Fri, Dec 20 2013
(Corrects fourth paragraph to reflect officials expect deliveries four years, not two years, after signing contract)
AUSTIN, Texas, Dec 20 - U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday declared parts of Texas disaster areas due to devastating floods on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 that killed six people and caused at least $50 million in damage.
(Corrects 19th paragraph to show European car sales were up 0.9 percent in November, not 6.9 percent)
NEW YORK, Dec 20 - The dollar fell from five-year highs against the yen on Friday, as investors consolidated gains this week and pared positions back ahead of the holidays, but the strong trend for the U.S. currency remained intact going into next year.
MOSCOW, Dec 20 - Business tycoon Suleiman Kerimov has sold his 36 percent stake in Russia's biggest homebuilder PIK, further reducing his investments in the country, according to statements by the company and its financial adviser Otkritie Financial Corp.
* Russia detained Greenpeace activists over protests against Arctic oil production
BUENOS AIRES, Dec 20 - The Argentine government on Friday announced price freezes on up to 200 goods to offset an uptick in already steep inflation, in a move that for the first time affects suppliers, in addition to supermarkets.
NEW YORK, Dec 20 - U.S. stocks climbed on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on pace for its biggest weekly gain in two months, as an unexpectedly strong report on U.S. growth boosted investor confidence that the economy could support a wind-down of Federal Reserve stimulus.
Dec 20 - Oracle Corp said it would buy Responsys Inc in a deal valued at $1.5 billion as the world's No. 2 software maker beefs up its cloud offerings.
LONDON, Dec 20 - European shares inched up on Friday with riskier assets still in demand following a broadly neutral shift in U.S. monetary policy, and the euro dipped after rating agency S&P downgraded the European Union from triple-A.
These days Washington is not known for bipartisanship, but every now and then a breakthrough is made. It is noteworthy that Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and Senator John McCain, a Republican, are appearing together at a forum in Sedona, Arizona on Friday.