FREEPORT, Maine (AP) - With the final retail push under way, L.L. Bean CEO Chris McCormick is playing Santa's helper against a backdrop of conveyor belts and beeping front-end loaders as he boxes up slippers and shirts. But there's little time to reflect on the holiday cheer those gifts will bring because he's busy concentrating to make sure no shipments go astray.
NEW YORK (AP) - Twinkies, Wonder Bread and Devil Dogs are likely to return to shelves in coming months, but probably not under the same owners.
BURBANK, Calif. (AP) - Disney says it has completed its acquisition of Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.06 billion in cash and stock.
MENLO PARK (AP) - Facebook says it is testing a service that will charge users $1 to guarantee that messages they send to people they are not connected to arrive in users' inboxes, rather than in an often-ignored folder called "other."
NEW YORK (AP) - Will Santa's sleigh be late?
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - When it comes to making coins, the Mint isn't getting its two cents worth. In some cases, it doesn't even get half of that.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Twitter is offering its more than 200 million users a chance to keep a digital scrapbook of all their tweets.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Apple filed an appeal Thursday of a judge's refusal to bar some Samsung smartphones from the U.S. market, extending one of several legal battles raging around the world between the two tech giants.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - From California to New York, teacher and public-worker retirement funds are reconsidering their investments in gun makers and confronting an uncomfortable fact: Their pensions have supported the manufacture of deadly weapons, in some cases the same type of gun used in the Connecticut school shooting.
OLIVE GARDEN OWNER SHIFTS COURSE TO FOCUS ON DEALS: NEW YORK (AP) - After new ad campaigns touting the quality of its food failed to spark sales, the parent company of Olive Garden and Red Lobster is retooling its strategy to attract diners with more promotional deals.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal watchdog has found that government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may have lost more than $3 billion from big banks' alleged rigging of a key interest rate.
NEW YORK (AP) - When it comes to fat holiday discounts, better late than never.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Google is turning on a "scan and match" service for Google Music users to store copies of their songs online, offering for free what Apple charges $25 a year for.
MENLO PARK (AP) - Instagram, the popular mobile photo-sharing service now owned by Facebook, said Tuesday that it will remove language from its new terms of service suggesting that users' photos could appear in advertisements.
REDWOOD SHORES (AP) - Snapping out of a summertime lull, Oracle's latest quarter demonstrated that companies have been splurging on software and other technology as the year comes to a close, despite uncertainty about the economy's prospects.
NEW YORK (AP) - Here's a sign more households are going without cable or satellite TV: TiVo Inc. is making a digital video recorder just for so-called cord-cutters.
SAN JOSE (AP) - Chip supplier Fairchild Semiconductor is eliminating about 1,350 jobs in the U.S. and Asia - about 15 percent of its total workforce - to reduce costs.
NEW YORK (AP) - Forget bad weather, traffic jams and kids asking, "Are we there yet?" The real headache for many travelers is a quickly-growing list of hotel surcharges, even for items they never use.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Americans are doing a better job of making timely credit card payments, even as many lenders increasingly extend credit to more people with less-than-stellar credit.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A fourth straight monthly increase in sales of existing homes provided the latest evidence Thursday that the U.S. housing market is rebounding from a weak start to the year.
MOSCOW (AP) - Russia's food safety agency said Thursday that it was checking McDonald's restaurants around the country, a day after several branches of the chain were shuttered in Moscow.
NEW YORK (AP) - A report from the Census Bureau is the latest evidence that the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Gap Inc. said its profit rose 10 percent in the second quarter as the clothing retailer cut expenses and managed to lift sales.
NEW YORK (AP) - Burger King is getting rid of its lower-calorie french fries at most restaurants after less than a year.
NEW YORK (AP) - Amazon is taking direct aim at mobile payment systems such as Square by introducing the Amazon Local Register, a credit-card processing device and mobile app designed to help small business owners accept payments through their smartphones and tablets.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Apple is banning the use of two potentially hazardous chemicals during the final assembly of iPhones and iPads as part of the company's latest commitment to protect the factory workers who build its trendy devices.
SAN JOSE (AP) - Cisco said Wednesday that it will lay off up to 6,000 workers, or 8 percent of its workforce, as part of a restructuring.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The PBS series "Antiques Roadshow" says it hit a home run with a collection of 1870s Boston baseball memorabilia.
VAISHALI, India (AP) - The executives mingled over tea and sugar cookies, and the chatter was upbeat. Their industry, they said at the conference in the Indian capital, saves lives and brings roofs, walls and pipes to some of the world's poorest people.
FOSTER CITY (AP) - It feels like a well-armed Christmas morning at Sledgehammer Games.