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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Business Today: U.S. single-family starts hit 6-1/2-year high in December

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U.S. single-family starts hit 6-1/2-year high in December
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. housing starts rose more than expected in December as groundbreaking for single-family homes hit its highest level in more than 6-1/2 years, in a hopeful sign for the sluggish housing market recovery.
Oil inches above $48, outlook remains weak
LONDON (Reuters) - Brent crude oil edged above $48 a barrel on Wednesday, consolidating after a drop in the previous session, although oversupply and the prospect of inventory rises make further weakness likely.
Futures edge lower after weak IBM results
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell on Wednesday after a disappointing outlook from IBM and as investors reduced their exposure ahead of an upcoming European Central Bank (ECB) meeting that could result in new stimulative measures.
U.S. mortgage applications rise in latest week: MBA
NEW YORK, (Reuters) - Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week as mortgage rates continued to slide, bringing activity to a 17-month high for a second straight week, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.
IBM profit forecast, fourth-quarter revenue below estimates
(Reuters) - International Business Machines Corp posted a new 2015 profit target and quarterly revenue that both missed analysts' estimates, as the one-time world technology leader continues to grapple with its journey from low-margin hardware maker to the new world of cloud computing.Shares of IBM, which is still the world's largest technology services company, but no longer regarded as a leader in innovation, fell 1.8 percent to $154.05 in extended trading.
Netflix's accelerated global rollout catches Wall Street off guard
(Reuters) - Netflix Inc's faster-than-expected rollout in overseas markets surprised many analysts, who scrambled to raise their price targets on the stock.
Central bankers lurch from 'whatever it takes' to 'whatever next'
LONDON (Reuters) - The Swiss currency shock has raised an awkward question many investors have been fearful of asking - what if central banks become as unpredictable and fallible as they are powerful?
BOJ cuts inflation forecast, governor signals no rush to ease
TOKYO (Reuters) - Two years into so-called Abenomics – a mix of aggressive monetary and fiscal policy plus structural reform – the Bank of Japan is struggling to reach an ambitious inflation target and convince Japanese that years of deflation are in the past.
Halliburton, Baker Hughes to lay off thousands as oil slumps
(Reuters) - Oilfield service providers Baker Hughes Inc and Halliburton Co plan to cut thousands of jobs as drilling activity slows further due to a steep fall in crude oil prices.
IMF cuts global growth outlook, calls for accommodative policy
BEIJING (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund lowered its forecast for global economic growth in 2015, and called on Tuesday for governments and central banks to pursue accommodative monetary policies and structural reforms to support growth.
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