TOKYO, April 21- Japan's exports rose 1.8 percent in March from a year earlier, Ministry of Finance data showed on Monday, suggesting that sluggish external demand could put a drag on the economy already hit by the April 1 sales tax hike.» Read More
BOSTON, Oct 31- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is considering setting up a ``Cyber Reserve'' of computer security experts who could be called upon in the event of a crippling cyber attack. ``The status quo is not acceptable,'' DHS Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute told Reuters in a recent interview. ``We are not standing around.
*U.S. money market rates elevated after storm. NEW YORK, Oct 31- Wall Street firms and U.S. banks scrambled to raise cash on Wednesday, as U.S. financial markets resumed normal trading after a devastating storm pummeled the U.S. East Coast and closed major markets for two days.
LONDON, Oct 31- European stocks dipped on Wednesday, led by heavyweight British oil and gas firm BG Group after it warned it would show no production growth next year. BG Group sank 13.7 percent in hefty trading volume of near sixteen times its 90- day daily average, accounting for nearly a third of the total index points fall.
*Earnings report due Nov. 1. HOUSTON, Oct 31- Chesapeake Energy Corp is under the gun to show evidence that it is changing its free-spending ways when it reports third-quarter earnings November 1. The company's largest investors, Carl Icahn and Mason Hawkins, were so unhappy with the company's bloated balance sheet that they seized control of the board in June.
JUNEAU, Alaska-- A smog-like haze that hung over part of Alaska's Kodiak Island this week was courtesy of a volcanic eruption _ 100 years ago. The National Weather Service says strong winds and a lack of snow Tuesday helped stir up ash from the 1912 eruption of Novarupta, the largest volcanic blast of the 20th century.
Oct 31- Nu Skin Enterprises Inc raised its full-year forecast for the sixth time this year, encouraged by strong demand for its new anti-ageing and body spa products under the ageLOC brand. Nu Skin shares rose 11 percent to $46.70 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning.
Oct 31- Astral Media Inc reported a higher quarterly profit on Wednesday as revenue rose across its business segments. BCE Inc, Bell Canada's parent, agreed in March to buy Astral, its largest content provider. On Wednesday afternoon, Astral shares were down 1.3 percent at C $41.30 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The price of lumber is higher as residents of the Northeast evaluate the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy. Lumber for January delivery rose $10 Wednesday to end at $331.20 per 1,000 board feet on expectations that demand will pick up because of the need to repair and rebuild houses, businesses and other structures.
Companies like environmental cleanup specialist Clean Harbors, building supply chains Home Depot and Lowe's, building products makers Owens Corning and Beacon Roofing and generator manufacturer Generac Holdings surged in early trading, on the assumption that the recovery from Sandy will take years and boost sales.
*U.S. stocks flat to lower as Wall Street reopens after 2- day closure. *Oil above $109 a barrel as U.S. East Coast refineries return.
NEW YORK-- Shares of Medidata Solutions Inc. climbed Wednesday after the research software maker said it won a contract with French drugmaker Sanofi. The companies said Sanofi will use Medidata's "cloud" technology to collect and manage clinical data for its entire research and development organization.
*Stocks edge up as Wall Street reopens after two days. LONDON, Oct 31- Gold prices rose nearly 1 percent to their highest in a week on Wednesday as stock markets firmed as the New York financial markets re-opened, but were on track to end a four-month winning streak as October drew to a close.
MCLEAN, Va.-- Booz Allen, the management and technology consulting firm, said Wednesday that its fiscal second-quarter net income fell 39 percent as billable expenses fell. The company reported net income of $46.1 million, or 27 cents per share, in the quarter ending Sept. 30. Shares of Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. rose 82 cents, or 6.5 percent, to $13.37.
*Arabica market under pressure from Brazil producer selling. LONDON, Oct 31- Arabica coffee futures slipped on Wednesday, pressured by selling from top grower Brazil, while dry weather was expected to aid the country's sugar harvest, weighing on sugar prices. Cocoa was near unchanged in both London and New York.
*Biogen hemophilia A drug effective in trial. BOSTON, Oct 31- Biogen Idec Inc said on Wednesday its experimental treatment for patients with hemophilia A, a disorder that inhibits coagulation of the blood, controlled bleeding with fewer treatments in a late-stage clinical trial. Glenn Pierce, Chief Medical Officer for Biogen's hemophilia program.
LONDON/ SINGAPORE, Oct 31- Singapore- listed commodities firm Noble Group Ltd denied it wanted to sell its agribusiness unit, after industry sources said it was looking for a buyer as an alternative to plans for a separate share listing. JPMorgan, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs were hired for the deal.
*Say own tests, Novartis data show flu vaccines safe. ZURICH, Oct 31- Canadian and Swiss health authorities lifted a ban on Novartis's flu vaccines on Wednesday after the drugmaker showed they posed no risk to safety.
NEW YORK, Oct 31- U.S gasoline futures surged 5 percent on Wednesday as the market braced for potentially long-term fuel supply disruptions at the East Coast's second-biggest refinery following Sandy, the massive storm that devastated the Jersey shore.
LISBON, Oct 31- Portugal's parliament approved the biggest tax increases in the country's modern history on Wednesday, paving the way for a court battle over a budget which the government says is vital for keeping its international bailout afloat.
Citi's Brian Chin said that about 8 million households were without power as of Tuesday night. That number has fallen since, according to several companies that serve the hardest hit areas in New York and New Jersey.