U.S. STOCKS OPEN WITH BROAD GAINS
Stocks head higher as trading gets under way, following Tuesday's run to new record highs. A better-than-expected rise in U.S. private sector payrolls helps fuel the rally. The DJIA is up 45 points, reaching the 14300 level for the first time.
U.S. PRIVATE-SECTOR JOBS JUMP 198,000
Private businesses add 198,000 new employees in February, a faster pace than the 175,000 economists had been expecting, according to a report from ADP. The January jobs gain is revised up to 215,000 from 192,000.
EU FINES MICROSOFT $732 MILLION
Microsoft has been hit with a $732.2 million fine by European Union regulators after it broke its promise to offer millions of users of its Windows system a choice of rival Web browsers.
FED'S PLOSSER WANTS BOND-BUYING EFFORT TO WIND DOWN
The Federal Reserve should be moving to put an end to its aggressive bond-buying program, given the rising odds that such a monetary policy stance will cause economic trouble, says Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser.
STAPLES NET DROPS 72% ON RESTRUCTURING CHARGES
Staples' fourth-quarter earnings sink 72% to $78.1 million, or 12 cents a share, as the office-supply giant is hit by a slew of charges related to its recent restructuring and store closure efforts.
CHINA POLICY MAKERS SIGNAL PLANS TO TIGHTEN MONETARY POLICY
Chinese policy makers send signals that Beijing is preparing to tighten monetary policy, as inflation risks rise along with a recovering economy.
U.S. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CLOSED FOR SNOWSTORM
The nation's capital braces for a one-day snowstorm, with the federal government closing operations in the Washington region and airlines canceling more than 1,000 flights in anticipation.
DELL DEFENDS BUYOUT DEAL AS OPPOSITION GROWS
Dell is defending its planned $24.4 billion leveraged buyout by founder Michael Dell as shareholder opposition to the deal grows, but emphasizes the computer maker is actively soliciting alternative deals.
TOYOTA MEANS BUSINESS WITH MANAGEMENT OVERHAUL
After spending the last four years in a defensive crouch battling a string of testing crises, Toyota signals it is now ready to go on the offensive.
BRENT CRUDE FUTURES DOWN, WITHIN A MORE COMFORTABLE RANGE
The Brent crude-oil price is slightly down in London, but analysts suggest it is back in a comfortable range.
BOE'S KING CALLS FOR RESTRUCTURING OF RBS
Bank of England Governor Mervyn King calls for a "decisive restructuring" of state-controlled lender Royal Bank of Scotland, throwing his weight behind plans to split the bank in two that are opposed by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.
======= DOW JONES NEWSWIRES ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARIES =======
Heard on the Street
ECB FACES GROWING CHALLENGE
The headaches never stop at the ECB. Last month, President Mario Draghi faced questioning over the rise in the euro. Since then, it has fallen back to $1.30, and seems likely to continue downward -- but fears about growth have deepened, Richard Barley writes.
MARKETS HIT HIGHS. PASS THE TIN HELMETS
It doesn't take much of a change in perceptions about extreme future outcomes for equity markets to respond dramatically. Just look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nikkei, Alen Mattich writes.