WASHINGTON, Dec 17- The White House National Security Council said on Wednesday the FBI was leading the investigation on a cyber attack on Sony Pictures and that the U.S. government had offered the company support and assistance. Earlier on Wednesday, Sony canceled next week's theatrical release of "The Interview," a comedy about an assassination attempt on...» Read More
July 17- Medical device and drug maker Baxter International Inc reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue, helped by surging sales in its medical products division. Net adjusted income rose to $692 million, or $1.26 per share in the second quarter ended June 30, from $639 million, or $1.16 per share, a year earlier.
WASHINGTON, July 17- U.S. housing starts and building permits unexpectedly fell in June, suggesting the housing market recovery was struggling to get back on track after stalling in late 2013.. Groundbreaking declined 9.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual 893,000 million unit-pace, the lowest since September, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.
WASHINGTON, July 17- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining traction. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 302,000 for the week ended July 12, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
The Britain- based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 23 members of forces protecting the field were killed in a "wide assault carried out by Islamic State fighters from several directions".
LONDON, July 17- Britain's financial watchdog said on Thursday it hoped to complete an investigation into allegations of manipulation in currency markets next year, while warning that the complexity of the inquiry made timings unpredictable.
LONDON, July 17- The legal battle between the London Metal Exchange and Russian aluminum giant Rusal will resume on July 29. There are currently 2,915,100 tonnes of the stuff waiting for a physical delivery slot in the LME warehouse system, most of it at just two locations; Vlissingen in the Netherlands and Detroit in the United States.
July 17- Wall Street bank Morgan Stanley's quarterly earnings more than doubled, beating market estimates, as stronger performances by its investment banking and wealth management businesses more than made up for a fall in revenue from bond trading.
*Russia assets fall as U.S., EU impose more sanctions. LONDON, July 17- A tightening of Western sanctions on Russia rattled world markets on Thursday, sending Moscow stocks and the rouble tumbling and lifting traditional safe-haven currencies and bonds.
SEATTLE, July 17- Microsoft Corp said on Thursday it would cut up to 18,000 jobs, or about 14 percent of its workforce, as it halves the size of its recent Nokia acquisition and trims down other operations.
*Rate cut is in line with market consensus. ISTANBUL, July 17- Turkey's central bank trimmed its main interest rate for a third consecutive month on Thursday but resisted the deep cuts sought by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan weeks ahead of a presidential election.
MOSCOW, July 17- The Moscow- based Association of European Businesses voiced "strong disagreement" on Thursday with new U.S. sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hurt economic growth "not only in Russia".
July 17- UnitedHealth Group Inc, the largest U.S. health insurer, reported higher-than-expected revenue and raised its forecast, helped by the addition of 270,000 healthcare members and strong growth in its Optum pharmacy services division. UnitedHealth also tightened its profit outlook to $5.50- $5.60 per share from $5.40- $5.60.
SANCTIONS OVER UKRAINE, SAYS WILL HURT ECONOMIC GROWTH "NOT ONLY IN RUSSIA"- STATEMENT.
LONDON, July 17- Russia is stepping up a public relations effort in support of its controversial South Stream gas pipeline project to supply southern Europe, but a rival project to bring gas from Azerbaijan is also upping its game.
July 17- Credit card processor Alliance Data Systems Corp reported an 18 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by strong sales in its customer loyalty programs business. The company's net income attributable to shareholders rose to $137.4 million, or $2.19 per share, in the quarter ended June 30, from $116.4 million, or $1.71 per share, a year earlier.
July 17- Wall Street bank Morgan Stanley's quarterly adjusted earnings more than doubled as stronger performances by its investment banking and wealth management businesses more than made up for a fall in revenue from bond trading.
In a short defence of why China will invest $41 billion in a bank that it is unlikely to borrow from, the central bank said China stands to benefit if it helps to stabilise the economies and financial markets of other nations.
*Morgan Stanley climbs in premarket after earnings. NEW YORK, July 17- U.S. stock index futures were lower on Thursday, in the wake of new U.S. and European Union sanctions on Russia and ahead of data on the labor and housing markets.
LONDON, July 17- Targeting major Russian energy firms may come to be seen as the turning point at which U.S. sanctions policy over-reached and spurred a major effort to re-route financial transactions away from the United States.
WASHINGTON/ MOSCOW, July 17- President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on some of Russia's biggest firms for the first time, striking at the heart of Vladimir Putin's powerbase by targeting companies closest to him over Moscow's failure to curb violence in Ukraine.