Shell to Cut Spending

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Royal Dutch Shell posted higher profit but said it would freeze dividend payments and curb planned spending over the next three years by some $15 billion as it struggles with weaker oil prices.

Northrop Grumman, Raytheon Pledge Boost in Spending and Exports

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Northrop Grumman Corp. and Raytheon Co. on Thursday both pledged to boost research spending and exports, but the two defense companies received sharply different reactions from investors.

Air Force to Open Additional Satellite Launches to Competition

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The Pentagon will announce plans next week to open more space rocket launches to competition, paving the way for Elon Musk’s SpaceX to try to win its first military business, according to U.S. officials familiar with the plan.

Coach Shuffles Execs; Sales Fall Again

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Coach announced the departure of two executives as it reported that sales at existing North American stores plunged 22% in the latest quarter. Still, the company noted progress in its turnaround efforts.

Hershey to Buy Beef Jerky Maker

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Hershey Co. said it plans to buy Krave Pure Foods Inc., a maker of premium beef jerky, giving the candy company a taste of the emerging meat-snack market as Hershey’s sales start to stagger.

Harley-Davidson Sales Growth Worldwide Tops U.S.

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Harley-Davidson Inc., socked by the strong dollar and tougher pricing competition, reported Thursday a 1.2% decline in profit for the fourth quarter.

Fed Flags Midyear Rate Hike---Or Later

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The Federal Reserve signaled it would keep short-term interest rates near zero at least until midyear, while also setting the stage for tough decisions in the coming weeks about whether it should wait even longer.

Amazon: Long on Promise, Short on Profit

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Ahead of the Tape: Shareholders in the online retailer won’t necessarily sell off their shares if Thursday’s results miss expectations.

Cocoa, Once Hot, Is Facing a Chill

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As consumers around the world tighten their belts, even cocoa is getting squeezed.

Two-Tier Economy Reshapes U.S. Marketplace

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The advance of wealthy households, while middle- and lower-income Americans struggle, is reshaping markets for everything from housing to clothing to beer.

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