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  • Jan 16- Alaska has signed an agreement with major oil and gas firms to bring stranded gas reserves to market by building a pipeline to connect with a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal.

  • Jan 16- Discount broker Charles Schwab Corp reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as it earned more from trading commissions and fees for managing client assets. Charles Schwab shares rose nearly 3 percent in premarket trading on Thursday.

  • *Best Buy tumbles after holiday sales results, outlook. *Goldman Sachs edged up after earnings. "We've made a nice run and the market is entitled to consolidate and use sort of a' wait-and-see' attitude as far as earnings are concerned," said Terry Morris, senior equity manager for National Penn Investors Trust Company in Reading, Pennsylvania.

  • *Lawyer says could become benchmark for Iran cases. Bank Mellat will demand at least 500 million pounds in a filing at Britain's Commercial Court on Feb. 7, after the Supreme Court ruled last year that the government was wrong to slap sanctions on it, said the lawyer, Sarosh Zaiwalla.

  • Irish debt catching up to euro zone mainstream Thursday, 16 Jan 2014 | 9:10 AM ET

    LONDON, Jan 16- From bailout and near bankruptcy, Ireland has staged such a remarkable turnaround that its debt is now on a solid path towards France and Belgium- catching up with countries seen as safe bets when it was shunned by the market three years ago.

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 16- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell for a second week last week, suggesting a sharp step-down in job growth in December was likely to be temporary. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, the Labor Department said.

  • *Optimistic for growth in Latin America, Germany, Spain. BERLIN, Jan 16- Spanish fashion label Desigual is accelerating its expansion in Europe and emerging markets, seeking to ride predictions of fast growth in women's apparel while also taking the colourful brand into new areas like perfume and shoes.

  • Discount broker Charles Schwab's profit rises 57 pct Thursday, 16 Jan 2014 | 8:50 AM ET

    Net income available to common stockholders rose to $297 million, or 23 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 30, from $189 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • NEW YORK, Jan 16- Foreigners sold U.S. assets in November, reversing a buying binge sparked the prior month by the end of a 16- day U.S. government shutdown, U.S. Overseas investors cut their holdings of long-term U.S. securities in November by $29.3 billion, reversing a $28.7 billion increase in October.

  • German pension reform to cost 60 billion euros by 2020 Thursday, 16 Jan 2014 | 8:40 AM ET

    BERLIN, Jan 16- Germany's planned pensions reform, one of the flagship policies of Chancellor Angela Merkel's new right-left coalition, will cost 60 billion euros through to 2020, a draft law seen by Reuters shows.

  • Jan 16- Johnson& Johnson said on Thursday it will sell its ortho clinical diagnostics unit to private equity firm Carlyle Group for $4.15 billion, a year after announcing it was considering spinning off or selling the slow-growing business.

  • Jan 16- Citigroup Inc posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as the bank's fixed-income revenue declined in a "challenging trading environment." Citigroup shares fell 3 percent in premarket trading on Thursday. Citigroup drew down loan loss reserves by $670 million, compared with $91 million a year earlier.

  • TIPS INFLATION BREAKEVEN RATES HOLD STEADY AFTER DATA SHOW CORE U.S.

  • US TREASURIES EXTEND PRICE GAINS, YIELDS FALL AFTER DATA.

  • LONDON/ PARIS, Jan 16- Sales at European retailers Carrefour, Metro and Dixons Retail have returned to growth in southern Europe as consumers start spending again after years of economic turmoil, austerity and job losses.

  • NEW YORK, Jan 16- Best Buy Co Inc shares fell more than 28 percent on Thursday after the No. 1 consumer electronics chain reported a drop in holiday sales and forecast a bigger-than-expected decline in quarterly operating margins.

  • *Libya, Iraq contribute to lower OPEC supply in December. LONDON, Jan 16- OPEC has lowered its oil output further and is pumping less than this year's global need for its crude, the exporter group said on Thursday, underlining the toll that outages in Libya and elsewhere are taking on production.

  • US STOCKS-Futures dip after record high, ahead of data Thursday, 16 Jan 2014 | 8:14 AM ET

    *Best Buy tumbles after holiday sales results, outlook. *Goldman Sachs edged up after earnings.

  • Jan 16- Apollo Global Management LLC will buy CEC Entertainment Inc, the parent of Chuck E Cheese restaurant chain, for about $948 million, adding to a portfolio that includes companies ranging from cruise ship operators to casinos.

  • Jan 16- Citigroup Inc's quarterly profit rose 21 percent as expenses declined and the company drew down reserves it had taken against bad mortgage loans. Fourth-quarter adjusted net income rose to $2.60 billion, or 82 cents per share, from $2.15 billion, or 69 cents per share, in the same period of 2012, the third-largest U.S. bank said on Thursday.

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