European regulators leave rates unchanged

The European Central Bank left its main interest rate unchanged after a rise in borrowing costs for Spain signaled that the sovereign debt crisis is not over and that a change in monetary policy is unlikely for now. With the eurozone economy sputtering and credit still tight, the ECB governing council, as expected, left its benchmark rate at 1 percent. That is equal to the record low. Any concerns that policymakers in the 17-nation eurozone may have had about prices were apparently outweighed by recent economic data showing that the eurozone economy is stuck in recession.

More growth seen in U.S. service industries

Service industries grew in March, capping the strongest quarter in a year and indicating the U.S. economy will keep generating jobs. The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index fell to 56 from a one-year high of 57.3 in February, the Tempe, Ariz.-based group's data showed. Last month's reading still topped the average for the previous economic expansion. The ISM survey's employment index rose to 56.7, the second-highest since February 2006. New orders, business activity and prices all expanded at a slower pace.

Earnings warning sends SanDisk shares down

Shares of SanDisk Corp. fell the most in two months after the maker of flash-memory cards cut its forecast for first-quarter sales and profitability, citing weaker-than-expected pricing and demand for components that store data in mobile phones. The stock declined 11 percent to close at $44.51. Revenue in the quarter that ended April 1 will be about $1.2 billion, compared with an earlier forecast for $1.3 billion to $1.35 billion, SanDisk said. Gross margin, a yardstick of profitability, will be below the company's previous prediction.

$23 million last year for JPMorgan's Dimon

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the largest and most profitable U.S. bank, gave Chairman and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon $23 million in pay and bonuses for 2011, about the same as the previous year. Dimon's base salary was raised to $1.5 million beginning in March 2011 from $1 million and he received $17 million in restricted stock and options for his performance in 2011, down from $17.4 million the previous year, according to a proxy statement on the bank's website. His cash bonus was $4.5 million, down from $5 million in 2010, the New York-based company said.

Pickens plans smaller wind-energy project

Billionaire T. Boone Pickens is building a 377-megawatt wind farm in Texas, three years after shelving plans for a project about 10 times as big that would've been the world's largest. Mesa Power Group, the Dallas-based renewable energy company Pickens created in 2007, is co-developing the Stephens Bor-Lynn wind farm with Wind Tex Energy, according to a statement Wednesday. It will provide 233 1.6-megawatt General Electric Co. wind turbines. Pickens will connect the farm to a transmission line that's due to be completed in early 2013.

YouTube adds Paramount movies to rentals

Google Inc.'s YouTube has struck a movie-rental deal with a fifth major Hollywood studio, Paramount Pictures, adding 500 new titles to its expanding online library. The addition of Paramount's films brings YouTube's rental library to nearly 9,000 titles, featuring such popular mainstream movies as Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-winning "Hugo," director Michael Bay's action-packed "Transformers" and classics including "The Godfather."

FROM NEWS SERVICES