MELBOURNE, Nov 24- BHP Billiton stepped up its cost-cutting plans on Monday as the world's biggest miner battles a sharp slide in iron ore, coal and oil prices. BHP expects to reap savings of $4 billion by June 2017, up from an earlier forecast for $3.5 billion, in cost cuts over the next three years, according to slides prepared for an investor presentation on Monday.» Read More
COUNTING DOWN: The Spanish government will decide within the next few weeks whether to ask for outside financial help, noting it might opt for a precautionary line of credit instead of bailout cash.
NEW YORK-- CONTRACT ENDED: Nike Inc. said Wednesday that it is terminating Lance Armstrong's contract, citing insurmountable evidence that the cyclist participated in doping and misled the clothing and footwear company about those activities for more than a decade.
WALLINGFORD, Conn.-- Amphenol, which makes fiber optic cables, said Wednesday that its third-quarter net income climbed 10 percent, driven by strength across a variety of markets. For the three months ended Sept. 30, Amphenol earned $147.5 million, or 90 cents per share. Amphenol Corp. shares climbed $1.43, or 2.4 percent, to $61.60.
Bank of America, the country's second-biggest bank, reported Wednesday that mortgage originations jumped over a year ago _ up 18 percent to $21 billion. Bank of America's chief financial officer was ambiguous when asked whether the housing market had turned, as JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the country's two largest mortgage lenders, suggested last week.
RICHMOND, Va.-- Television and digital media company Media General Inc. said Wednesday that its third-quarter net loss widened because of higher expenses, but revenue grew sharply thanks to an increase in political advertising and the Olympics. Media General owns 18 broadcast TV stations, including NBC and CBS network affiliates.
DOWNERS GROVE, Ill.-- Dover Corp.' s third-quarter net income rose 40 percent, helped by acquisitions and by the absence of a big loss tied to discontinued operations from a year ago. Dover earned $241 million, or $1.31 per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with $172.3 million, or 91 cents per share, a year earlier.
WASHINGTON-- President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney teed up the last three weeks of the presidential election as a question of which man voters can trust to improve the economy. Obama, vastly more animated than in his first debate, accused Romney of misleading voters about his record on China, the U.S. auto industry and U.S. energy production.
MERRILL LYNCH FALLOUT: Bank of America's third-quarter profits suffered after the bank agreed last month to settle a big shareholder lawsuit. REFINANCING BOOM: Mortgage originations rose over the year, echoing a trend this quarter that also helped JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
DENVER-- Five people were found dead in a neighborhood bar where a fire broke out around closing time early Wednesday, and police think the blaze was set to cover up their slayings. The fire at Fero's Bar& Grill was reported around closing time at 2 a.m., Police Chief Robert White said. They didn't perish in the fire, "police Commander Ronald Saunier said.
NEW YORK-- The night busted open in New York City as Bruce Springsteen and other Rock and Roll Hall of Famers helped Steven Van Zandt celebrate his Big Man of the Year award. "What a liar," Van Zandt retorted with a grin.
"Companies are going out of the box," observes Ted Carmon, spirits buyer for the BevMo! Bill Newlands, president of Beam Inc., which bought Pinnacle Vodka earlier this year, sees the intensely flavored Whipped as playing into a trend of consumers "whether it's an alcohol beverage or anything else, looking for more flavor reward."
NEW YORK-- Candy Crowley's signature moment as moderator of Tuesday's rough-and-tumble presidential debate came when she was called upon to referee a dispute over President Barack Obama's description of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya as an act of terror.
At the University of Cincinnati, 200 students were expected to turn out to watch the second debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. "It goes without saying that the knives were out," said Karim Aladmi, a 21- year-old international affairs major from Dayton, Ohio, who wore a suit and tie for the occasion.
LISLE, Ill.-- Heavy truck and engine company Navistar International Corp. said Wednesday that it named John Pope to its board. Pope's appointment and Harrison's retirement are effective immediately, keeping the total number of Navistar board members at 10, Navistar said.
NEW YORK-- THE NUMBERS: PepsiCo Inc.' s net income fell 5 percent in the third quarter, as the company spent more on marketing and was hit by higher costs for ingredients and unfavorable currency exchange rates.
Instead, some folks in Josephine County, larger than the state of Rhode Island, are taking matters into their own hands _ mounting flashing lights on their trucks and strapping pistols to their hips to guard communities themselves. Others have put together a virtual neighborhood watch, using Facebook to share tips and information.
NEW YORK-- The nation's crude oil and gasoline supplies increased last week, the government said Wednesday. Crude inventories grew by 2.9 million barrels, or 0.8 percent, to 369.2 million barrels, which is 10.9 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.