TOKYO, Oct 31- The Bank of Japan cut in half its economic forecast for the current fiscal year on Friday after demand weakened in the wake of a sales tax hike in April. The BOJ also slightly lowered its CPI forecast for fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2015, but still expects to meet its inflation target within the two-year timeframe it originally set out.» Read More
SACRAMENTO, Calif.-- After returning to the governor's office, Jerry Brown criticized a political culture he said lacked a common purpose and warned of a "war of all against all" unless the sniping camps learned to compromise and fix California's persistent budget problems.
NEW YORK-- The Coca-Cola Co. should give investors a snapshot of the ever-shifting geographic and product mixes that are fueling growth for the world's biggest beverage maker when it reports its third quarter results Tuesday. WHY IT MATTERS: Coca-Cola sells its products in nearly every corner of the globe _ Cuba and North Korea are the exceptions.
Wal-Mart's turnaround effort is gaining firmer footing, and more improvement is expected as international operations improve and growth accelerates for smaller-format stores, according to Jefferies Equity Research, which boosted its rating on the world's largest retailer.
ST. PAUL, Minn.-- Ecolab, the cleaning, food safety and pest-control services company, is buying the specialty chemical company Champion Technologies in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $2.2 billion.
LONDON-- Upbeat earnings from JP Morgan Chase& Co. did little to lift the mood in markets Friday as stocks continued to shed some of the gains made the previous day, when U.S. jobs figures came in stronger than expected.
SAN FRANCISCO-- IBM Corp.' s third-quarter results are expected to extend the technology company's nearly decade-long streak of earnings growth. That provides IBM with some insulation from the economic uncertainty that has made it tougher for other technology companies to close deals, particularly in Europe and in China, in recent months.
MADRID-- Spain observed its National Day festivities in somber mood on Friday as the traditional military pageant was scaled back to cut costs. Spain is under pressure to fix its finances as it struggles through a recession.
DENVER-- Forest Oil is selling all of its South Louisiana properties for about $220 million as part of its plan to shed some non-core assets. Forest Oil Corp. previously announced that it is selling its East Texas natural gas gathering assets for $34 million. The Eagle Ford shale formation stretches from the western Texas- Mexico border to Louisiana.
NEW YORK-- JPMorgan Chase, the country's biggest bank, reported a record quarterly profit Friday, helped by a surge in mortgage refinancing. It worked out to $1.40 per share, blowing away the $1.21 predicted by analysts polled by FactSet, a provider of financial data. Revenue rose 6 percent to $25.9 billion, beating expectations of $24.4 billion.
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill.-- Sears Holdings has completed the spinoff of its Hometown and Outlet stores. Sears Holdings Corp. received $446.5 million in gross proceeds. Sears Holdings, which also runs Kmart, said Thursday that Sears Hometown is expected to start trading on the Nasdaq on Friday under the "SHOS" ticker symbol.
TOKYO-- The utility behind Japan's nuclear disaster acknowledged for the first time Friday that it could have avoided the crisis.
The U.S. has pledged $50 million, Britain $25 million, Saudi Arabia $25 million and Japan and France $12 million each. The group also announced that Yemen was joining the Arab Spring countries participating in the Deauville Partnership, which also include Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Morocco and Libya.
WASHINGTON-- The end of the 2012 federal budget year is expected to produce the fourth straight annual deficit above $1 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the deficit totaled $1.1 trillion for the 12 months that ended Sept. 30.
TRENTON, N.J.-- Johnson& Johnson will likely discuss the health of its prescription-drug business and progress on its manufacturing problems when it reports third-quarter results before the stock market opens Tuesday.
NEW YORK-- Workday has raised $637 million from its initial public offering of approximately 22.8 million shares. The company, which provides remote storage applications for human resources and finance, said Friday that it priced the IPO at $28 per share, which is above the projected range of $24 to $26 a piece.
WASHINGTON-- More expensive gas likely drove overall wholesale prices higher in September. But excluding that surge, inflation likely stayed tame. The Labor Department will release the report at 8:30 a.m. EDT Friday.
Some reaction to the European Union being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday:. "The stabilizing part played by the European Union has helped to transform a once-torn Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace" _ Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland.
OSLO, Norway-- The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for promoting peace and democracy in Europe _ an honor that came as 27- nation bloc was struggling with its biggest crisis since it was created in the 1950 s.
LONDON-- Stocks drifted lower Friday after big gains the day, when U.S. jobs figures came in stronger than expected, and as investors awaited earnings from major banks, starting with JP Morgan Chase& Co..
MUMBAI, India-- An Indian court Friday ordered the arrest of the highflying owner of Kingfisher Airlines for bouncing checks, adding to the beleaguered airline's woes as its struggles to resume flights that have been grounded since the start of the month.