CHICAGO/ NEW YORK, Dec 20- Shoppers filled up malls and department stores on the last weekend before Christmas, as the weather cooperated to help raise the prospect of a solid finish to a holiday season that has so far produced mixed results. Crowds were building at stores in and around New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles by midday on Saturday.» Read More
CHICAGO-- W.W. Grainger Inc., which sells power tools and other industrial equipment, said Tuesday that its third-quarter net income fell 15 percent, in part because it set aside money for an anticipated settlement related to some government contracts.
BERLIN-- German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday defended her government's decision to phase out nuclear power and switch to renewable energies within a decade, but acknowledged the need to overhaul and speed up the transition plan.
WASHINGTON-- U.S. industrial production increased only modestly in September, held back by weak growth in factory output. That followed a 1.4 percent decline in August, which partly reflected precautionary shutdowns before Hurricane Isaac hit the Gulf Coast.
EL DORADO, Ark.-- Murphy Oil is splitting in two in order to better focus on the separate tasks of exploration and production, and the sale of gasoline and other goods through its retail locations. Murphy will become an independent oil exploration and production company focused on the U.S., Canada and Malaysia.
HELSINKI-- Nokia Corp. is expected on Thursday to report a plunge in sales and further loss of market share as investors await next week's launch of Microsoft's Windows Phone software 8, which the struggling company has called an "important catalyst" for its ailing smartphone devices.
NEW YORK-- Goldman Sachs turned in third-quarter earnings Tuesday that easily beat analysts' estimates, but the bank's mood seemed more cautious than celebratory. Trading for clients in mortgages also propelled Goldman's results higher, echoing what Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase reported last week as mortgage refinancing surged.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.-- Insurance broker Brown& Brown Inc. said Tuesday its third-quarter net income rose 12 percent, boosted by a jump in commissions and fees. Brown& Brown said its retail division continued to grow, which could mean that economic conditions are improving for its clients. Brown& Brown shares rose 5 cents to $26.35 in premarket trading.
The silver and wood-framed memento was given by President John F. Kennedy to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to mark the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Sotheby's is opening the collection for public viewing on Tuesday, and the auction is scheduled for Oct. 23.
After the estimated number of Mexicans visiting the city nearly doubled in six years, tourism arm NYC& Co. is ramping up its presence in Mexico City, part of its series of far-flung tourism offices. "We want to be visible and make sure we're top of mind" to Mexican travelers, NYC& Co. chief executive George Fertitta said.
MEXICO CITY-- Police raided three teachers colleges on Monday in the western state of Michoacan, where dozens of students had been hijacking buses and delivery trucks for a week to protest curriculum changes. Ten police officers were injured, three seriously, the Michoacan state government reported.
SANTIAGO, Chile-- Chilean police on Monday clashed with hooded vandals who infiltrated a protest by Mapuche Indians demanding land rights and autonomy. The rally was timed to protest a national holiday for " Dia de La Raza," which celebrates the first encounter by Native Americans and Europeans during Christopher Columbus' arrival to America.
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-- A federal judge on Monday dismissed a case filed by two black men who claimed ABC's "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" discriminated against casting participants of color.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Dick Clark Productions and NBC announced Monday that the pair of "30 Rock" and " Parks and Recreation" stars have signed on to host the 70th annual Golden Globes ceremony after British comedian Ricky Gervais' three-year reign as the show's acerbic emcee.
SEATTLE-- The King County Council and the Seattle City Council gave their final approval Monday to an agreement to build a $490 million basketball and hockey arena in the city, despite the threat of a lawsuit from longshore workers. Mayor Mike McGinn called the votes important steps toward bringing professional men's basketball back to Seattle.
NEW YORK-- A renewed focus on investment returns and continuing market share gains should lead to higher earnings for The Kroger Co., an analyst said Tuesday, as he lifted his rating on the stock to "Buy."
MADISON, Wis.-- Wisconsin's first organized wolf hunt got under way Monday even as animal welfare advocates demanded federal officials return Great Lake wolves to the endangered species list. Mark Dahms, a 54- year-old electrician from Waukesha in suburban Milwaukee, was one of 1,160 people to win the right to buy a license through a state lottery.
KENNEBUNK, Maine-- The first batch of more than 100 men accused of paying a fitness instructor for sex were laying low after police began releasing their names in a small New England town where rumors have run rampant for weeks.