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Apple to produce line of Macs in the US next year

Apple CEO Tim Cook says the company will move production of one of its existing lines of Mac computers to the U.S. next year.

Industry watchers said the announcement is both a cunning public-relations move and a harbinger of more manufacturing jobs moving back to the U.S. as wages rise in China.

The company and its manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology Group have faced significant criticism this year over working conditions at the Chinese facilities where Apple products are assembled.

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Wells Fargo boss talks bank fees, economy, taxes

John Stumpf is a survivor. The Wells Fargo CEO kept his job as peers fell after the 2008 financial crisis, expanded his company while others shrank theirs and is a personable banker at a time of great anger toward his industry.

In a wide-ranging Q&A with The Associated Press, Stumpf sounds off about the economy, bank fees and tax policy.

He says the economy needs "more planning and more leadership."

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ECB cuts growth outlook for eurozone, holds rates

The European Central Bank warned of another gloomy year for the 17 European Union countries that use the euro, cutting its forecast for economic growth in 2013 from plus 0.5 percent to minus 0.3 percent.

Even so, the bank left rates unchanged at its meeting Thursday, and ECB head Mario Draghi gave little sign he was leaning toward any more cuts to stimulate growth.

The ECB's revised forecasts come as the eurozone's economy is caught in a recession.

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SUPERSTORM-BOOM AND BUST

Landscaping crews use heavy equipment to repair damage from Superstorm Sandy, racking up overtime pay at a time of year when many are typically looking for part-time jobs to carry them through the winter. Just down the road, business is more subdued at a restaurant where the word "OPEN" in black spray paint greets the few customers.

The national economy is expected to absorb the blow from Sandy with little long-term damage, but in the short term, at least, Sandy is introducing dramatic booms and busts across the Northeast.

The effects vary widely across industries, bringing banner years for some while pushing others toward economic ruin.

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CLIMATE TALKS-SOLAR DREAMS

With its vast deserts and long stretches of sunny days, the Middle East would seem to be an ideal place to harness solar energy.

Until now, the region has largely shunned solar because it has cost about three times more than heavily-subsidized fossil fuels.

But technological advances have pushed costs down dramatically, and many countries rich in oil and gas are reconsidering renewables amid growing demands for power to fuel their booming economies and rapidly increasing populations.

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US unemployment aid applications drop to 370K

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid fell sharply last week as a temporary spike caused by Superstorm Sandy faded. Weekly applications have fallen back to a level consistent with modest hiring.

The Labor Department said Thursday that applications dropped 25,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 370,000.

Unemployment aid applications spiked a month ago after Sandy shuttered businesses in the Northeast. Applications jumped to 451,000 in the week ended Nov. 10. People can claim unemployment benefits if their workplaces are forced to close and they aren't paid.

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Starbucks promises to pay more UK tax

Starbucks has bowed to mounting pressure over its tax affairs in Britain, with plans to pay about $16 million in each of the next two years.

Having been slammed by the country's lawmakers for "immorally" avoiding tax, Starbucks' U.K. managing director Kris Engskov said the firm had agreed to pay more than required by law.

The Seattle-based coffee company has 700 British outlets, but has paid just $13.8 million in corporation tax in 14 years. Starbucks Corp. says this is due to a process involving paying royalties to its European headquarters in the Netherlands.

The company hasn't done anything illegal. Companies operating in Europe can base themselves in any of the 27 European Union nations, allowing them to take advantage of a particular country's low tax rates.

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McAfee denied asylum; expected in Belize

Software company founder John McAfee was hospitalized after being denied political asylum in Guatemala , and his lawyers said they were making a last-ditch effort to keep him from being flown back to Belize for questioning about the killing of a fellow American expatriate.

McAfee told The Associated Press that he had suffered chest pains overnight but didn't believe he had suffered a heart attack. A government doctor who examined him agreed.

McAfee was moved from an immigration center to a police-run hospital after Guatemalan authorities said McAfee's request for asylum had been denied. They did not explain why. Shortly after the decision was announced, McAfee issued a plea on his blog for the public to petition Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina to let him stay.

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T-Mobile to get Apple devices soon, iPhone likely

T-Mobile will likely start carrying the iPhone next year after its parent company, Deutsche Telekom, said it has reached a new deal with Apple.

T-Mobile USA had been the lone iPhone-less carrier among the four national wireless companies in the U.S. Although it has been possible to use iPhones on T-Mobile networks, customers had to provide the phones themselves. The phones also work at much slower speeds, though T-Mobile has been reshuffling its network to match or exceed AT&T's data speeds.

The three larger carriers, AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp., already sell the iPhone, as do many smaller ones.

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By The Associated Press(equals)

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39.55 points to close at 13,074.04. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 4.66 points to 1,413.94, while the Nasdaq composite climbed 15.57 points to 2,989.27.

Benchmark oil fell $1.62, or 1.8 percent, to finish at $86.26 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, dropped $1.78, or 1.6 percent, to end at $107.03 per barrel in London.

Heating oil fell 4.75 cents to finish at $2.9432 per gallon. Wholesale gasoline fell 4.09 cents to end at $2.5969 per gallon. Natural gas fell 3.4 cents to finish at $3.666 per 1,000 cubic feet.