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  • Earnings Preview: Southwest seen posting profit Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 6:58 AM ET

    DALLAS-- Traffic and average prices both weakened in September, but analysts believe Southwest Airlines still made money in the third quarter. Southwest, which carries the most passengers within the U.S. of any airline, is scheduled to report financial results on Thursday.

  • Italy corruption probes claim Lombardy legislature Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 6:47 AM ET

    ROME-- The embattled governor of Italy's powerful Lombardy region, which includes Milan, has announced the dissolution of the regional legislature as Italy's mounting political corruption scandal claims its biggest victim yet. He has said he would name a technical administration to run Lombardy until early elections.

  • US economy hopes buoy markets Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 6:46 AM ET

    LONDON-- Mounting hopes over the U.S. economic recovery bolstered markets for a second day on Tuesday and helped push the euro back above $1.30. Strong earnings figures from the likes of toy maker Mattel, Johnson& Johnson and Goldman Sachs, further buoyed sentiment.

  • Ahead of the Bell: US industrial production Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 6:31 AM ET

    WASHINGTON-- Production at U.S. factories, mines and utilities likely showed a gain in September, rebounding after a big drop in August. Factories produced fewer cars and Hurricane Isaac triggered shutdowns along the Gulf Coast. The Institute for Supply Management said that its index of factory activity rose to 51.5.

  • Rate eases in Greek T-Bill sale Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 6:31 AM ET

    ATHENS, Greece-- Greece has raised 1.625 billion in an auction of 13- week treasury bills at a slightly lower rate of 4.24 percent. The Public Debt Management Agency on Tuesday said the rate had dropped from 4.31 percent at the previous such auction on Sept. 18.

  • Ahead of the Bell: IBM's 3Q peeks at tech services Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 6:23 AM ET

    ARMONK, N.Y.-- IBM Corp.' s third-quarter earnings will provide a glimpse at how well the technology services and business software markets have been holding up amid uncertainty about the global economy and the U.S. presidential election.

  • Insurer UnitedHealth's 3Q profit jumps 23 percent Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 6:22 AM ET

    UnitedHealth Group's third-quarter net income jumped 23 percent, and the nation's largest health insurer raised its 2012 earnings forecast for the third time this year.

  • American Girl helps Mattel 3Q results top view Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 6:19 AM ET

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif.-- Strong sales of American Girl dolls and Fisher-Price toys helped boost Mattel's third-quarter results, setting the stage for the biggest U.S. toy maker ahead of the critical holiday season.

  • Portugal government faces backlash over austerity Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 6:17 AM ET

    LISBON, Portugal-- Portugal's coalition government is facing a hail of criticism after announcing steep tax increases in its draft budget for next year. Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar met Tuesday with the governing parties' lawmakers, aiming to quell signs of revolt in their ranks ahead of Parliament's vote on the budget proposal later this month.

  • German employers slam cost of energy switchover Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 6:13 AM ET

    BERLIN-- German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday defended her government's decision to phase out nuclear power and switch to renewable energies within a decade, but acknowledged the need to overhaul and speed up the transition plan.

  • Ahead of the Bell: US Consumer Prices Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 6:10 AM ET

    WASHINGTON-- Higher costs for gasoline and other fuel likely pushed up consumer prices in September for the second straight month. The Labor Department will release the consumer price index at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time Tuesday.

  • Spain pays lower rate to raise cash in bond market Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 6:10 AM ET

    MADRID-- Spain has raised 4.9 billion at slightly lower interest rates in a debt auction that saw strong demand as the country considers whether to request international help to manage its finances. The Treasury sold 3.4 billion in 12- month bills at an average interest rate of 2.82 percent, down from 2.84 percent in the last such auction Sept. 18.

  • Eurozone inflation revised down to 2.6 percent Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 6:10 AM ET

    BRUSSELS-- Inflation in the 17- country eurozone was lower than previously expected in September. Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said Tuesday that prices were 2.6 percent higher in September than the year before, down from its previous estimate of 2.7 percent.

  • German investor optimism on the rise Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 6:05 AM ET

    FRANKFURT, Germany-- Investor optimism in Germany rose in October, sending an upbeat signal about Europe's largest economy. The ZEW, or the Center for European Economic Research, said that the results show "that risks for the German economy have somewhat diminished."

  • World stocks gain on stronger US retail sales Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 5:27 AM ET

    HONG KONG-- World stock markets were lifted Tuesday by better data on the U.S. economy and a report showing improving investor confidence in Germany. In early European trading, Germany's DAX rose 0.6 percent to 7,308.01 and France's CAC 40 gained 0.5 percent to 3,426.48.

  • Survey finds German investor optimism on the rise Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 5:24 AM ET

    FRANKFURT, Germany-- A closely-watched survey of investor optimism in Germany rose in October, in an upbeat sign for the eurozone's largest economy. Germany has kept on growing despite the debt problems afflicting a number of countries that use the euro.

  • Spain: 4 go on trial for oil tanker disaster Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 5:22 AM ET

    MADRID-- Four people went on trial Tuesday for their role in the sinking of an oil tanker in Spain's northwestern coast in 2002, triggering one of Europe's biggest environmental catastrophes. The defendants include the ship's Greek captain Apostolos Mangouras, 77, his first officer and the former director general of Spain's Merchant Marine.

  • Roche posts 7 percent rise in Q3 drug sales Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 5:06 AM ET

    Shares in Roche Holding AG rose 0.38 percent to close at 184.60 francs on the Zurich exchange Tuesday. In a conference call with reporters, he declined to answer questions about whether Roche might reconsider its failed hostile bid of about $6.5 billion to acquire U.S. diagnostics firm Illumina Inc..

  • Court to hear arguments in Calif. clean fuels case Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 4:52 AM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO-- A federal appeals court will hear arguments in a case seeking to stop California's first-in-the-nation mandate requiring petroleum refiners and ethanol producers to make cleaner fuels for millions of cars and trucks in the state.

  • UK inflation drops to near 3-year low of 2.2 pct Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 4:50 AM ET

    LONDON-- Inflation in Britain has fallen to 2.2 percent in September, its lowest annual rate in nearly three years. The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that housing and household services costs were largely behind the decrease from August's 2.5 percent rate, as higher utility prices imposed in 2011 dropped out of the calculation.

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