A survey of business activity shows the economy of the 18-country eurozone grew at only a slow pace in August, a sign it remains sluggish after a disappointing second quarter in which it did not expand at all.
Russian news agencies are reporting that the country's food safety agency will conduct checks on McDonald's restaurants in the Urals after safety complaints, a day after four branches of the chain were shuttered in Moscow.
Asian stock markets were dampened by a weak China manufacturing survey Thursday, but European stocks opened higher. Japan gained on the prospect of a stronger dollar after Fed minutes showed policymakers are leaning toward their first rate hike since the 2008 financial crisis.
Some Federal Reserve officials think the U.S. economy is improving fast enough that the Fed will need to act sooner than previously thought to slow the extraordinary support it's been providing through ultra-low interest rates.
The Bank of England's consensus on maintaining record-low interest rates has crumbled after more than three years, with two members of the central bank's monetary policy committee voting to increase borrowing costs this month.
Apple's stock touched a new high Wednesday, reflecting investors' renewed faith in CEO Tim Cook's ability to outwit the competition and expand the technological hit factory built by the late Steve Jobs.