KOCHI, India, March 5- Global natural rubber output could jump over 5 percent this year after posting its first drop in a half-decade in 2014, as a price rebound prompts more tapping in key producers Thailand, Vietnam and India, a top industry official said. The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries expects international output of 11.18 million...» Read More
ST. PAUL, Minn.-- Minnesota's sugarbeet harvest is progressing quickly while the state's corn harvest is nearly complete. Minnesota's corn is 90 percent harvested, compared with 40 percent last year and a 27 percent average. Precipitation ranged from none in central areas to nearly 1.5 inches in Preston in southeastern Minnesota.
The rating agency will review Iberdrola's rating for a downgrade because the company gets almost half its revenue from Spain, which is in recession. Worsening conditions there could hurt Iberdrola's profitability. Iberdrola owns New York utilities Rochester Gas& Electric and New York State Electric and Gas as well as Central Maine Power.
WICHITA, Kan.-- Kansas farmers are nearly done planting winter wheat, with 81 percent of the crop now seeded. Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service also says in a report Monday that 44 percent of the winter wheat has emerged. Meanwhile, fall harvest is nearing the end for the Kansas corn crop, with 90 percent of it now cut.
Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev declared war on tobacco Tuesday, calling for a ban on tobacco advertising, an end to smoking in public and a rise in the price of a pack. Russia's smoking rates are among the world's highest, led by the central Pacific island nation of Kiribati where 57 percent of the adult population lights up.
COLUMBIA, S.C.-- South Carolina officials have hired someone to keep an eye on food safety across the state. The South Carolina Department of Agriculture announced last week that Weatherly Thomas had been hired to serve as its statewide food safety coordinator.
LOS ANGELES-- Confidence among U.S. homebuilders remains at its highest level in six years, reflecting improved optimism over the strengthening housing market this year and a pickup in visits by prospective buyers to builders' communities.
DETROIT-- General Motors says production is set to begin late next year on a luxury version of its Chevrolet Volt hybrid. The automaker said Tuesday the Cadillac ELR will be assembled at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant.
CONCORD, N.H.-- The New Hampshire attorney general's office says it's been notified that TD Bank's potential data breach could affect 43,750 customers in New Hampshire. TD Bank says it's monitoring the situation. TD Bank has eight million customers.
NEW YORK-- Advertising and marketing company Omnicom Group Inc. reported nearly flat earnings and revenue compared with a year earlier, as U.S. revenue grew but international revenue declined. Omnicom had fewer outstanding shares in the latest quarter, which increases earnings per share. He rates Omnicom "Hold" with a target price of $45.
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-- Hospital company HCA Holdings released preliminary third-quarter results Tuesday that came in slightly below Wall Street's expectations. HCA Holdings Inc. expects quarterly earnings of 78 cents per share on revenue of about $8.06 billion. HCA Holdings, based in Nashville, Tenn., will report its third-quarter financial results on Nov. 1.
The change will put the North American, international, online, outlet and franchise divisions under a single global executive for each of the company's brands _ Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy.
DETROIT-- After years of struggling in the nascent market for electric cars, battery maker A123 Systems Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday. The filing drew criticism from Republicans who claim the Obama administration has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on alternative energy companies like A123.
Toy maker Mattel jumped 4 percent after reporting that brisk sales of American Girl dolls and Fisher-Price toys sent the company's profit well above analysts' forecasts. The stock was up $1.20 to $36.62. Johnson& Johnson rose 93 cents to $59.63 after its revenues came in ahead of Wall Street's forecasts.
Text of a memo sent to Citigroup employees Tuesday by incoming CEO Michael Corbat:. Together with our talented employees around the world, I am confident that we can realize Citi's full potential while serving clients and creating rewarding new opportunities for our employees.
BOSTON-- State Street Corp., one of the largest custody banks in the U.S., reported higher net income but a slight revenue decline on Tuesday, saying that while equity markets have improved, its clients are still conservative in their investments.
Text of a memo sent Tuesday to Citigroup's 262,000 employees by Vikram Pandit, who resigned as CEO:. After five extraordinary years, I have decided to step down as CEO of Citi. It has been a privilege and an honor to serve Citi since December 7, 2007.
NEW YORK-- Trading of NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares was halted Tuesday as a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel began discussing NPS' experimental bowel drug Gattex. NPS will discuss Gattex with the FDA's Gastrointestinal Drugs Advisory Committee. NPS Pharmaceuticals shares trade on the Nasdaq Global Market.
Deval Patrick's administration on Monday ordered tighter controls on state spending and hiring but opted not to revise its revenue estimate for the current fiscal year in the face of lagging tax collections.
TARRYTOWN, N.Y.-- A federal hearing that could decide the future of an Entergy Corp. nuclear plant in the New York City suburbs began Monday on a less-than-dramatic note. The hearing was dominated by a highly technical discussion about how to predict where corrosion might occur in the miles of piping at the Indian Point nuclear plant.
He said it would either pay 100 percent of monthly premiums for health insurance for five years or offer $15,000 in cash payments in two $7,500 installments. He said the program would help retiring workers while also saving taxpayers between $18 million and $26 million a year.