BC-Business News Digest


Associated Press

Posted on January 22, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Business News at 3:35 p.m.

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NEW YORK — Middle-class jobs were the big casualty of the Great Recession, and they're not coming back as economies recover. Five years since the start of the recession, almost none of the new jobs in the U.S. are middle class. In most of Europe, middle-class jobs are still in free fall. They're being obliterated by technology, which means they're likely gone forever, an AP investigation has found. And increasingly the target is the service economy, home to more than two-thirds of all workers. By Business Writers Bernard Condon and Paul Wiseman. Embargoed for use Wednesday, Jan. 23 and thereafter. With AP Photos NYBZ501-514.


— GREAT RESET-HISTORY OF INNOVATION — This isn't the first time technology has created turmoil in the work place. From textile machines to the horseless carriage to email, innovation has wiped out jobs for centuries. A look at breakthroughs that made the goods we buy more affordable, our lives more comfortable — and our jobs more precarious. By Business Writer Bernard Condon. Embargoed for use Wednesday, Jan. 23 and thereafter. With AP photos NYBZ548-550.

— AP Video: An overview of the first installment of The Great Reset.

— AP Photos: A mobile-friendly photo gallery showing jobs replaced by technology.

— AP Interactive: A data visualization comparing job growth in recoveries from recent recessions, and an animated video explainer on the subject.

— AP Graphic: Highlights job growth data by occupation and unemployment rates by country.

— AP Glance: Shows midwage job gains following last five recessions.


NEW YORK —For many investors, Apple's best days are behind it. Competitors are catching up, they believe, and the latest iPhone is stumbling. The company's doubters have backed their conviction with billions of dollars. Last week, the stock fell below $500 for the first time in 11 months. Since Apple's stock peaked at $705.07 on Sept. 21 —the day of the iPhone 5's release— it has fallen nearly 30 percent, cutting Apple's market capitalization by nearly $200 billion. On Wednesday, Apple —still the world's most valuable public company— gets a chance to rebut its doubters as it reports financial results for the holiday quarter. But the report could also end up confirming beliefs that the company is losing its edge as an arbiter of innovation and a pacesetter in sales growth. By Peter Svensson

AP photos.


NEW YORK — Wal-Mart has alerted its global suppliers that it will immediately drop them if they subcontract their work to factories that haven't been authorized by the discounter. Wal-Mart's stricter measures come amid increasing calls for better safety oversight after a deadly fire at a Bangladesh factory that supplied clothing to Wal-Mart and other retailers. By Anne D'Innocenzio.

AP photo.


WASHINGTON — As 21st century technology strains to be ever faster, cleaner and cheaper, an invention from more than 200 years ago keeps holding it back. It's the reason electric cars aren't clogging the roads and why Boeing's new ultra-efficient 787 Dreamliners aren't flying high. Chances are you have one of these on you right now and probably have cursed it recently: It's the infernal battery. By Science Writer Seth Borenstein.

AP photos.


SAN FRANCISCO — Google Inc.'s fourth-quarter earnings report will provide further insights into how the rising tide of Web surfing on smartphones and tablet computers is affecting the company's stronghold in the Internet search and advertising markets. By Mike Liedtke. Eds: Developing from release after the stock market closes.

AP photos planned.


NEW YORK — The Big Apple has legions of residents living in tiny apartments. Now the city is about to see just how small New Yorkers are willing to go. Expectations that population and rents will keep climbing are challenging architects to design dwellings no larger than a one-car garage. The city plans to construct a "micro-unit" apartment building in Manhattan next year, offering affordable options for singles and empty nesters. By Ula Ilnytzky.

AP photos, video.



The snow has fallen and the hotels are ready, but the CEOs gathering in Davos for the World Economic Forum are facing strong worries about public mistrust, disappearing jobs and a shaky global recovery.


— DAVOS FORUM-GLOBAL INVESTMENT — Leading financial lobby group warns investors not to get caught short in emerging markets.

— DAVOS FORUM-UN CHIEF — AP Interview: United Nations chief hopes for new climate change agreement and end to war in Syria in 2013.



WASHINGTON — U.S. sales of previously occupied homes dipped in December from November, in part because of a limited supply of available homes. The National Association of Realtors says sales declined in December to an annual rate of 4.94 million, slightly lower than November's rate that was the highest in three years. Even with the decline, last year ended as the best year for home sales since 2007. Most economists see the housing recovery continuing this year. By Christopher S. Rugaber.

AP photos.


NEW YORK — The Securities and Exchange Commission is barring Egan-Jones Ratings Co. from rating governments and issuers of mortgages and other types of bonds for at least 18 months as a recognized ratings agency to settle charges that it had made false statements when applying to become a "Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization."



U.S. stocks rise modestly as big companies reported their fourth-quarter financial results. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 47 points to 13,697 as of 2:54 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose five to 1,490. The Nasdaq composite average gained three to 3,137. By Business Writer Daniel Wagner.

AP photo.

