WASHINGTON— Below is the statement the Fed released Wednesday after its policy meeting:. Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that growth in economic activity rebounded in the second quarter. Labor market conditions improved, with the unemployment rate declining further.» Read More
BARCELONA, Feb 24- WhatsApp, the world's biggest mobile messaging service, is to add a voice call service for its 450 million customers, laying down a new challenge to telecom network operators just days after it was bought by Facebook for $19 billion.
LONDON, Feb 24- Gold rose to a near four-month high on Monday, adding to last week's gains as investors grew more anxious about the pace of the U.S. economic recovery and China's growth.
*Insurance stocks rise after Humana comments. *Men's Wearhouse raises offer for Jos. RF Micro Devices Inc agreed to buy TriQuint Semiconductor Inc for about $1.6 billion, while Men's Wearhouse Inc raised its cash tender offer for rival men's clothing retailer Jos.
HAVANA, Feb 24- Cuba continued to shed state jobs and move workers into the private sector in 2013, according to a report issued by the official labor federation at the weekend, as President Raul Castro pressed forward with reforms to the Soviet-style system.
CARACAS, Feb 24- Venezuela on Monday eased restrictions on the purchase and sale of hard currency, paving the way for a new foreign exchange platform meant to boost businesses' access to dollars under an 11- year-old currency control system.
Feb 24- Billionaire investor Carl Icahn accused eBay Inc Chief Executive John Donahoe of failing to spot- or ignoring- conflicts of interest on the company's board and called again for the spinoff of its fast-growing PayPal division.
Radio frequency chipmakers RF Micro Devices will buy peer TriQuint Semiconductor for about $1.6 billion in an all-stock deal to create a company that could better compete in selling chips to mobile-handset makers.
SINGAPORE, Feb 24- Bilateral talks between Japan and the United States held as part of negotiations on a Pacific trade pact ended without an agreement on Monday, with Japanese Economics Minister Akira Amari saying that gaps still remained between the two sides.
By declining to hear the cases, the court allowed claims against Sears Roebuck and Co, Whirlpool Corp and BSH Home Appliance Corp to move forward in lower courts.
*Cable between Portugal and Brazil could cost $185 mln. BRUSSELS, Feb 24- Brazil and the European Union agreed on Monday to lay an undersea communications cable from Lisbon to Fortaleza to reduce Brazil's reliance on the United States after Washington spied on Brasilia.
Feb 24- Pfizer Inc said on Monday that Prevnar 13, its blockbuster vaccine against childhood infections, prevented pneumonia outside of hospitals in people age 65 and older, in one of the largest drug trials ever conducted.
*Luxury German carmakers lent scores of vehicles for free. BRUSSELS, Feb 24- Some European politicians and transparency campaigners have raised concerns about German luxury carmakers Audi and BMW providing free cars to EU member states while negotiations were under way over strict new emissions targets.
WASHINGTON, Feb 24- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a closely watched legal battle concerning consumer claims against manufacturers and retailers of front-loading washing machines.
Feb 24- Canada's Augusta Resource Corp urged its shareholders to reject HudBay Minerals Inc's hostile takeover bid on Monday, and said investors controlling more than one-third of its common shares plan to refuse the offer.
Feb 24- Darden Restaurants Inc's plan to spin off its Red Lobster chain should be put to a shareholder vote, activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP said. Darden said in December it would spin off or sell the floundering Red Lobster chain, bowing to pressure from hedge fund Barington Capital Group.
Feb 24- Oracle Corp said it would buy online data management startup BlueKai to bolster its marketing platform. However, Business Insider reported last week that Oracle was looking to buy BlueKai for about $400 million. Oracle's shares closed at $38.10 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.
Feb 24- Debt-laden Chinese solar company LDK Solar Co Ltd said it filed an application for provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands. LDK Solar, incorporated in the Cayman Islands, said it has made "considerable progress" in its discussions with key offshore creditors.
Feb 24- Billionaire investor Carl Icahn accused eBay Inc Chief Executive John Donahoe of failing to spot- or ignoring- conflicts of interest on the company's board and called again for the spinoff of its fast-growing PayPal division. Marc Andreessen and Scott Cook, both long-term eBay board members, bore the brunt of Icahn's conflict allegations.
*Emerging markets in focus after Ukraine president ousted. *Men's Wearhouse raises offer for Jos. *Netflix shares fall, to pay Comcast for faster speeds.
NEW YORK, Feb 24- Growth in the U.S. services sector as well as the pace of hiring slowed in February, an industry report showed on Monday, the latest data to suggest an unusually cold winter is dragging on economic activity. At 52.0, down from 54.1 in January, the employment component notched its lowest reading since March 2013.