*Ukraine rulers accuse Kremlin agents of fomenting trouble. KIEV/ SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine, March 15- Pro-Russian leaders in Crimea made final preparations on Saturday for a referendum widely expected to transfer control of the Black Sea region from Ukraine to Moscow, despite an outcry and threat of sanctions from the West.» Read More
NEWARK, Del.-- Student lender Sallie Mae said Wednesday it swung to a profit in the third quarter after losing money a year earlier, as it reduced operating expenses and set aside less money to cover bad loans. Sallie Mae said it set aside $270 million for troubled loans in the third quarter, or $139 million less than it did a year earlier.
STRONG STARTS: builders started construction on single-family homes and apartments at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 in September, up 15 percent from August. NICER NEIGHBORHOOD: The September construction level was the highest since July 2008.
Armstrong was dumped by Nike, Anheuser-Busch and other sponsors, and he gave up the top spot at Livestrong, his beloved cancer-fighting charity, a week after an anti-doping agency released evidence of drug use by the seven-time Tour de France winner.
Given Imaging Ltd.' s shares jumped sharply in after-hours trading Wednesday after the medical equipment company said that it is considering a sale. Given said that Barclays is assisting in its review process and an executive committee will oversee the effort. Given Imaging shares rose $1.73, or 11.3 percent, to $17 in after-hours trading.
Offshore drilling contractor Noble Corp. said Wednesday that its third-quarter net income fell 15 percent because of delays for ships and rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Brazil. The Zug, Switzerland, company's net income totaled $114.8 million, or 45 cents per share, in the three-month period that ended Sept. 30.
Alexander will receive the "Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star" Wednesday evening from Motohiko Kato, the consul general of Japan in Nashville. While Alexander was Tennessee governor and economic competition between the U.S. and Japan was tense in the early 1980 s, he led numerous trade missions to Japan.
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay-- Uruguay's Senate legalized first-trimester abortions for all women Wednesday in a groundbreaking measure that came with so many strings attached it left neither side in the bitter debate completely satisfied. That's a big step for Latin America, where only Cuba grants all women the right to abortions.
Eight people died and 38 homes were destroyed in the gas-fueled inferno that tore through the bedroom community of San Bruno on Sept 9, 2010 after one of PG&E's pipelines ruptured.
In a story Oct. 16 on Johnson& Johnson's third-quarter results, The Associated Press reported that J&J would take a $340 million charge for ending testing of the intravenous form of Alzheimer's disease drug bapineuzumab and said that J&J's partner, Pfizer Inc., would be taking a similar charge.
NEW YORK-- Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market:. Quest Diagnostics Inc., down $3.62 at $59.75. Dean Foods Co., up $1.92 at $16.96.
KALAMAZOO, Mich.-- Medical device maker Stryker Corp. cut its 2012 net income forecast on Wednesday and issued a disappointing outlook for 2013, pointing to weak sales of equipment and the sluggish economy in Europe. "We expect market conditions to remain challenging in Europe and for capital equipment," President and CEO Kevin Lobo said in a press release.
OLYMPIA, Wash.-- The Seattle Times Co. began an active campaign Wednesday to support Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna and gay marriage, part of a push to demonstrate the effectiveness of newspaper political advertising.
McALLEN, Texas-- Not even the legal equivalent of a fastball under the chin could stop a Texas pipeline builder from clearing acres of brush that Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett claims is critical habitat for the endangered ocelot.
U.S. home construction is making a comeback that could invigorate the economy's still-weak recovery. Builders last month started construction on single-family houses and apartments at the fastest rate in more than four years, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.
BATON ROUGE, La.-- Specialty chemical maker Albemarle Corp. said on Wednesday that its third-quarter net income fell 14.5 percent and warned that the fourth quarter will be even more difficult. The company said it earned $99.3 million, or $1.10 per share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 30. That was down from $116.1 million, or $1.28, during the same period last year.
NEW YORK-- Phone company Verizon Communications Inc. on Wednesday said it will transfer $7.5 billion of its pension obligations to The Prudential Insurance Company of America. Prudential will take over paying the 41,000 Verizon management retirees covered by a defined-benefit plan that was "frozen" in 2005, meaning no new benefits have accrued since then.
NEW YORK-- Wanted: A few good recruits to serve coffee and help combat terrorism at 30,000 feet. American Airlines said Wednesday that it will post job openings for 1,500 flight attendants next month. The departing flight attendants all started working before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that included the crashes of two American Airlines jets.
WASHINGTON-- Investors withdrew money from stock mutual funds for the 12th consecutive week during the period ended Oct. 10, although cash was pulled out at a much slower pace than during the previous week. Investors withdrew a net $2.3 billion from U.S. stock funds, the Investment Company Institute said in a preliminary report Wednesday.
HOUSTON-- Kinder Morgan Inc. said Wednesday its third-quarter net income rose nearly 32 percent as the nation's largest natural-gas pipeline operator benefited from its acquisition of El Paso Corp in May.
MINNEAPOLIS-- Select Comfort Corp.' s shares dropped in after-hours trading Wednesday after the mattress company issued a disappointing full-year revenue forecast. Select Comfort said that its third-quarter profit increased by 52 percent on stronger sales. Select Comfort made $26.2 million, or 46 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Sept. 29.