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  • WASHINGTON, Dec 16- The Obama administration as soon as Wednesday will announce its plans for curbing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, which the United States must do to meet its 2020 target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, people familiar with the issue said Tuesday. The government reaffirmed that goal last week at U.N. climate talks in Lima.

  • *Moscow stocks plunge, crude trades below $60 a barrel. Three retail trading platforms halted trading in rubles, citing growing signs of stress among the banks that underpin that trade, as speculation mounted that Moscow will impose capital controls within the next few days. "If you have a deeply mono-export culture which is linked to oil, then the consequences of...

  • *U.S. crude slips on API data, after closing up 2 cents near $56. 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...

  • BOSTON, Dec 16- U.S. security agencies are investigating a threat against theaters planning to show Sony Corp's controversial movie about an assassination of the leader of North Korea, and so far they have seen no real sign of an active plot, two U.S. officials said. An official at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and another U.S. security official cast doubt...

  • 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. Charney has served as a consultant to American Apparel since his initial suspension on June 18. American Apparel stock rose 5 percent to trade at 61 cents after the...

  • *Indexes: Dow down 0.7 pct, S&P down 0.9 pct, Nasdaq down 1.2 pct. NEW YORK, Dec 16- U.S. stocks fell for a third day in a volatile session Tuesday, led by declines in consumer discretionary and technology shares, while another drop in the Russian rouble added to worries about the global economy. People buy stocks that have done well so you get this bump up, "said Daniel Morgan,...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 16- America's government-controlled mortgage finance giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, will likely guarantee a shrinking share of new loans over the next decade, congressional analysts said on Tuesday. During the 2007-09 financial crisis, it was almost impossible for home buyers to get a loan without a government guarantee, and Fannie Mae and...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 16- Vanguard Group became the largest U.S. fund manager by assets by persuading investors that they don't need to pay for a stock picker. Under lead manager James Stetler, the $615 million Vanguard Strategic Small Cap Equity Fund, for example, topped its index by 3.2 percentage points a year over the same period. An investor who put $10,000 into the...

  • Dec 16- California pension plans would divest all assets related to the coal industry under a measure the leader of the state senate said he will propose to reduce support for an industry that critics blame for contributing to climate change. He had just returned from United Nations talks in Lima, Peru on international efforts to fight climate change.

  • 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...