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Markets gain...Star Wars shines...Toshiba job cuts

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BEIJING (AP) — International stock markets were mostly higher today following Wall Street's decline as the impact of a long-awaited U.S. interest rate cut faded. Futures point to opening gains today on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell to just above $35.50 per barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and slipped against the euro.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The force is wide awake and taking over the movie world. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" brought in a galactic $238 million over the weekend, making it the biggest North American debut of all time according to studio estimates on Sunday. The Walt Disney Co. earnings destroy the previous opening record set by Universal's "Jurassic World," which drew $208.8 million this summer. Internationally, the film brought in $279 million, bringing its global gross to $517 million.

TOKYO (AP) — Toshiba is cutting 6,800 jobs after projecting a net loss of $4.5 billion. The company says it will slash the jobs in its personal computer, video product and consumer electronic businesses, and the job cuts in Japan will be by early retirement. But a significant number of overseas jobs also will be involved. Toshiba is also in trouble because it operates and is decommissioning, with Hitachi and other companies, the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which went into meltdowns after the March 2011 tsunami.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — American exporters say lobster shipments to European countries including France, Italy and Spain are down because of the strong dollar and a less-than-festive economy overseas. Lobsters are a Christmas tradition in several European countries, where supermarkets rely on the crustaceans to draw shoppers around the holidays. But American shippers say they are in the midst of a weak year. The say demand is growing in China.

PARIS (AP) — Officials say a broken rail in the tunnel under the English Channel between Britain and France has been repaired, but not before causing major headaches for thousands of passengers as well as freight trains. Traffic is resuming normally today. Passenger train operator Eurostar says all traffic had been sharing a single track since the break.

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