BANGALORE/ SYDNEY, Aug 1- Manufacturing activity in China and most of Asia gathered pace in July as firms responded to burgeoning new orders by raising output, hinting at a revival in global trade, although euro zone factories barely managed to chug along. The HSBC/ Markit measure also rose to 51.7, an 18- month peak.» Read More
AMSTERDAM-- In Hollywood movies, heists usually feature criminals who plan meticulously and use high-tech equipment to avoid detection. But the thieves who snatched seven paintings by Picasso, Matisse and Monet worth millions from a gallery in Rotterdam appear to have taken a less glamorous approach, relying mostly on speed and brute force.
John Freedson, a producer of the off- Broadway musical revue that hilariously tweaks Broadway shows and stars, said Wednesday that its run will be extended through April 28.
BOSTON-- Members of a coalition of Massachusetts women's groups on Wednesday disputed Mitt Romney's assertion that he requested the names of potential female candidates for high-level, state positions when he was elected governor.
NEW YORK-- Martha Stewart and her American Made project turned Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall into a hub of crafts, croissants and conversation on Wednesday with experts in the areas of gardening, decorating, cooking and fashion.
WASHINGTON-- Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits jumped 46,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, the highest in four months. The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, rose slightly to 365,500, the Labor Department said Thursday.
OMAHA, Neb.-- Union Pacific said Thursday that its third-quarter profit climbed 15 percent because price increases and more automotive and chemical shipments helped the railroad offset a 12 percent drop in coal shipments. Union Pacific, based in Omaha, Neb., said Thursday that revenue grew 5 percent to $5.34 billion from last year's $5.1 billion.
MINNEAPOLIS-- Polaris Industries' net income surged 40 percent in the third quarter on higher prices, reduced product costs and strong sales of a variety of its vehicles. Polaris Industries Inc. earned $94.3 million, or $1.33 per share, compared with $67.6 million, or 95 cents per share, a year earlier.
Third-quarter net income for the offshore drilling contractor fell to $114.8 million, or 45 cents per share, from $135.3 million, or 53 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Jud Bailey, an analyst with International Strategy and Investment Group LLC, said operating costs of $449 million were above his estimates.
KENOSHA, Wis.-- Tool maker Snap-On Inc. said Thursday its third-quarter net income rose 9 percent, boosted by contributions from its financing business. Like a lot of manufacturers, Snap-On has a financing subsidiary that helps customers make purchases. Snap-On said its results were pulled down by the effects of unfavorable exchange rates.
NEW YORK-- Stock futures are falling on mixed quarterly earnings from companies like Verizon, Morgan Stanley and Southwest Airlines.
PITTSBURGH-- Shares of Wesco International jumped 10 percent before the markets opened Thursday after the company edged out profit expectations for the third quarter and announced the acquisition of a Canadian electrical supply company. The company also announced a deal to acquire EECOL Electric Corp. of Calgary, Alberta, for about $1.16 billion.
Fifth Third's net income available to common shareholders fell to $354 million, or 38 cents per share, from $373 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.
BEIRUT-- Syrian activists say a string of government airstrikes on rebel areas in the country's north has killed at least 20 people, leveled buildings and forced residents to dig through mounds of rubble in search of survivors.
RICHMOND, Va.-- Cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc.' s third-quarter net income fell more than 6 percent, despite higher prices, as the company sold fewer cigarettes. Philip Morris International said it earned $2.23 billion, or $1.32 per share, in the third quarter, down from $2.38 billion, or $1.35 per share, a year ago.
NEW YORK-- Morgan Stanley reported higher revenue and net income for its third quarter Thursday thanks to gains in its bonds and asset management businesses. Excluding an accounting charge, the bank earned $535 million for common shareholders in July to September, up from $39 million a year ago.
WASHINGTON-- Industrial and medical equipment maker Danaher's third-quarter net income rose 5 percent from year-ago results that were depressed by a loss on early debt retirement. Danaher Corp. earned $548.7 million, or 77 cents per share, for the period ended Sept. 28.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for November delivery was down 21 cents at $91.91 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, was down 47 cents to $112.86 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Southwest Airlines eked out a small third-quarter profit in spite of a September slowdown, the company said on Thursday. Southwest has been using a mix of fare increases and sales to try to get its prices to a level that travelers will pay.
MILAN-- Shares in Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena have shed 6 percent of their value after Moody's cut the bank's credit rating to junk status. Moody's has dropped the ratings in the world's oldest running bank by two notches to Ba2 from Baaa3 with a negative outlook.