AP Business NewsBrief at 7:27 a.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Markets rise as Alcoa sees stronger demandLONDON (AP) _ World stock markets rose Wednesday after the fourth-quarter earnings season got off to a positive start in the U.S. with aluminum giant Alcoa forecasting higher demand for 2013. Demand for aluminum has been hurt by the weak global economy, but Alcoa predicted a 7 percent increase in demand this year, slightly better than the 6 percent increase in 2012. Because Alcoa supplies so many key industries, investors study its results for clues about the health and direction of the overall economy.
Chinese buyer says solar firm MiaSole will expandBEIJING (AP) _ The Chinese company that bought MiaSole, a California producer of thin-film solar panels, says it can make the emerging technology successful where others have suffered huge losses. Hanergy Group's strong finances will help MiaSole invest in research and ride out a downturn in the global solar market, while its links to customers in China and abroad will help build sales, chairman Li Hejun said Wednesday. Hanergy says it is China's biggest privately owned renewable energy company, with interests in hydro, wind and solar power.
AIG board weighs suing US over bailoutNEW YORK (AP) _ AIG is considering Wednesday whether the company should join a lawsuit against the government that spent $182 billion to save it from collapse. American International Group Inc. said its board of directors will weigh whether to take part in a shareholder lawsuit against the U.S. over the government's $182 billion bailout of the New York-based insurer.
Review: Aereo makes it tempting to cut cable TVNEW YORK (AP) _ Broadcast networks make many of their shows available on the Internet, but you usually have to wait at least a day after an episode airs on television. A subscription service called Aereo breaks those shackles and makes network programs available right away. That sounds too good to be true, and in a sense it is. First, it works only in New York City for now, though Aereo said Tuesday that it will expand to 22 more U.S. cities this spring. Its channel selection is limited to 29 over-the-air channels and Bloomberg TV. It doesn't include the other cable networks I frequently watch.
MGM China gets official OK for 2nd Macau casinoHONG KONG (AP) _ The Chinese arm of U.S. casino company MGM Resorts International won official approval Wednesday for its new Macau casino-resort, putting it a step closer to catching up with rivals in the world's most lucrative gambling market. Notice of MGM China's plan to build a $2.5 billion resort in the Cotai district was published Wednesday in Macau's official government gazette.
Spanish banks meet unions to discuss huge layoffsMADRID (AP) _ Representatives of two of Spain's biggest banks are meeting with labor unions to discuss massive layoffs, hours ahead of protests by bank workers in seven cities. Officials of Bankia, the nationalized lender which has received a bailout of (EURO)18 billion ($24 billion) from the 17 European Union countries that use the euro, met unions Wednesday to negotiate shedding some 6,000 staff. Unions representing Bankia workers have called evening protests in Madrid and six other cities.
AP Exclusive: Richardson pressing NKorean test banPYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) _ Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said Wednesday that his delegation is pressing North Korea to put a moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests and to allow more cell phones and an open Internet for its citizens. Richardson told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview in Pyongyang that the group is also asking for fair and humane treatment for an American citizen detained in North Korea. Also on the trip is Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.
Dish Network makes $5.15B bid for ClearwireNEW YORK (AP) _ Satellite TV provider Dish Network is offering to buy wireless network operator Clearwire _ which agreed to sell itself to Sprint in December _ for $3.30 per share, or $5.15 billion. Clearwire Corp. said it will discuss the unsolicited offer with Dish. However Sprint, which owns 51 percent of Clearwire, said it would have to sign off on Dish's offer and that it does not intend to do so.
AMR board to study merger optionDALLAS (AP) _ Directors of American Airlines' parent company likely won't make a decision when they meet Wednesday to consider a possible merger with US Airways, even as momentum for a deal is building. Investors have been bidding up US Airways' stock price, and leaders of the two pilot unions agree on how to combine contracts, two developments that analysts say strengthen the case for a tie-up.
Alcoa earnings as expected, revenue tops forecastsNEW YORK (AP) _ Alcoa Inc. on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter earnings that met Wall Street's expectations, and the company said it expects slightly higher demand for aluminum this year. The sluggish global economy has weakened prices for aluminum used in everything from airplanes to soda cans.
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