News Archive
National | Wed, Feb 20, 2013

Apple Inc. has kept its power to determine the course of consumer electronics even as it faces tougher competition in mobile phones and tablets, said Steve Wozniak, who co-founded the company with Steve Jobs in 1976.

Work began in January on the most U.S. single-family houses in over four years and permits for future projects climbed, setting the stage for construction to keep adding to economic growth in 2013.

U.S. homebuilders began work at a slower pace in January than in December.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Builders broke ground in January on the most U.S. single-family homes in more than four years and permits for future construction rose, an indication the industry’s momentum carried over into 2013.

Mortgage applications in the United States fell last week for a second time, as rising mortgage rates cooled home purchases and refinancing.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- ResMed Inc., a maker of machines to regulate breathing for people with sleep disorders, promoted Mick Farrell to replace his father as chief executive officer.

Wholesale prices rose in January for the first time in four months, reflecting higher costs for food and pharmaceuticals.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Toll Brothers Inc., the largest U.S. luxury-home builder, tumbled the most in four years after reporting fiscal first-quarter earnings that trailed analyst estimates and projecting narrower margins.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said he notified Congress of plans to impose furloughs on the Pentagon’s civilian employees should automatic budget cuts take effect on March 1 and “continue for a substantial period.”

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. will put diplomatic pressure on countries implicated in thefts of trade secrets and seek stronger international enforcement of intellectual-property protections, according to a government report.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- West Texas Intermediate tumbled the most in three months following declines in metals on speculation that a commodity fund is selling positions.

Caterpillar helped drag the stock market lower Wednesday after the industrial giant reported weaker worldwide sales. A mixed report on housing also weighed on the market.

Yahoo is renovating the main entry into its website in an effort to get people to visit more frequently and stay longer.

Let the pots and pans fly.

Markets were subdued Wednesday ahead of a key release from the Federal Reserve that could provide a steer on what the central bank may do in the months ahead.

More expensive food and soda helped drive up a measure of U.S. wholesale prices in January, though overall, inflation stayed tame.

Activists say an air raid on a suburb of the Syrian capital of Damascus has killed at least 14 people.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Denmark’s mortgage banks, whose bonds enjoyed record investor demand last year, are bypassing the nation’s financial regulator and refinancing home loans at favorable terms to help borrowers continue their payments.

Take a walk through a human brain? Fly over the surface of Mars? Computer scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago are pushing science fiction closer to reality with a wraparound virtual world where a researcher wearing 3-D glasses can do all that and more.

The price of oil fell Wednesday, as a drop in metals commodities overflowed to crude markets and stocks retreated from five-year highs.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- United Utilities Plc and Severn Trent Plc, Britain’s biggest publicly traded water companies, are increasingly feeding human waste into tanks of bacteria whose methane emissions generate electricity.

Garmin Ltd. shares tumbled to a year low Wednesday after the navigation device maker announced lower-than-expected fourth-quarter results and a weak 2013 outlook, pointing to the continued industrywide decline in demand for automotive and hand-held navigation devices.

A 911 call comes in about a possible bomb in lower Manhattan and an alert pops up on computer screens at the New York Police Department, instantly showing officers an interactive map of the neighborhood, footage from nearby security cameras, whether there are high radiation levels and whether any other threats have been made against the city.

Though it has the same overall length as the mid-size RL, the RLX has surprisingly generous rear-seat legroom _ 38.8 inches -- which surpasses that in the Infiniti M and Mercedes E-Class sedans.

Satellite TV broadcaster Dish Network Corp. said Wednesday that its net income dropped by a third in the fourth quarter, as it kept prices steady.

Casino operator Isle of Capri said Wednesday that its fiscal third-quarter loss widened, burdened by some costs and weaker consumer spending.

Owens Corning said Wednesday that it lost $56 million in the fourth quarter, pulled down by hefty debt-related and restructuring charges. Its adjusted earnings missed Wall Street forecasts, and its shares fell more than 3 percent in morning trading.

