jan 29- Boeing Co's 737 MAX aircraft took off on its first flight on Friday from wet tarmac at an airport south of Seattle, marking another step toward scheduled delivery to airlines in 2017.. A Boeing company video showed the take-off of the plane, the fourth version of the original 737, which made its first flight in 1967. It features new engines from CFM...

  • DUESSELDORF, Germany, Jan 29- Germany's anti-trust regulator said on Friday it was investigating a possible cartel of companies making agricultural machinery, particularly tractors. It did not name any targets of the probe. German agricultural trading group Baywa said the cartel office had searched its headquarters earlier this week on suspicion that some...

  • *To idle Harvey coal mine in Pennsylvania. Consol, which reported an adjusted loss for the fourth quarter, said its cash flow from operations rose to $102 million in the period from $87 million a year earlier. The company cut its quarterly payout to 1 cent per share from 6.25 cents last year.

  • *Profit of 79 cents/ shr vs est 69 cents/ shr. MasterCard is working with China's two top state-held commercial banks to launch their mobile payment products in the country, Chief Executive Ajay Banga said on a conference call. China's decision to open up its $7 trillion bank card market to foreign companies is expected to boost earnings at MasterCard and Visa.

  • CARACAS, Jan 29- Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino will visit Russia on a tour beginning on Saturday of OPEC and non- OPEC countries intended to drum up support for action to stem the tumble in crude prices, the government said. "We will go to Russia, a non- OPEC country where we will discuss proposals to stabilize crude," he said, according to a tweet from the Oil...

  • *Iran won't join immediate OPEC production cut- report. NEW YORK, Jan 29- Oil prices trimmed early gains in volatile trade on Friday after news that Iran had dashed the possibility of participating in a possible deal between OPEC and other producing countries to trim output. But oil retraced early gains, with both contracts briefly turning negative, after the Wall...

  • BUENOS AIRES, Jan 29- Argentina's central bank on Friday sealed a deal for a $5 billion loan from international private banks to bolster its foreign reserves, two sources at banks involved in the deal told Reuters. Argentina is virtually shut out of global credit markets because of a long-running legal dispute with creditors over debt it defaulted on in 2002..

  • EPS $14.00- $14.75 vs est $14.42. EPS $4.10 vs est $3.91. An improving U.S. economy has helped boost consumer spending in the country, even as economic uncertainty plagues emerging markets, particularly China and Brazil.

  • Venezuela oil min to visit Russia on foreign tour

    CARACAS, Jan 29- Venezuela's Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino will visit Russia on a tour beginning on Saturday of OPEC and non- OPEC countries intended to drum up support for action to stem the tumble in crude prices, the government said. "We will go to Russia, a non- OPEC country where we will discuss proposals to stabilize crude," he said, according to a Tweet from the Oil...

  • MILAN/ LONDON, Jan 29- European equities ended the week on a high after the Bank of Japan stunned markets on Friday by voting narrowly to introduce negative interest rates in a bid to revive inflation. Japan's central bank said it would charge 0.1 percent for excess reserves parked with it, an aggressive deflation-fighting policy pioneered by the European...

  • American Airlines Group Inc, the world's largest airline, and other U.S. carriers are facing mounting concern about the mosquito-borne virus as investors mull a slump in demand to the Caribbean and other tourist hotspots. Zika, linked to birth defects in thousands of babies in Brazil, could nonetheless become a challenge for American. While airlines have yet to...