TOKYO, Oct 26- A top Japanese government official said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should delay a planned sales-tax increase, the strongest sign yet that economic weakness is causing concern among those close to the premier ahead of the difficult tax decision. Powerful interests like the Finance Ministry, the Bank of Japan and major corporations want Abe to...» Read More
SALT LAKE CITY-- A report comparing the current housing market to the situation four years ago says the picture is noticeably bleaker in Utah's Salt Lake County. An analysis by foreclosure tracking firm RealtyTrac notes that Salt Lake County's home prices are down 36 percent and unemployment has doubled since 2008..
*Spanish debt yields rise as Moody's downgrades 5 regions. NEW YORK, Oct 23- The euro plunged versus the yen and hit a one-week low versus the dollar on Tuesday as concerns about a global economic slowdown and a spike in Spain's borrowing costs spurred broad-based risk aversion.
WASHINGTON, Oct 23- Most Americans have scant understanding about their water supply, but they are concerned about it, and believe recycling water gives the United States an advantage over other countries, a survey said on Tuesday.
NEW YORK-- A reality check is coming to Rent the Runway, the online company that allows consumers to borrow _ for a fee _ designer clothes and accessories. It has unveiled a social-shopping platform with 12,000 customer photos to see how styles hang on different shapes. "You haven't seen this diversity of models anywhere else," says Jennifer Hyman, CEO and co-founder.
José Luiz Gandini, the head of Kia in Brazil, told reporters at the Sao Paulo auto show that corporate strategy has given priority to affiliate Hyundai Motor Co for a major investment for a new factory in Brazil.
Cogo Group Inc. said on Tuesday that it has a deal with its chairman and CEO, Jeffrey Kang, to buy some of its subsidiaries for $78 million. Cogo connects semiconductor companies to industrial and technology customers in China.
*Deal positions RBC as a leading auto lender in Canada. TORONTO, Oct 23- Royal Bank of Canada has agreed to buy the Canadian auto finance and deposit arm of Ally Financial Inc in a $4.1 billion deal to expand its vehicle-lending business at a time when loan growth overall is slowing in the country.
*Asbury plans to repurchase $25 M- $30 M of stock per year. Oct 23- U.S. auto dealership groups Sonic Automotive Inc and Asbury Automotive Group Inc posted higher third-quarter adjusted earnings as vehicle sales rose and costs stayed about flat.
The chairman of the powerful House Appropriations and Budget Committee and the secretary of finance both said that while they oppose the idea of set pay increases for all state workers, they are willing to support a performance-pay system.
*Moody's downgrades Spanish regions including Catalonia.
NEW YORK-- It was one of the worst days of the year on Wall Street. The Standard& Poor's 500 index is finishing down 20 points at 1,413. And the Nasdaq composite index fell 26 points to 2,990 _ its first close below 3,000 since Aug. 6. DuPont, 3 M, UPS and Xerox all missed financial analysts' expectations for revenue.
NEW YORK-- Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday that it will get $1.1 million from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. as part of Alnylam's new collaboration with Genzyme.
*OPEC secretary general post comes up in 2013. LONDON/ DUBAI, Oct 23- OPEC remains in a stalemate over selecting its next secretary general, delegates to the producer group said on Tuesday after a two-day meeting, due to rivalry between four member-countries over its top administrative post.
CONAKRY, Oct 23- Two years ago, Guinea's first freely-elected president Alpha Conde promised to unite ``every son'' of his nation; today the man with ambitions to become West Africa's Nelson Mandela is struggling to halt a wave of ethnic unrest.
Oct 23- Guinea is the world's top supplier of the aluminium ore bauxite and holds rich deposits of iron ore, gold and diamonds, but political turmoil since independence from France in 1958 has left most of its people in poverty. Guinea secured $2.1 billion in debt relief last month from the World Bank and the IMF Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative.
WESTFORD, Mass.-- Shares of Cynosure Inc. climbed Tuesday after the cosmetic treatment equipment maker said it swung to a third-quarter profit on higher sales. The company said revenue rose 31 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 30 to $37 million, primarily driven by laser treatment sales in North America.
COLUMBUS, Ohio-- A report says conditions are improving at an Ohio prison that was transferred from state to private operation last year. The report says the North Central Correctional Complex in Marion has seen reductions in cases where force was used on inmates and inmate-on-inmate assaults.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange:. Benchmark crude fell $1.98 to finish at $86.67 per barrel. Gasoline fell 4.25 cents to end at $2.6050 a gallon.
CINCINNATI-- Convergys Corp. said Tuesday that its chief operating officer and president, Andrea Ayers, will take over as CEO of the call center company at the beginning of November. Convergys said at that time that Ayers would replace Jeff Fox as CEO. Shares of Convergys, based in Cincinnati, fell a penny to $16.00 in afternoon trading.