An investigation by Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s board of directors into outgoing CEO Aubrey McClendon's personal financing deals with company partners has found the deals did not benefit McClendon improperly or cost the company more.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Hedge-fund manager David Einhorn reduced bets that stocks will rise as equities climbed to a five-year high while U.S. economic growth halted.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- MGM Resorts International, the largest casino operator on the Las Vegas Strip, posted a wider fourth-quarter loss after writing off land holdings. Profit in Nevada rose and the Macau unit declared a $500 million dividend.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Herbalife Ltd., the nutrition company at the center of a battle between hedge-fund managers Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn, posted fourth-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates and raised its earnings forecast for this year as sales rose in Asia.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- MGM China Holdings Ltd., a venture between a daughter of casino mogul Stanley Ho and MGM Resorts International, reported a 1 percent rise in fourth-quarter earnings as gamblers from the mainland China spent more.

Toll Brothers returned to a profit during the first quarter, but still fell short of Wall Street expectations and shares fell before the opening bell Wednesday.

A prominent U.S. businessman has blasted France's work ethic, saying employees spend half the day talking.

DTE Energy on Wednesday said fourth-quarter profit shrank as the utility was weighed down by one-time charges

Sonic Automotive Inc. reported Wednesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit increased nearly 50 percent as the automotive retailer's sales improved.

Secretary of State John Kerry says the greatest challenge to U.S. foreign policy is not emerging China or Middle East instability. It's Congress.

Printing out body parts? Cornell University researchers showed it's possible by creating a replacement ear using a 3-D printer and injections of living cells.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Dow Chemical Co. conspired with other companies to fix urethane product prices and must pay buyers of those products more than $400 million in damages, a federal jury in Kansas City, Kansas, ruled.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Fairfax Media Ltd., Australia’s second-largest newspaper publisher, posted a fourfold increase in first-half profit because of a gain from selling its stake in auction website Trade Me Ltd.

Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter net loss grew by 10 percent due to higher costs during the production start for the new Model S.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and the U.S. asked a federal judge in Washington to postpone proceedings in the Justice Department’s lawsuit to block the company’s purchase of Grupo Modelo SAB until March 19, according a joint court filing.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Lenovo Group Ltd., the world’s second-biggest maker of personal computers, said Yahoo! Inc. co- founder Jerry Yang will join the board of directors as an observer amid its expansion into smartphones and tablets.

Medical test developer Exact Sciences Corp. widened its fourth-quarter loss as its expenses jumped sharply, particularly its research and development costs.

Devon Energy Corp. on Wednesday posted a fourth-quarter loss due to an $896 million write-down related to its value of its gas and oil assets, but its adjusted results beat market expectations.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Leap Wireless International Inc., which sells the Cricket prepaid mobile-phone service, dropped the most in four months after losing more subscribers than expected and cutting back its investment plans.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Dish Network Corp., the second- largest U.S. satellite-television provider, reported fourth- quarter profit that trailed estimates after the cost of acquiring customers rose.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Sprint Nextel Corp. Chief Executive Officer Dan Hesse said he’s on a hunt for wireless spectrum after watching Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. devour more and more of the mobile-phone industry’s most precious resource.

Sony is expected to unveil its next-generation gaming system at a New York event Wednesday evening, a development that would give the struggling electronics company a head start over Microsoft and an Xbox 360 successor.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Office Depot Inc. and OfficeMax Inc. set up a competition of the bosses, saying they’ll wait to pick whether either of their chief executive officers will be in charge when the companies merge.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc., the film-streaming and mail-order DVD service, was sued by a shareholder who accused the company of intentionally misrepresenting subscriber growth.

