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  • Dec 16- Darden Restaurants Inc reported a 4.9 percent rise in quarterly sales, helped by higher comparable sales at its flagship Olive Garden chain, and raised the lower end of its adjusted profit forecast for the full year. The company has suffered more than a year of traffic declines at Olive Garden, which accounts for more than half of Darden's overall revenue...

  • CRUDE DOWN 1 PCT POST-SETTLEMENT AFTER API DATA SHOWS NEAR 2 MILLION BARREL STOCK BUILD.

  • Dec 16- Auspex Pharmaceuticals Inc said its drug for treating chorea, or involuntary movement associated with Huntington's disease, met the main goal in a late-stage study. The drug, SD-809, achieved the main goal of change in a standardized score that measures involuntary movement in patients, compared with a placebo. About 90 percent of patients with...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 16- The U.S. dollar slipped against major currencies on Tuesday on expectations that the Federal Reserve would take a cautious tone on monetary policy, while a slide in oil prices pushed the Russian rouble to new lows and boosted the safe-haven yen. "That the FOMC sounds dovish either in the statement or the press conference is certainly a risk to the...

  • Dec 16- American Apparel Inc has officially fired its founder and former Chief Executive Officer Dov Charney, months after it suspended him for misconduct, according to a news release Tuesday.

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 16- A White House task force on Tuesday issued proposals to tighten the grip on the illegal global seafood trade, which the group said causes billions of dollars in losses to the legal fishing industry annually. Under the plan, the United States would create a program to trace seafood entering its ports from the source to the shelves, to prevent...

  • *Expects 2015 earnings $1.70- $1.80/ share vs est $1.79. NEW YORK, Dec 16- General Electric Co said it expects profit from its industrial units to rise by at least 10 percent in 2015, helped by its power and water, aviation and energy management businesses. Earlier this year, it struck a $16.9 billion deal to buy the power business of France's Alstom SA.

  • Darden sales rise on growing demand at Olive Garden Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 4:16 PM ET

    Dec 16- Darden Restaurants Inc reported a 4.9 percent rise in quarterly sales as demand rose at its flagship Olive Garden chain. Darden reported a loss of $32.8 million, or 26 cents per share, for its second quarter ended Nov. 23, compared with a profit of $19.8 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier. In October, activist shareholder Starboard Value LP won its...

  • *Brent closes down, but off lows at above $60. NEW YORK, Dec 16- Brent crude futures fell for a fifth straight day on Tuesday to end below $60 a barrel while U.S. crude finished a volatile session slightly higher as trading of expiring options helped defend the price above $55. While both markets rebounded from session lows, U.S. crude saw frenzied trading that pushed it...

  • NYSE to eliminate fees for some retail stock orders Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 4:10 PM ET

    NYSE now says it will eliminate transaction fees for orders originating from retail investors that are priced midway between the best bid and offer available at the time, priced at $1 or above, starting Jan. 2. NYSE currently charges 25 cents per 100 shares for those types of orders. NYSE executes a little over 20 percent of U.S. stock trades on its three stock...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 16- U.S. stocks fell for a third straight session in volatile trading on Tuesday, led by declines in consumer discretionary and technology shares, while a drop in the Russian rouble added to worries about the global economy. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 111.9 points, or 0.65 percent, to 17,068.94, the S&P 500 lost 16.85 points, or 0.85 percent, to...

  • VANCOUVER, Dec 16- The gridlock at U.S. West Coast ports that has forced McDonald's to ration French fries at its Japanese restaurants and interrupted supplies to retailers such as Lululemon is unlikely to be alleviated by routing cargoes through Canada, whose Pacific ports face their own problems. Tensions are mounting as talks to resolve longstanding...

  • NEW YORK/ LONDON, Dec 16- Gold was little changed on Tuesday, in a choppy session that took prices back below $1,200 an ounce as the dollar came off its lows and traders worried the U.S. This came after a 12- minute rally of more than 1 percent to a session high at $1,221.40 when U.S. traders were still sleeping, after Russia announced an aggressive interest rate hike.

  • FXCM, one of the biggest platforms catering to online and retail traders of currencies, said the halt stemmed from the expectations of banks that Moscow would impose outright capital controls within the next few days. "As such, FXCM can no longer offer this instrument to our clients and will begin closing any existing client trades in USD/RUB effective at Noon...

  • Between Nov. 15, when enrollment opened, and Dec. 12, nearly 2.5 million people signed up in the 36 states where these plans are sold through the HealthCare.gov website, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in an e-mailed statement that also appeared on its blog. Data from states that operate their own websites, such as California and New York, is not...

  • *Moscow stocks plunge, crude trades below $60 a barrel. "If you have a deeply mono-export culture which is linked to oil, then the consequences of much-lower oil prices are quite unfortunate," said Sebastien Galy, senior foreign exchange analyst at Societe Generale in New York. Brent crude trimmed losses to trade just below $60 a barrel after breaking through that...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 16- The new Republican-controlled Senate's first act in January will be approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday. McConnell told reporters that the bill would be based on a measure that failed in the Senate last month that was co-sponsored by North Dakota Republican John Hoeven and Louisiana...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 16- General Electric Co said it expects profit from its industrial units to rise by at least 10 percent in 2015, helped by its power and water, aviation and energy management businesses. Earnings from its industrial units are expected to be $1.10- $1.20 per share next year, the conglomerate said in a presentation on Tuesday at an investor meeting in New...

  • Dec 16- A former bond trader was sentenced to 2-1/ 2 years in prison Tuesday after admitting to manipulating prices of mortgage debt, causing a $9 million loss at a unit of Bank of New York Mellon Corp.. Prosecutors said Green entered fake CMO sales into the trading system of BNY Mellon's Pershing LLC clearing unit, which handled Crocker trades and related...

  • Cuba to renegotiate wages paid by foreign companies Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 3:13 PM ET

    HAVANA, Dec 16- Communist-run Cuba will renegotiate wages for some 40,000 nationals working in joint ventures with foreign companies, driving up labor costs as Cuba actively seeks foreign investment crucial to its economic growth plans. The new regulations, published in official media on Tuesday, no longer allow companies to pay the minimum wage in Cuba and...