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April 15, 2015 07:06 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Update

International stock markets have been mixed today with European shares up in early trading on expectations that European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi will stay the course in stimulus. Asian shares fell after China reported its economy grew at a slower pace in January-March. Futures point to a mixed opening on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $54 a barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and the yen.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Reserve is set to release industrial production numbers for March this morning. Later, the Fed will release its Beige Book, which tracks business conditions. The National Association of Home Builders comes out with the housing market index for April this morning. Quarterly earnings from Bank of America and Delta are also expected this morning. In Germany, the European Central Bank's governing council is meeting to set monetary policy for the 19-nation eurozone.

BRUSSELS (AP) - Google is being accused in Europe of abusing its dominance in Internet searches. The European Union's competition chief is expected to file an antitrust complaint today. Google's general counsel Kent Walker says that besides outlining their belief that Google has been illegally rigging its search results, European regulators also may announce they are opening an inquiry into whether Google uses its Android software to gain an unfair advantage.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - IBM wants to use the power of its Watson computing system  to improve people's health. Watson - which famously won TV's "Jeopardy" a few years back - to analyze mountains of data collected from individuals who use health-related smartphone apps, fitness bands and other gadgets. A new IBM business will provide Internet computing services for health-care companies and researchers to collect and analyze that data, along with information from patient treatment records and research trials.

NEW YORK (AP) - The fight to redefine a McJob is heating up. Labor organizers are planning their biggest day of protests yet for pay of $15 an hour and a union for fast-food and other low-wage workers. The push comes just two weeks after McDonald's announced a pay bump for workers at its company-owned stores, suggesting the chain is also moving to take control of its image as an employer.

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