Environmental services company Clean Harbors Inc. said Wednesday its fourth-quarter net income rose 62 percent, helped by a hefty tax benefit.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Yahoo Inc. unveiled a revamped home page that features online content recommended by users of Facebook Inc., as Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer bolsters ties to the world’s biggest social network to step up growth.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc.’s shares declined after Foxconn Technology Group, the manufacturer of products including the iPhone, froze hiring across China.

The New York Times Co. says it is selling The Boston Globe and its related assets, in order to focus on its namesake newspaper.

The House Oversight Committee is investigating whether a personal relationship between an Internal Revenue Service employee and the owner of a computer company produced a series of government contracts worth about $500 million.

Portugal raised (euro) 1.5 billion ($2 billion) in a debt sale at sharply lower rates Wednesday as the bailed-out country continues to benefit from improving market confidence, despite forecasts its recession will deepen.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Treasury 10-year note yields traded close to the highest since April on speculation Federal Reserve minutes may provide details on when the central bank plans to start trimming debt purchases.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- A gauge of U.S. corporate credit risk held at about the lowest in more than three weeks before a report that may show housing starts declined in January.

Gilead Sciences will allow Teva Pharmaceuticals to launch a generic version of its HIV and hepatitis B treatment in December 2017 under a new patent settlement between the two companies.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Office Depot Inc. agreed to buy OfficeMax Inc. for $1.17 billion in a bid to revive a retailer that has been losing sales to online rivals and Staples Inc., the largest U.S. office-supplies chain.

Two Iranian men have been charged with allegedly smuggling dozens of German-made aircraft motors to Iran to be used in its Ababil III surveillance and attack drone, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- West Texas Intermediate fluctuated, while its discount to North Sea Brent narrowed after Enterprise Products Partners LP said supplies through its Seaway oil pipeline will increase.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Gold futures slid to a six-month low in the worst losing streak in more than a year as signs of economic improvement curbed demand for a protection of wealth. Silver fell to the lowest since August and platinum dropped.

Online retailer Amazon may have broken antitrust laws in Germany by banning third-party traders from selling their products cheaper elsewhere, officials said Wednesday.

Six Flags Entertainment Corp. said Wednesday it posted fourth-quarter net income of $143.8 million, reversing a loss in the same quarter a year ago, boosted by a hefty tax benefit.

Iowa workers who lost jobs when Hostess Brands went out of business are eligible for federal income, training and job search benefits.

Longtime users of Hotmail, MSN and other Microsoft email services will start noticing a big change: When they sign in to check messages, they'll be sent to a new service called

Office Depot and OfficeMax are being collated.

Closing the first act in a corruption case, a prosecutor and defense attorneys plan to argue Wednesday whether testimony in the trial of six former Bell city officials proves they paid themselves exorbitant salaries and made up sham commissions to bolster their pay.

Boeing Co.'s engineers have accepted a new four-year contract while technical workers rejected their offer and voted to authorize a future strike.

The dollar is rising even after the U.S. government reported that housing construction slowed in January.

New Jersey's largest utility company is proposing to spend $3.9 billion to protect its electric and gas system against future storms like Sandy.

The Bank of England expressed growing concern over Britain's economy and came surprisingly close to backing another monetary stimulus in a move that piled further pressure on the pound.

Tens of thousands of anti-austerity demonstrators took to the streets of Athens on Wednesday as unions staged a general strike to protest government spending cuts and tax hikes, which some predict will push unemployment to an alarming 30 percent.

China's suppliers of shark fin, abalone, pricey liquor and other luxury items have been taking a beating since new leader Xi Jinping ordered officials to cut out lavish living.

A lawyer for a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike says Israel's supreme court has rejected a petition to release his client.

Pope Benedict XVI may enact a new law governing the upcoming conclave to elect a new pope amid continued uncertainty over when the voting can begin.

Greek yogurt is taking over the dairy aisle, but will kids bite?

Google is giving a few more people a chance to pay $1,500 for a pair of the Internet-connected glasses that the company is touting as the next breakthrough in mobile computing.

Wed, Feb 20, 2013