LOS ANGELES— Stars, politicians and pundits are weighing in on Sony Pictures Entertainment's decision Wednesday to cancel the Dec. 25 release of "The Interview," the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy at the center of the North Korean cyberattack that has seen thousands of Sony's private documents and other proprietary materials released online:.» Read More
*Wall St selloff, Moody's action hit risk appetite. *HSBC's flash China PMI data, Australia CPI in focus. Traders said the market was likely to stay cautious in the lead up to HSBC's latest report on China's manufacturing sector due around 0145 GMT.
WASHINGTON, Oct 23- The U.S. Energy Department needs to explain how it will determine whether to allow more exports of the nation's bountiful supplies of natural gas, a top Democrat on the Senate Energy Committee, said on Tue sday.
Oct 23- Dow Chemical Co was forced to announce a restructuring program on Tuesday after accidentally sending a draft of its press release to a Bloomberg News reporter earlier in the day, a source on Dow's board said.
But Jay Carney, the president's press secretary, said it was only a restatement of his long-held position that the cuts were ``never meant to be implemented'' and that Obama is confident Congress will avoid them. ``First of all, the sequester is not something that I've proposed,'' he said. ``It is something that Congress has proposed.
RESTRUCTURING PLAN: The Dow Chemical Co. will eliminate about 2,400 jobs and close roughly 20 manufacturing facilities as part of a restructuring plan as it faces slowing economic growth in Europe and elsewhere.
COLUMBUS, Ga.-- Insurance company Aflac Inc. said Tuesday its third-quarter profit jumped nearly 36 percent as it reaped gains on investments and benefitted from a lower effective tax rate. Aflac reported net income of $1.02 billion, or $2.16 per share, in the July-September quarter, up from $736 million, or $1.57 per share, in the third quarter of 2011..
Oct 23- Amgen Inc on Tuesday reported higher-than-expected third-quarter profit in its first full quarter under Chief Executive Robert Bradway and it raised its full-year earnings and revenue forecasts. The quarterly results were helped by strong sales of its rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel and lower expenses, and Amgen shares rose more than 1 percent.
In Netflix's third-quarter earnings report, its predictions for year-end U.S. streaming subscriber growth was cut to around 5 million net additions, down from a best-case scenario of 7 million. The downward revision caused Netflix's stock to fall more than 16 percent in after-hours trading.
*DuPont drops sharply on results, UTX modestly lower. NEW YORK, Oct 23- U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, driving the Dow industrials to the biggest drop since June 21, as weak results from index members DuPont and United Technologies showed profit growth is slowing.
FRANKFURT, Oct 23- German drugmaker Bayer said its experimental riociguat pill could become the first treatment option for some patients suffering from a life-threatening form of high blood pressure in the lungs.
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 23- Facebook Inc posted a better-than-expected 32 percent jump in third-quarter revenue to $1.26 billion, as the company reignited advertising growth with the help of gains in mobile.
Oct 23- Amgen Inc on Tuesday reported higher third-quarter profit in its first full quarter under Chief Executive Robert Bradway and it raised its full-year earnings and revenue forecasts.
*Amazon, Google helped force its hand-analysts. SAN JOSE, Oct 23- Apple Inc will begin to sell an 8- inch version of the iPad on Friday to compete with smaller tablets including Amazon.com Inc's Kindle, but set a higher-than-expected price tag of $329 that Wall Street fears could curb demand.
*DuPont, 3 M, United Tech, UPS miss revenue forecasts. *DuPont, 3 M Co cut profit forecasts.
WASHINGTON, Oct 23- The U.S. Energy Department needs to explain how it will determine whether to allow more exports of the nation's bountiful supplies of natural gas, Senator Ron Wyden, a top Democrat on the Senate Energy Committee, said on T ues day.
NEW YORK, Oct 23- U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, driving the Dow industrials to the lowest since June 21, as weak results from index members DuPont and United Technologies showed profit growth is slowing. Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones industrial average slid 243.36 points, or 1.82 percent, to end unofficially at 13,102.53.
Oct 23- Software maker VMware Inc reported third quarter profits that beat estimates as it benefited from continued demand for virtual servers and cloud computing technologies. A division of storage giant EMC Corp, VMware said on Wednesday that quarterly revenue was $1.13 billion and profit, excluding items, was $303 million, or 70 cents per share.
SAN JOSE, Oct 23- Apple Inc unveiled an 8- inch version ``iPad mini'' to compete with smaller tablets including Amazon.com Inc's Kindle and Google Inc's Nexus 7 but will sell it at a higher-than-expected price of $329.
Scott Davis, the Army official who overseas ground combat vehicle programs such as the BAE Systems Plc's Bradley Fighting Vehicles and General Dynamics Corp's Abrams tank, said only ``a handful'' of companies had left the weapons sector so far, but the Army needed more information to prevent future gaps in critical capabilities.
*Moody's downgrades Spanish regions including Catalonia. Moody's Investors Service downgraded five of Spain's regions, including the heavily indebted Catalonia by one or two notches, citing those areas' limited cash and upcoming debt repayments. The downgrade undermined earlier optimism after Moody's upheld Spain's investment-grade rating last week.