Judge: Bankruptcy shields GM from liability

A federal bankruptcy judge has ruled that General Motors is shielded from death and injury claims in crashes that happened before it emerged from bankruptcy protection. But Judge Robert Gerber ruled that under narrow circumstances, some plaintiffs who sued over a loss to the value of their cars due to faulty ignition switches can file claims against the company for actions after it left bankruptcy protection in 2009. The ruling is a victory for GM. One plaintiffs' attorney said the decision shields GM from $7 billion to $10 billion in potential liabilities from lawsuits.

Nokia to buy Alcatel-Lucent for $16.5B

Nokia will buy ailing French telecom company Alcatel-Lucent for about $16.5 billion through a public exchange of shares in France and the United States, in a bid to become a leading global networks operator. Though Alcatel-Lucent has been racking up billions of euros of losses since its creation in 2006, Nokia seems to believe it can cut costs and hopes the deal will give it scale in the market of providing the networks that mobile phones use. The Finnish company said the all-share transaction will be on the basis of 0.55 of a new Nokia share for every share of Alcatel-Lucent.

Stocks climb on positive earnings reports

Rising corporate profits and a jump in oil prices helped push the stock market to a modest gain. Delta and Intel led the way up after turning in results that beat Wall Street's forecasts. The price of oil soared to its highest price this year, driving up energy stocks. For investors, any good news comes as a welcome surprise this earnings season. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 10.79 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 2,106.63. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 75.91 points, or 0.4 percent, to 18,112.61, while the Nasdaq composite added 33.73 points, or 0.7 percent, to 5,011.02.

Etsy raises $267 million in initial offering

Online crafts marketplace Etsy has raised $267 million in its initial public offering, pricing its shares at the top of the range it had predicted. Etsy sold 16.7 million shares for $16 each, valuing the company at $1.78 billion. The New York company sold 13.3 million shares, while its early investors sold 3.3 million. Most shares sold in an IPO go to major investors like big asset managers, but Etsy planned to set aside 5 percent of the shares for individual investors. Etsy will list its shares on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol ETSY; trading is expected to begin Thursday.

More people worldwide have bank accounts

Africans using cellphones, older Chinese, and Indians getting a push from their government have fueled an unprecedented surge of people opening their first bank accounts. The number people with an account — either on mobile phones or at bank branches — jumped by 700 million between 2011 and 2014, the World Bank said. The rise in new worldwide accounts has been driven by the spread of cellphones throughout areas like sub-Saharan Africa, where a bank could be miles away, and by strong economic growth in Asia.

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