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Last Update on February 11, 2016 08:26 GMT

ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Labor Department will report today on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. And Freddie Mac will release this week's average U.S. mortgage rates.

Also today, Fed Chair Janet Yellen will appear before a Senate committee. She will discuss monetary policy.

On the corporate side, PepsiCo and Reynolds American will report quarterly earnings before the market opens.

GULF DRILLING-REVENUES

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Louisiana's U.S. senators and environmental groups are blasting the White House for proposing to help Alaska deal with rising seas by taking money away from similar efforts along the Gulf Coast.

In its proposed budget for 2017, the White House said Tuesday it wanted to repeal a 2006 provision that establishes a formula for sharing revenues from offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico with four Gulf states.

The vast majority of those revenues now go to the federal government, but starting next year Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas are slated to begin receiving a large portion of those funds.

In its new budget proposal, the White House called for "repealing" those payments, saying they were "unnecessary and costly."

The White House proposal faces stiff opposition in Congress.

CANADIAN PACIFIC-NORFOLK SOUTHERN OFFER

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Norfolk Southern officials remain focused on their plan to improve the railroad's profits, not on rival Canadian Pacific's takeover offers.

Norfolk Southern Chief Financial Officer Marta Stewart spoke to an investor conference Wednesday, a day after Canadian Pacific said it planned to ask Norfolk Southern shareholders whether they support merger talks between the two railroads.

Stewart declined to discuss Canadian Pacific's offers. Instead she outlined elements of Norfolk Southern's plan to cut $130 million in costs this year and more than $650 million in annual cost savings by 2020 while improving service.

Norfolk Southern has rejected all of Canadian Pacific's takeover offers even as they approached roughly $30 billion.

CARRIER CORP-PLANT CLOSURE

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Two Indiana plants that make products for the heating, ventilating and air conditioning industry are shifting their manufacturing operations to Mexico in moves that will cost 2,100 workers their jobs.

Carrier Corp. says it will shutter its Indianapolis plant employing 1,400 workers and move its manufacturing to Mexico. The plant's workers would be laid off over three years starting in 2017.

United Technologies Electronic Controls also announced Wednesday that it will move its Huntington manufacturing operations to a new plant in Mexico, costing the northeastern Indiana city 700 jobs by 2018. Those workers make microprocessor-based controls for the HVAC and refrigeration industries.

Carrier Corp. and UTEC are both units of Hartford, Connecticut-based United Technologies Corp.

Carrier's president of North American HVAC systems and services, Chris Nelson, says the company is closing the Indianapolis plant in response to "the continued migration of the HVAC industry to Mexico." He says that migration has included the company's suppliers and competitors.

Carrier's residential HVAC headquarters and engineering organization are slated to remain in Indianapolis.

JACK DANIEL'S EXPANSION

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The historic Jack Daniel's Distillery is planning a $140 million expansion project to help meet global demand for prized Tennessee Whiskey.

The investment announced by Gov. Bill Haslam on Wednesday will be used to construct two new barrelhouses, expand the bottling facility and support the increasing number of visitors to the facility. Officials say more than 275,000 tourists from around the world visited the distillery in Lynchburg last year.

The Louisville, Kentucky-based Brown-Forman company owns the distillery. Company officials say the expansion will create 30 new jobs in Moore County.

The distillery underwent a $103 million expansion less than three years ago that added stills, barrel warehouses and related infrastructure. Officials say that investment created 94 jobs.

The Jack Daniel's Distillery is the oldest registered distillery in the U.S.

FINLAND-EARNS-NOKIA

HELSINKI (AP) -- Telecommunications and wireless equipment maker Nokia Corp. says fourth-quarter profit grew more than 50 percent on a slight increase in sales, buoyed by income from licensing fees.

CEO Rajeev Suri, however, cautioned that its main networks sector in 2016 would see a slowdown in sales in some markets, especially China, with the current quarter being "quite challenging." He says the company would continue to pursue savings.

The Finnish company said Thursday that net profit in the period was 498 million euros ($560 million), up from 324 million euros a year earlier, while revenue grew 3 percent to 3.6 billion euros.

Nokia Technologies saw strong growth in sales and operating profit based on licensing growth, including a contribution from the arbitration award related to its licensing agreement with Samsung.

 
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