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  • ZURICH/ FRANKFURT May 7- Swiss Re and Hannover Re, the world's no. 2 and 3 reinsurers, said they saw lower prices in natural disaster reinsurance and April renewals, as they beat profit expectations in the first quarter. "We are not slaves to volume, and we will certainly not write business to fulfill some top line aspirations," said Swiss Re Chief Executive Michel Lies.

  • *Whole Foods tumbles after earnings, outlook. *Developments in Ukraine helped sentiment, as Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday he was ready to discuss a way out of the crisis with the head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

  • *First-quarter productivity slumps at a 1.7 percent rate. WASHINGTON, May 7- U.S. nonfarm productivity fell at its fastest pace in a year in the first quarter as output slowed sharply, leading to a jump in labor-related production costs.

  • May 7- King Digital Entertainment Plc, maker of the popular mobile game "Candy Crush Saga", reported better-than-expected first-quarter results, helped by higher gross bookings for its hit puzzle game "Farm Heroes Saga". The stock has not touched its IPO price of $22.50 since King went public on March 26.

  • Corcept Therapeutics stops depression drug trial Wednesday, 7 May 2014 | 8:50 AM ET

    May 7- Corcept Therapeutics Inc said it would stop a late-stage trial of its drug for depression after an interim analysis suggested the study was unlikely to be successful. The analysis of data from the first 226 patients enrolled in the trial showed that the drug failed to significantly reduce psychotic depression symptoms.

  • May 7- Mondelez International Inc and Dutch coffee and tea company D.E Master Blenders 1753 BV said on Wednesday they would combine their coffee businesses, as the U.S. company focuses on snacks such as Cadbury chocolate and Oreo cookies.

  • European shares edge higher, earnings support Wednesday, 7 May 2014 | 8:38 AM ET

    *Results from Credit Agricole, Henkel help market. Germany's Henkel rose 4 percent after beating expectations with results, while Coloplast gained 3.3 percent after beating forecasts and raising its revenue outlook.

  • *CEO says won't stay in transport-focused Alstom. PARIS, May 7- French industrial engineer Alstom posted a drop in orders and annual profit and scrapped its dividend on Wednesday, underscoring its case for a deal with U.S. conglomerate General Electric to secure its future.

  • *Economists predict deeper recession than a month ago. KIEV, May 7- Ukraine's economy will slide deeper into recession this year despite an IMF aid deal as a pro-Russian rebellion cripples activity in the industrial east and scares off foreign investors, economists forecast in a Reuters poll.

  • May 7- AOL Inc reported a rise in first-quarter revenue on Wednesday, boosted by a surge in advertising sales through its automated electronic exchange.

  • Bad weather sinks U.S. first-quarter productivity Wednesday, 7 May 2014 | 8:30 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, May 7- U.S. nonfarm productivity fell at its fastest pace in a year in the first quarter as severe weather took its toll, leading to the largest gain in unit labor costs in more than a year. Productivity declined at a 1.7 percent annual rate after advancing at a 2.3 percent pace in the fourth quarter, the Labor Department said on Wednesday.

  • PARIS/ BERLIN, May 7- French factories produced much less than expected in March while German industry orders unexpectedly fell the most in 1-1/ 2 years, data showed on Wednesday, feeding speculation of fresh European Central Bank action to support the euro zone recovery.

  • *Prices taking support from stand-off in Ukraine. LONDON, May 7- Gold firmed on Wednesday as concerns that a stand-off between pro-Russian separatists and government troops in Ukraine may escalate fuelled demand, and ahead of congressional testimony from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen later.

  • "Farm Heroes" boosts King Digital's quarterly profit Wednesday, 7 May 2014 | 8:07 AM ET

    May 7- Social and mobile game company King Digital Entertainment Plc's profit more than doubled in the first quarter, helped by higher gross bookings from its hit puzzle game "Farm Heroes Saga". The company's net profit rose to $127.2 million, or 41 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31 from $52.7 million, or 16 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • May 7- Enbridge Inc, Canada's largest pipeline company, reported a 56 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by higher volumes on its regional oil sands system, and the company said it was on track to meet its full-year adjusted profit forecast. Excluding one-time items, Enbridge earned 60 Canadian cents per share.

  • WASHINGTON, May 7- Americans convicted of fraud and other white-collar crimes gained a new defender on Wednesday as an advocacy group that has long fought strict drug sentences launched a campaign pushing for lighter punishment for financial crimes.

  • LONDON, May 7- Markets are fickle things. Now, however, metal bulls are shunning the zinc market, turning their attentions to nickel with its equally compelling story-line of mine shortfall after the January imposition of a ban on nickel ore exports by Indonesia.

  • LONDON, May 7- Britain is abandoning its market-based model for electricity and opting for much greater state control, as politicians intervene more aggressively in response to concern about rising bills, climate change and supply security.

  • *Twitter bounces in premarket after Tuesday drop. AIG dragged on financial shares after disappointing earnings and a slide in Twitter hurt other names in the technology and internet space. Twitter shares rebounded in premarket trading Wednesday, adding 1.5 percent to $32.32.

  • May 7- Chesapeake Energy Corp, the second largest U.S. producer of natural gas, reported a sharply higher quarterly profit on Wednesday that topped expectations, helped by a 53 percent increase in gas prices. Profit in the first quarter was $374 million, or 54 cents per share, compared with $15 million, or 2 cents, in the year-ago period.