Stocks lower…Ukraine rejects Russian gas offer…EU investigating Apple, Starbucks tax deals

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are lower this morning on Wall Street after the World Bank cut its outlook for global growth. In a report last night, the bank lowered its forecast to 2.8 percent growth this year. The S&P 500 and the Dow are moderately lower in early trading, though they remain close to all-time highs. The Nasdaq composite is also down.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says the economy should grow at much stronger rates the rest of this year as the country overcomes the impact of a harsh winter. But in a speech to the Economic Club of New York, Lew says unemployment remains too high and economic growth is too slow. He says the government and the private sector need to do more to boost hiring of the long-term unemployed and increase investment in productivity-enhancing equipment and infrastructure projects such as roads, railways and ports.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia is offering to restore the discounted prices it granted Ukraine under the ousted pro-Russian president, but Kiev is demanding a better deal. Ukraine’s energy minister says his government wants a lower price and believes arbitration is the best way to settle the dispute. Gazprom has given Ukraine another week before it will start demanding prepayment for gas. Earlier today, Russian President Vladimir Putin touted the Kremlin’s offer as a “partnership deal,” but it’s unclear whether Russia expected something in return.

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The European Union’s antitrust regulator is investigating tax deals that Apple, Starbucks and Fiat have struck with several European countries to see whether they amount to unfair state aid. The companies have agreements with tax authorities in Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg as part of their strategy to minimize the taxes they pay. The EU’s antitrust commissioner says with public budgets tight and citizens dealing with the consequences of the financial crisis, multinationals must pay their fair share of taxes.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The insurance industry is pushing Congress to amend President Barack Obama’s health care law to provide financial assistance for people buying bare-bones coverage. The industry trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans says that would encourage more healthy young adults to sign up, which would help stabilize premiums.

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