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  • MOSCOW, Nov 18- Russia and Venezuela discussed joint action to combat falling oil prices, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday after holding talks with Venezuela's Foreign Minister Rafael Ramírez the day before. Asked if the two discussed joint moves to counteract the oil price falls, Novak told reporters: "Yes, there is such an initiative.

  • *Traders look to Nov. 27 OPEC meeting for direction. NEW YORK, Nov 18- Oil extended its slide on Tuesday as traders looked beyond price defense attempts by Russia and Venezuela and toward Saudi Arabia and OPEC for fresh leads on whether the cartel will cut production when it meets later this month. OPEC will meet in Vienna on Nov. 27.

  • NEW YORK, Nov 18- Federal authorities announced fraud charges against a Georgia- based debt collection company and seven of its employees on Tuesday, saying they used threats of jail and other hardball tactics to convince more than 6,000 people to cough up money the company said they owed. According to a criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors in...

  • The SEC announced the increase in its Nov. 17 annual report, which tracks the success of the whistleblower program and how much it pays out each year in awards. It authorized awards for nine whistleblowers, including a record payout of more than $30 million to a whistleblower overseas who had helped alert the SEC to what it described as an ongoing fraud.

  • LONDON, Nov 18- Markets are overly worried about the U.S. Pascal Blanque, Chief Investment Officer at the $1.2 trillion Amundi Asset Management, sees a' low probability' of the Fed making its first rate rise in 9 years in 2015- despite consensus forecasts of a mid-year hike. What's more, investors needed to stay focused on the global liquidity pool, which is also being...

  • *Athens wants to exit bailout one year ahead of time. ATHENS, Nov 18- Greece is locked in tough negotiations with its foreign lenders, with "nerves stretched" on both sides, the finance minister warned on Tuesday, raising the temperature as Athens tries to exit an unpopular bailout programme. Inspectors from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund...

  • Medtronic meets Street; Covidien deal on track Tuesday, 18 Nov 2014 | 12:10 PM ET
    Medtronic's CoreValve Evolut

    Medtronic posted a profit that was in line with expectations and said its $42.9 billion purchase of hospital products maker Covidien remains on track.

  • WASHINGTON, Nov 18- The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has tightened supervision of patent examiners who work full-time from home, an official said on Tuesday, but critics in Congress questioned whether the office was not going far enough to curb abuse. The estimated 5,000 patent examiners who work from home full time must now be available electronically when...

  • Nov 18- Home Depot Inc on Tuesday reported slightly higher-than-expected quarterly sales as an improving job market encouraged home owners to increase spending on renovations, but earnings came in just below Wall Street estimates. Same-store sales increased 5.8 percent in the United States, where Home Depot has more than 85 percent of its stores.

  • Nov 18- Medtronic Inc posted a quarterly profit that was in line with analyst expectations, helped by sales of new heart devices, and said its $42.9 billion purchase of hospital products maker Covidien Plc remains on track to close early next year. But Medtronic executives said they remain fully committed to buying Dublin- based Covidien and are focused on...

  • NEW YORK, Nov 18- It might seem odd taking serious financial advice from someone long associated with infomercials and fire walks. Which perhaps is why Tony Robbins, one of America's foremost motivational gurus and performance coaches, has loaded his new book "Money: Master The Game" with interviews from people like Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett, investor...

  • NEW YORK, Nov 18- Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi has agreed to pay $315 million to New York's banking regulator for submitting a whitewashed report about its improper handling of transactions involving countries subject to U.S. sanctions, the regulator said on Tuesday. The report formed the basis for a $250 million settlement the bank, the largest in Japan, reached...

  • Nov 18- Home Depot Inc, the world's No.1 home improvement chain, reported better-than-expected quarterly sales as an improving job market encouraged Americans to spend more on renovations. The retailer is facing at least 44 civil lawsuits related to the breach in the United States and Canada. Home Depot's net income rose to $1.54 billion, or $1.15 per share, in...

  • NEW YORK, Nov 18- Stock markets around the world rose on Tuesday and the yen hit a seven-year low as news of a surprise election and a delayed tax increase in Japan strengthened hopes for new stimulus measures a day after data showed the country slid back into recession. Oil prices dropped again, with Brent under $79 a barrel. The MSCI index of world stocks rose 0.65...

  • BRUSSELS, Nov 18- Ukraine aims to avoid using an interim gas deal signed last month for as long as it can and eventually end its reliance on Russian gas through better EU connections, Naftogaz Chief Executive Andriy Kobolyev told Reuters on Tuesday. Ukraine and Russia signed an agreement, brokered by the European Commission, at the end of October to cover gas...

  • LONDON, Nov 18- The biggest product of the U.S. petroleum industry is not oil, gas or condensate but water-- billions and billions of gallons containing dissolved salts, grease and even naturally occurring radioactive materials. The five old oil- and gas-producing states of Texas, California, Oklahoma, Kansas and Louisiana accounted for almost three quarters of...

  • US STOCKS-S&P 500 hits record again; Actavis rallies Tuesday, 18 Nov 2014 | 11:01 AM ET

    NEW YORK, Nov 18- U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, lifting the S&P 500 to a record high, boosted by healthcare after Actavis' acquisition of Allergan triggered bullish analyst notes. Allergan on Monday accepted a $66 billion takeover bid from Actavis Plc in cash and stock. At least two analysts raised Actavis' price target, one to as high as $300.

  • Agilent beats 4Q profit forecasts Tuesday, 18 Nov 2014 | 10:59 AM ET

    Agilent Technologies on Monday reported profit of $16 million in its fiscal fourth quarter.

  • *China home prices fall for second consecutive month in Oct. LONDON, Nov 18- Copper, aluminium and other base metals prices fell on Tuesday, as weak property sector data from China raised concerns about the outlook for demand from the world's top metals consumer. Copper prices have stayed between $6,500 and $6,800 a tonne since mid-September.

  • LONDON, Nov 18- Gold steadied below a 2-1/ 2 week high hit earlier on Tuesday as the dollar softened against the euro due partly to better-than-expected German economic data. Spot gold was up 0.6 percent at $1,193.60 an ounce by 1539 GMT after earlier reaching its highest since Oct. 30 at $1,204.70. "Gold is finding more strength after we broke the $1,180 resistance...