BEIJING, March 8- A steep drop in China's exports in February was caused by seasonal distortions due to the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, the customs admistration said on Saturday. China's exports fell 18.1 percent in February from a year earlier, while imports rose 10.1 percent, producing a trade deficit of $23 billion for the month, the administration said.» Read More
SEATTLE-- King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn signed legislation Tuesday on the funding plan for construction of an arena that could be used to lure the NBA back to Seattle. Other investors include Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and two members of the Nordstrom department store family.
TORONTO-- The NHL has released details of its latest collective bargaining proposal to the public. In an unprecedented move, the league has published the documents it handed over to the NHL Players' Association on Tuesday in an attempt to save a full 82- game season and end the third lockout of Commissioner Gary Bettman's tenure.
RALEIGH, N.C.-- North Carolina's highest court is deciding whether the state can outlaw video sweepstakes parlors as gambling halls, or whether the video screens give the owners constitutional free-speech rights.
BRUSSELS-- Europe is considering limiting the amount of food-based biofuels that can count toward its renewable fuel targets while a drought in the U.S. has pushed up food prices worldwide and millions around the world go hungry.
A surprisingly strong housing report is pushing the stock market mostly higher even as weak earnings reports from Intel and IBM weighed on the Dow Jones industrial average. IBM's sales fell below Wall Street's expectations, and Intel warned that sales of personal computers will likely remain weak during the holiday season.
LESS STIMULATING: The likelihood that the Bank of England might approve more economic stimulus next month decreased on Wednesday as rate-setters disagreed on the program's effectiveness.
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay-- Senators in Uruguay were debating Wednesday whether to legalize abortion, a groundbreaking step in Latin America, by accepting a compromise measure that has frustrated both sides of the bitter abortion debate.
NEW YORK-- The shares of at least four homebuilders hit new highs and construction materials companies got a boost as well Wednesday from the release of a new report showing that U.S. builders started construction on homes in September at the fastest rate since July 2008, another sign of a recovering housing market.
LONDON-- A new London exhibition has brought together more than 100 Hollywood costumes, from Darth Vader's suit to the world's most famous ruby slippers.
LOS ANGELES-- Susan Sarandon reported for work on "Cloud Atlas" midway through the shoot, in time to see a collection of far-flung film scenes that the cast and crew were viewing.
DUNCAN, S.C.-- A company that makes fiber optic products is expanding its operations in South Carolina's Spartanburg County. AFL announced Wednesday that it would invest $8.6 million to expand its presence in Duncan, creating 95 new jobs.
ROGERS, Ark.-- A new $10 million plastics recycling facility is planned for Rogers, Ark. and the company says it will hire up to 350 workers. Nextlife Asset Recovery Services announced Wednesday that it will open a headquarters and processing plant and that it will supply several companies with resin that's used to manufacture new consumer plastic items.
PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- A Providence- based start-up incubator said Wednesday it is partnering with two local universities and the business community in an effort to boost entrepreneurship in Rhode Island, where the economy continues to struggle.
ROCKVILLE, Md.-- Nabi Biopharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday that its anti-smoking vaccine NicVAX failed in another clinical trial, as a combination of NicVAX and Pfizer's smoking-cessation pill Chantix was no better than Chantix alone in helping patients quit. Nabi has been developing the drug through a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline PLC.
ST. PAUL, Minn.-- Medical device maker St. Jude Medical Inc. reported third-quarter earnings Wednesday that beat expectations, though company shares slumped as the executives warned that the company could receive a regulatory warning over a California manufacturing plant.
THE OFFER: ASML Holding NV, the Dutch chip-making equipment supplier, bid $2.55 billion for California company Cymer Inc.. THE ACQUIRER: ASML uses such beams in machines to trace out the circuits of computer chips. Its customers include Intel, Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, all of whom own stakes in ASML.
CHICAGO-- Grain prices rose Wednesday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for December delivery rose 3.25 cents to $8.51 per bushel; December corn gained 0.75 cent to $7.39 per bushel; December oats were unchanged at $3.9225 per bushel and November soybeans increased 4.25 cents to $14.98 per bushel.