News Archive
National | Wed, Jan 30, 2013

Stocks fell, dragging benchmark indexes from five-year highs, as the Federal Reserve said it will maintain its program to buy securities after the economy unexpectedly shrank in the fourth quarter.

Small business owners may be closer to losing an advantage they've enjoyed during the e-commerce boom -- being exempt from collecting sales tax in states where they're not located. And they're worried they will have to spend more money in the process.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will let some borrowers who kept up payments as their homes lost value erase their debts by giving up the properties, helping Americans escape underwater loans while adding to losses at the mortgage giants bailed out with $190 billion of taxpayer money.

Mortgage applications in the United States fell last week for the first time this month, as home purchases and refinancing declined.

The economy unexpectedly came to a standstill in the fourth quarter as the biggest plunge in defense spending in 40 years swamped gains for consumers and businesses.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Oil rose to the highest level in more than four months as the Federal Reserve maintained an asset-buying program to boost the economy.

Stocks edged lower after a report that showed the U.S. economy unexpectedly contracted in the fourth quarter, putting the brakes on a January rally that has pushed stocks toward record levels.

Jamaica is embracing a controversial Super Bowl commercial that depicts a white office worker from the U.S. Midwest feigning the Caribbean island's lilting patois accent to display a cheerful, upbeat outlook.

General Motors says it will spend $200 million on a new testing facility at its Pontiac, Mich., engine and transmission engineering headquarters.

Shares of Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. soared Wednesday on news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its new drug application for its Kynamro cholesterol drug.

In just three years, Chrysler has gone from government ward to rising star.

The Federal Reserve says growth “paused” in recent months and reaffirmed its commitment to boost a sluggish U.S. economy by keeping borrowing cheap for the foreseeable future.

A massive storm system raking the Southeast hammered a Georgia town on Wednesday, overturning cars on an interstate and killing at least one person there, authorities said.

U.S. investigators said Wednesday they asked Boeing Co. to provide a full operating history of lithium-ion batteries used in its grounded 787 Dreamliners as Japan's All Nippon Airways revealed it had repeatedly replaced the batteries even before overheating problems surfaced.

After lengthy delays, Research In Motion Ltd. unveiled its first two phones with the new BlackBerry 10 system. The Q10 will have a physical keyboard, while the Z10 has only a touch-screen keyboard. RIM says it will also change its name to BlackBerry to maintain a single brand. It will have the ticker symbol “BBRY” on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Markets brushed aside news that the U.S. economy shrank in the final quarter of 2012 for the first time in over three years as the decline was largely due to an unexpectedly big fall in national defense spending.

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. government contracts to women- owned small businesses dropped for the second consecutive year, declining at a faster rate than awards to their male counterparts.

The U.S. economy unexpectedly shrank from October through December for the first time since 2009, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles. The drop occurred despite stronger consumer spending and business investment.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Oil advanced to the highest level in more than four months before a Federal Reserve policy statement that may signal the U.S. central bank will take additional steps to stimulate the economy of the world’s biggest crude user.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Companies in the U.S. added 192,000 workers in January, according to a private report based on payrolls.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. auto insurers, a group that has enlisted Hollywood actors and professional athletes to pitch their coverage, failed to boost sales even after spending billions of dollars on advertisements, McKinsey & Co. said.

Phillips 66 said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter net income tumbled by more than half, pulled down by hefty charges related to a refinery investment.

Last year's deliveries of its new 787 as well as its revamped 747-8 brought in cash _ the 787 lists for more than $200 million each -- but they actually hurt profits because the planes cost more to build than what Boeing collects. Profit margins for commercial planes shrank slightly, even as revenue rose 32 percent to $14.16 billion in the fourth quarter, and profits rose 29 percent to $1.27 billion.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Roche Holding AG forecast that sales and profit will rise this year, helped by new products such as a breast-cancer drug that’s slated for approval in February.

Chip maker Silicon Laboratories Inc. said Wednesday its fourth-quarter net income jumped 46 percent and its adjusted profit beat Wall Street predictions.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- EON SE, Germany’s biggest utility, reported higher earnings after renegotiating gas contracts with OAO Gazprom and said asset sales will exceed an earlier target.

Toyota is recalling over one million cars around the world for faulty air bags and defective windshield wipers.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Research In Motion Ltd. renamed itself BlackBerry and unveiled the new BlackBerry 10 lineup at an event in New York this morning, aiming to lure back customers that have defected to Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Bond buyers are devouring the most commercial-mortgage debt linked to everything from skyscrapers to Hawaiian resorts in more than five years, allaying concern that an onslaught of sales would be too much to digest.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- In recent years, a grand disconnect has opened between economies around the world, which are growing anemically if at all, and the bullishness of investors who only care that central banks are willing to continue shoveling out liquidity.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Researchers identified a possible culprit for immune cells’ resistance to regulation in a small study of multiple sclerosis patients, suggesting a potential new target for treatment.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Tuberculosis can hide in peoples’ bone marrow, lying dormant after aggressive drug therapy and emerging years later to re-infect, according to a finding that may help explain why the disease is difficult to eradicate.

Shares of Inc. briefly hit their highest level ever on Wednesday after the world's biggest online retailer impressed investors with strengthening profit margins in its fourth-quarter earnings report.

