BEIJING, May 23- China's factory activity shrank for the first time in seven months in May as new orders fell, a preliminary survey of purchasing managers showed, adding to concerns that a recovery in the world's second-largest economy is sputtering.» Read More
Apple Inc. rose $1.69 or. 4 percent, to $441.35. Dell Inc. fell$. 02 or. 1 percent, to $13.37. Hewlett Packard Co. rose$. 12 or. 6 percent, to $21.23.
*Shifting story puts White House under glare. WASHINGTON, May 22- Facing criticism from Democratic loyalists, the White House acknowledged on Wednesday that President Barack Obama's team has struggled to get its story straight on who knew what when about the IRS targeting of conservative groups.
ANAHEIM, Calif.-- Pacific Sunwear of California Inc.' s shares soared 18 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday after the teen retailer's fiscal first-quarter revenue came in ahead of expectations and it issued a solid forecast for the second quarter.
NEW YORK-- PetSmart Inc. said Wednesday that its net income grew 8 percent in the fiscal first quarter and raised its forecast for the year, sending the pet retailer's shares higher in aftermarket trading. PetSmart stock rose $1.94, or 2.8 percent, to $71 in aftermarket trading.
May 22- Twitter Inc unveiled technology to boost security for its users, following a spate of attacks on accounts of prominent media outlets including the Associated Press, the Financial Times and The Onion.
Lawmakers have accused top IRS officials of lying to Congress and not being more forthcoming about what they knew about the targeting. Here is what is publicly known about the IRS scandal, based on the Treasury audit, congressional investigators and IRS officials' recent testimony:.
May 22- PepsiCo Inc said it is tweaking its drink-pricing strategy in some parts of the United States, as it aims to wean consumers off the habit of buying soda only when it is on sale. The strategy, which PepsiCo refers to as "hybrid everyday value," involves narrowing the gap between soda prices on holidays and regular days.
HONG KONG, May 23- Lenovo Group Ltd's bold acquisitions in its flagship PC business, a foray into mobile gadgets, and a relatively light debt load are setting it apart from PC rivals as industry shipments take their steepest fall in decades.
SAN FRANCISCO, May 22- Hewlett-Packard Co raised its 2013 earnings outlook after beating low expectations, as CEO Meg Whitman's turnaround plan helped to shore up profits and offset shrinking personal computer sales with enterprise computing services.
*World turns toward South America for soy, corn. BUENOS AIRES, May 22- Scores of grains ships were delayed in and around Argentina on Wednesday due to a three-day-old strike by port workers that threatens to bog down exports at a time of heightened world demand for South American soy and corn, sources said.
GENEVA/ LONDON, May 22- The UK and French governments will join a global initiative that will require oil and mining firms to comply with new disclosure measures aimed at tackling corruption, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday.
UNITED NATIONS, May 22- Metals swap deals with Iran by Switzerland- based commodities giants Glencore Xstrata and Trafigura could have been a way of skirting international sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program, according to a confidential U.N. Panel of Experts report seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
NEW YORK, May 22- Oil prices fell on Wednesday as a rise in U.S. gasoline inventories prompted selling, then crude extended losses in late trading after minutes from a Federal Reserve policy meeting sent U.S. stock markets down. Brent crude futures fell $1.31 to settle at $102.60, after shedding nearly a dollar in the previous session.
Problems at regional refineries, declining gasoline stockpiles and delays of shipments into the region from the Gulf Coast helped boost prices last week, prompting market players to hoard what fuel they had. In Minneapolis, the average price per gallon has fallen to $4.26 from an all-time high of $4.32.
DETROIT/ TOKYO, May 22- A team including former General Motors Co executive Bob Lutz and China's largest parts maker is looking to buy Fisker Automotive for $20 million, a fraction of the "green" car company's estimated worth almost a year and a half ago.
SHANGHAI, May 23- The rolling green hills and gurgling blonde toddlers in the ads for Yashili International Holdings Ltd underscore how keen China's biggest milk powder producers are to appear global to emerge from the shadow of a fatal baby formula scandal.
WASHINGTON, May 22- The European Central Bank could expand its policy toolkit if needed to battle deflation risks, a top ECB official said on Wednesday, adding that the central bank was also weighing measures to encourage more lending in the euro zone.
NEW YORK, May 22- Bill Gross, co-chief investment officer of bond giant PIMCO, said on Wednesday the U.S. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Wednesday the central bank could decide to scale back its stimulus at one of its "next few meetings" if the economy looked set to maintain momentum.
ORLANDO, Fla.-- Seaworld Entertainment Inc. on Wednesday said its first-quarter loss narrowed by nearly 11 percent thanks to a 12 percent jump in revenue. The theme park operator, best known for its water shows featuring killer whales and dolphins, posted a net loss of $40.4 million, or 49 cents per share, for the first three months of the year.