Nokia lowers outlook

Nokia Corp. Tuesday warned its second-quarter sales and margins will be much lower than expected as rivals challenge the world's largest handset maker in both smartphones and low-end devices. The announcement sent Nokia shares down more than 17 percent to a 13-year low of 4.75 ($6.83) in late Helsinki trading. The Finnish company said net sales in its key devices and services unit will be "substantially below its previously expected range of 6.1 billion to 6.6 billion" in the second quarter.

American confidence in April at 6-month low

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell to a six-month low of 60.8 from a revised 66 in April, a sign Americans are losing faith that the economy will keep improving. Economists expected an increase to 67. The monthly index is still far from the reading of 90 that indicates a healthy economy. It hasn't approached that level since the recession began in December 2007.

Moody's threatens to downgrade Japan

Moody's warned Tuesday that it might downgrade its sovereign debt rating for Japan, joining other rating agencies in taking a more pessimistic view of the Japanese economy after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Moody's kept its rating for Japanese bonds at Aa2 but said its review of the rating had been prompted by "heightened concern" about Japan's growth prospects and ability to meet a "credible deficit reduction target."

Ashland to buy ISP for $3.2 billion

Ashland Inc. will spend about $3.2 billion to buy International Specialty Products Inc., the company said Tuesday, expanding its presence in high-growth markets including personal care, pharmaceutical and energy. The Covington, Ky.-based chemical company's acquisition of Wayne, N.J.-based ISP requires U.S. and European Union regulatory approvals.

Apple to unveil iCloud service next week

Apple said it would announce new versions of the software that powers its computers and cellphones, as well as a new Internet service that could connect these devices. The company gave few details about the service, which it calls iCloud, but analysts think it would allow people to gain access to music, photos and videos over the Internet on multiple Apple devices, without needing to sync those devices. The announcement is to be made next week by Steven Jobs, chief executive, at Apple's annual developers conference in San Francisco.

FROM NEWS SERVICES