Time Inc., the magazine unit of Time Warner Inc., says it is cutting 6 percent of its global staff of 8,000, or about 500 people.

Dice Holdings Inc. reported Wednesday that its fourth-quarter net income slid 14 percent due to higher costs for sales and marketing as it prepared to unveil new products.

Investment banking revenue helped push Piper Jaffray to a profit in the fourth quarter.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc.’s $1.05 billion damages award against Samsung Electronics Co. from its patent- infringement trial in San Jose, California, was left intact after a judge denied Apple’s bid to increase the award.

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the U.S. economy “paused” in recent months because of temporary factors and reaffirmed its commitment to try to stimulate growth by keeping borrowing cheap for the foreseeable future.

_ Video recording: high-definition for rear camera (1080p -- comparable to the resolution of a 40-inch flat panel TV); lower resolution for front (720p)

The new, five-passenger Altima also has improved seats and new premium features -- some of them standard equipment, such as keyless push-button start and Bluetooth hands-free phone system.

Medtronic Inc. has acquired a stake in a Chinese maker of surgical instruments for $46.5 million, the latest bid by the world's largest medical device maker to expand in a fast-growing market.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox raised $400 million for film production, including the next “Avatar,” through former Dune Capital LLC executive Chip Seelig, two people with knowledge of the situation said.

As much as I like Google Docs for word processing and spreadsheets, I find the online software clunky at times. So I was skeptical when I heard Microsoft is trying to sell its new version of Office as an online subscription.

A fresh batch of favorable analyst reports helped send shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. higher Wednesday.

The long-awaited debut of new BlackBerry smartphones flopped on Wall Street.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- J.C. Penney Co., having embraced everyday low prices, is going to great lengths to show customers its house-brand apparel is cheaper than rivals’.

Facebook's fourth-quarter financial results surpassed Wall Street's expectations but the company's stock is dipping lower in extended trading.

Driven by frustration over deficits and debt, Republican conservatives are pushing a politically risky move to permit painfully large automatic spending cuts to strike the Pentagon and domestic programs alike in an effort to force Democrats into making concessions on the budget.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- The euro strengthened above $1.35 for the first time since December 2011 as a report showed economic confidence in the region improved this month more than analysts predicted.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s approval rating dropped 15 percentage points from an all-time high reached last month as Republican voters balked at his pushing through one of the toughest U.S. gun laws, a poll found.

The governor of Israel's central bank says he's stepping down to be closer to his family in the United States.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc., benefiting from growing sales of smartphones running its Android software, boosted revenue from mobile applications more than sixfold in 2012 as it gained ground on Apple Inc., according to a report from research group App Annie.

The euro area's economy is showing modest signs of improvement, as new figures Wednesday indicated more consumer optimism and steadier bank finances. Weak demand for bank loans, however, made it clear the recovery was still some way off.

Cyprus' president said Wednesday that Russia is ready to join the European Union in putting together a rescue package for the heavily indebted country.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- A gauge of U.S. corporate credit risk was poised to increase for the third straight session before data that may show the economy grew at a weaker pace in the fourth quarter.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Gold was little changed near its highest level this week and platinum headed for its best monthly gain in a year as investors weighed speculation the Federal Reserve will continue with stimulus against a rally in equities. Palladium climbed to a 16-month high.

A private survey shows U.S. businesses increased hiring in January compared with a revised December reading.

American farmers and ranchers were borrowing more at the end of last year as their operating expenses and feed costs increased.

Fiat SpA, the Italian automaker that controls Chrysler LLC, said Wednesday it had reduced its fourth-quarter losses in Europe last year, helping earnings more than double as North American sales continued to surge.

Booz Allen, a management and technology consultant to government and corporate clients, said Wednesday that its fiscal third-quarter earnings fell nearly 11 percent, as billable hours declined amid what it called an “uncertain federal budget environment.”

The nation's crude oil supplies rose last week, the government said Wednesday.

Protesters forced their way into a government building in Greece's latest anti-austerity protests Wednesday, reaching just outside a minister's office before being expelled and clashing with riot police outside.

When Charlotte landed a National Football League franchise 20 years ago, city leaders were ecstatic, calling it a critical step in putting North Carolina's largest city on the map.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Boeing Co. predicted earnings that met analysts’ estimates this year, assuming no drag from the grounding of its marquee 787 Dreamliner jet that’s stretching into a third week while investigators examine battery faults.

Vietnamese authorities released and deported on Wednesday an American pro-democracy activist detained since April, removing a thorn in relations between Washington and Hanoi.

French forces took control the airport in Kidal, seizing a key position in the last remaining urban stronghold of Islamist extremists in northern Mali, officials said Wednesday, with France's foreign minister said French forces would depart Mali “quickly.”

Stock futures are mixed in light trading before the release of data expected to show that the U.S. economy slowed sharply at the end of last year.

A Pakistani girl whose defiance of the Taliban turned her into an international icon is headed toward a full recovery once she undergoes a final surgery to reconstruct her skull, doctors said Wednesday.

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- David Cameron’s recent speech on Britain and the European Union went down pretty well with his party at home but was coolly received across the Channel. The U.K. prime minister called for a “new settlement” to include repatriation of some powers ceded to the center in previous treaties. At this, most other EU leaders rolled their eyes.

Wed, Jan 30, 2013