MOSCOW, April 19- Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed NATO's selection of former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as its new head, saying on Saturday the pair had "very good relations" but that it was up to the West to improve ties.» Read More
BOULDER CITY, Nev.-- Taking a break from debate prep, President Barack Obama made an unexpected stop Tuesday at the Hoover Dam, his first visit to a tourist spot considered one of the world's great engineering feats. The president has retreated to a desert resort in Nevada for three days of preparation for his debate Wednesday against Republican rival Mitt Romney.
MADRID-- Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos says a `bad bank' being set up to allow lenders to offload bad investments will be 55 percent privately owned. De Guindos defended Spain's banks, saying an audit last week showed "70 percent of the financial sector is in condition to handle a severely stressed situation."
WASHINGTON-- A private survey shows that U.S. businesses added fewer workers in September than August, a sign that slow growth may be holding back hiring. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that companies added 162,000 jobs last month.
BRISBANE, Calif.-- Women's clothing company Bebe says revenue at stores open at least a year fell 8.7 percent in its most recent quarter, which included the key back-to-school shopping season.
BEIRUT-- A senior Lebanese security official says at least three explosions have ripped through a house in a Hezbollah stronghold in eastern Lebanon. The official says the cause of Wednesday's blasts near the city of Baalbek was not immediately clear, and that there were no reports of any casualties. Baalbek is located in the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon.
NEW YORK-- A Baird analyst on Wednesday reaffirmed his "Buy" rating for Titan Machinery Inc., saying that while the third quarter could prove to be tough, he's confident that the company is on track to meet its long-term profit expectations.
LONDON-- The British government's rail policy was thrown into chaos Wednesday after it canceled a disputed contract to run one of the country's busiest lines following the discovery of "unacceptable mistakes" in the way it awarded the franchise.
TEHRAN, Iran-- Police threatened merchants who closed their shops in Tehran's main bazaar and launched crackdowns on sidewalk money changers on Wednesday as part of a push to halt the plunge of Iran's currency, which has shed more than a third its value in less than a week.
NEW YORK-- U.S. stock futures are up slightly as investors await a run of economic reports and after Spain's prime minister indicated his cash-strapped country would not request a bailout imminently. Dow futures are up 2 points to 13,413. The broader S&P 500 futures are up less than a point to 1,441. Nasdaq futures are up 3 points at 2,799..
HELSINKI-- Nokia Corp. says it plans to sell its headquarters in Finland as part of a cost-cutting program. Spokeswoman Maija Taimi says selling the glass and steel structure known as "Nokia House" near Helsinki is one of the options the struggling cellphone maker is considering as it disposes of noncore real estate holdings.
VILNIUS, Lithuania-- Lithuania's government said Wednesday it planned to file a 1.45 billion claim against Russia's Gazprom, alleging that the world's largest natural gas company has hiked prices unfairly.
LISBON, Portugal-- Bailed-out Portugal has lowered the financial hurdle it must clear next year when a hefty debt repayment falls due by exchanging bonds worth 3.76 billion for longer-term bills. That reduces the debt Portugal will have to cover in September to just under 6 billion, giving it some breathing space as it struggles to restore market confidence.
Taiwan's EVA Airways recently announced it will begin Yangon- Bangkok- Taipei flights on Oct. 19. Deputy Director of Civil Aviation Nweni Win Kyaw told The Associated Press several other airlines have recently announced direct flights to Yangon, including Korean Air, Japan's ANA and Germany's Condor.
Mark Kalinowski of Janney Capital Markets raised DineEquity Inc.' s rating to "Buy" from "Neutral." Kalinowski also says that Wall Street will likely find DineEquity easier to understand once it closes on the sale of some Applebee's locations. DineEquity shares closed at $56.53 on Tuesday.
MADRID-- Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos says a `bad bank' being set up to allow lenders to offload bad investments will be 55 percent privately-owned. De Guindos defended Spain's banks, saying an independent audit last week showed "70 percent of the financial sector is in condition to handle a severely stressed situation."