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TOKYO (AP) — European stock markets are mixed in early trading while Asian shares closed mostly higher today after the Dow Jones industrial average surpassed 18,000 to hit a new high. Futures point to more opening gains on Wall Street today in a shortened holiday session. European markets are also closing early. The dollar was down against the yen and the euro. Benchmark U.S. crude oil slipped under $57 a barrel.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is set to update the country today on how many people are applying for unemployment benefits. The Labor Department will release its weekly jobless claims report. It's one of several key indicators read closely by investors and the public to assess hiring prospects and the health of the labor market. The trend has been good for several weeks.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A group led by Apple and Microsoft has sold about 4,000 technology patents to patent management company RPX Corp. for $900 million. The deal marks another shift in the ownership of a patent portfolio auctioned off in 2011 after telecommunications company Nortel Networks went bankrupt. Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony formed the Rockstar Consortium to buy the patents and is keeping 2,000 of them.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's central bank has made another move to shore up the battered ruble, offering hard currency loans to companies and banks to help them service their debts. The bank says borrowers can put their debt obligations as collateral against the loans. It's a major relief for the nation's companies and banks, who can't tap foreign capital markets to refinance their loans because of Western sanctions.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean prosecutors are seeking to arrest the former executive at Korean Air Lines Co. who forced a flight to return over a bag of macadamia nuts and a current executive for attempts to cover up the "nut rage" case. Seoul Western Prosecutors' Office says Cho Hyun-ah faces charges including inflight violence and changing a flight route. The current airline executive, a 57-year-old man surnamed Yeo, faces charges of pressuring airline employees to cover up the incident.
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