*Putin rebuffs Obama as Ukraine crisis escalates. NEW YORK, March 7- U.S. stocks pulled back on Friday, with the Nasdaq extending losses in late afternoon trading as investors adjusted their positions ahead of the weekend and caution prevailed because of the simmering crisis in Ukraine.» Read More
*Applied Materials shareholders to hold 68 pct of new company. Sept 24- Applied Materials Inc Tokyo Electron Ltd in a deal valued at more than $9 billion, combining the No.1 and No.3 makers of chipmaking gear as demand for their products slow and it gets tougher to turn a profit.
LONDON, Sept 24- The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act is the sort of dull but worthy law that should easily pass the U.S. Senate, even in an era of extreme partisan polarisation.
BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL, Sept 24- Brazilian mining company Vale SA said on Tuesday that it is in talks to sell iron ore pellets to a customer in the United States, the only major market where the world's largest ore producer has no significant business.
Sept 24- The problem of banks being "too big to fail" has not been resolved because regulators have not adequately addressed systemic risk in nontraditional lending markets, a senior Morgan Stanley executive said on Tuesday.
Sept 24- Saddle River Valley Bank, a New Jersey lender now largely owned by Center Bancorp Inc, will pay $8.2 million to settle charges that it violated federal anti-money-laundering laws over its dealings with customers in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, federal authorities said on Tuesday.
MOSCOW, Sept 24- Russia's government should avoid deeper austerity measures at a time of slowing economic growth, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told the Reuters Russia Investment Summit on Tuesday.
NEW YORK, Sept 24- JPMorgan Chase& Co is engaged in talks with U.S. prosecutors in a last-minute effort to settle a case that was to be filed on Tuesday, accusing the bank of violating U.S. laws in its sale of mortgage bonds in California, according to sources familiar with the matter.
*Telecom Italia up as Telefonica agrees to raise stake. LONDON, Sept 24- European shares crept up on Tuesday as merger and acquisition activity in the telecoms sector outweighed downbeat U.S. and German data and weakness from cruise operator Carnival which posted a drop in profits.
*Applied Materials shares rise on merger with Tokyo Electron. *Facebook leads Nasdaq on report it could be allowed in China. The S&P 500 faced a possible fourth straight day of decline, but a gain of nearly 5 percent in Facebook shares led the Nasdaq composite index higher.
LONDON, Sept 24- British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover on Tuesday said it plans to open a 100 million pounds research and development centre in the UK in 2016 to create the next generation of vehicle technologies.
It could take up to a year before South Korea completes the next round of its fighter competition, but Lockheed has set its sights on additional orders from Norway, Britain and Turkey before year's end. And Singapore may announce an initial order of one dozen F-35 jets or more at the Singapore air show in February.
Sept 24- China's acquisition of a 12.5 percent stake in Russian potash producer Uralkali looks to be a "non-event," the chief financial officer of Canadian rival Potash Corp of Saskatchewan said on Tuesday.
OTTAWA, Sept 24- Canadian retail sales rose a solid 0.6 percent in July, making up for losses in June and setting up the economy to show firm growth in the month and in the third quarter after a recent rough patch.
Sept 24- One of Boise Inc's largest shareholders doesn't plan to vote for the paper and packaging company's $1.28 billion takeover by rival Packaging Corp of America and said Boise should spin-off its paper business instead.
LONDON, Sept 24- Gold dipped for a fourth consecutive session on Tuesday as the dollar firmed and a lack of clarity over U.S. monetary and fiscal policy dented demand. The Federal Reserve surprised markets last week by sticking with a programme of $85 billion in monthly asset purchases, confounding expectations for a $10 billion cut from September.
Sept 24- Smithfield Foods Inc shareholders on Tuesday approved the pork giant's $4.7 billion sale to Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd in what is shaping up as the biggest acquisition of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm.
NEW YORK, Sept 24- U.S. home prices gained in July even as a dip in consumer confidence this month underscored the potential for higher interest rates and a sluggish economy to dent a housing market recovery. Year-over-year, home prices in all 20 cities have gained, with Las Vegas surging 27.5 percent.
*Iran agrees to talks with six world powers, including U.S. *Iranian president to address U.N. General Assembly. LONDON, Sept 24- Brent crude fell below $108 a barrel on Tuesday, losing more ground after almost a month of declines as geopolitical tension eased and further evidence emerged of rising oil supplies from Libya and Iraq.
*Advanced talks with Japan's Lixil. TPG Capital and the private equity arm of Credit Suisse are divesting Grohe in a so-called dual track process, which includes the options of floating it on the stock exchange or selling it to a peer. Of the suitors, Japan's Lixil has emerged as the leading bidder with an offer of roughly 3 billion euros, the sources said.
*Third-quarter adj. earnings/share $1.38 vs est $1.30. *Third-quarter sales $4.73 bln vs est $4.65 bln. Sept 24- Carnival Corp, the world's largest cruise operator, warned it could report an adjusted loss for the current quarter after posting a 30 percent fall in its third-quarter profit, hurt by a series of mishaps on its cruise liners.