— OIL PRICES — The price of oil closes at a four-month high as global economic reports point to improving conditions. Benchmark oil rose 68 cents to $96.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil has risen nearly $3 a barrel over the last four trading sessions.



Higher sales of prescription drugs and medical devices help Johnson & Johnson post a much bigger fourth-quarter profit than a year ago, when a slew of charges depressed results. By Linda Johnson.

AP photo.


Superstorm Sandy took a bite out of Delta's fourth-quarter profit and gave the airline a lesson in the pitfalls of owning a refinery. But shares jumped 3 percent as Delta predicted improved profit margins and lower fuel costs for the first quarter. By Airlines Writer Joshua Freed.

AP photos.


— DELTA-FREQUENT FLIER — Delta says its frequent flier program will increasingly favor big spenders over people who simply rack up miles.


DuPont says weakness in performance chemicals and electronics and communications, coupled with costs associated with growth initiatives, led to a sharp drop in fourth-quarter income. By Randall Chase.

— EARNS-CSX — CSX reports quarterly financial results after the market closes.

— EARNS-NORFOLK SOUTHERN — Norfolk Southern reports quarterly financial results after the market closes.



NEW YORK — During this year's Super Bowl, Coca-Cola is asking viewers to cheer for three very different groups in an interactive marketing blitz during the big game: a troupe of showgirls, a band of cowboys and a biker-style gang of "badlanders" — all on a quest for a third-quenching Coke in a desert. It is the world's largest beverage maker's latest attempt to capture interest of people who watch the Big Game with a second screen like a tablet or smartphone nearby. By Mae Anderson.


BRUSSELS — A European Union high court has ruled that only brewing giant AB InBev has the right to use the trademark "Bud" in Europe after rejecting a challenge from Czech company Budejovicky Budvar.

— PIPELINE-NEBRASKA — Nebraska's Governor approves a new route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline that avoids the state's environmentally sensitive Sandhills region.

— EU-TIRED PILOTS— Pilots and cabin crew on stage demonstrations in several European airports against planned EU legislation they say could force them to fly excessive hours and threaten the safety of passengers, but critics accused them of scaremongering.

— STANFORD EXECUTIVE-SENTENCING — The star prosecution witness at the fraud trial of Texas financier R. Allen Stanford expresses remorse before being sentenced to five years in prison for helping to bilk investors out of more than $7 billion in one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.

AP photo

— CANADA-INMET FIRST QUANTUM — Copper miner Inmet Mining Corp. is in talks with several parties who may help it fend off a $5.1-billion hostile takeover by First Quantum Minerals and is urging shareholders to reject First Quantum's bid.



NEW YORK — Microsoft has joined the negotiations to buy struggling computer maker Dell, according to media reports. If Microsoft joins in a Dell buyout, CNBC and the Wall Street Journal say the software maker would contribute $1 billion to $3 billion. That amount would make Microsoft Corp. a minority investor in a complex deal expected to cost $23 billion to $27 billion if it's completed.

AP photo


Verizon's fourth-quarter loss widens, dragged down by restructuring, pension and Superstorm Sandy costs. But the parent of the country's biggest wireless carrier activates a record number of new devices on its contract-based plans during the period. By Peter Svensson.


IBM reports quarterly financial results after the market closes. By Barbara Ortutay.

— GROUPON-GUNS — Groupon has halted gun-related promotions such as deals for shooting ranges and concealed weapons courses in the wake of last month's massacre in Newtown, Conn.

— AT&T-ALLTEL— AT&T says it's reached a deal to buy Alltel U.S. wireless operations for about $780 million to boost its spectrum in rural areas.


LOS ANGELES — Call it space grave robbery for a cause: Imagine scavenging defunct communication satellites for their valuable parts and recycling them to build brand new ones for cheap. It's the latest pet project from the Pentagon's research wing known for its quirky and sometimes out-there ideas. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is spending $180 million to test technologies that could make this possible.

AP Photo.

— NEW ZEALAND-KIM DOTCOM — Indicted Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom's new Mega site struggles to cope with mega demand. AP photos.

— BRITAIN-PHONE HACKING — Journalist with Rupert Murdoch's Sun and British police officer charged in bribery probe.



TOKYO — Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declares a "monetary regime change" as the central bank bows to government pressure, setting a 2 percent inflation target aimed at helping the country emerge from its prolonged bout of deflation. By Elaine Kurtenbach.

AP photos.


BEIJING — Hundreds of Chinese factory workers angry about strictly timed bathroom breaks and fines for starting work late held their Japanese and Chinese managers hostage for a day and a half before police broke up the strike. Strikes have become commonplace in China.


BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany and France plan to work together on proposals on how to improve economic coordination in the European Union this spring as the continent struggles to overcome its debt crisis and generate growth.

AP photos.


— EUROPE-FINANCIAL CRISIS — A group of 11 European Union countries have been given the go-ahead to push ahead with the introduction of a financial transaction tax. The money raised could run into billions of euros and help shore up the finances of cash-strapped countries in Europe.

— GERMANY-ECONOMY — ZEW survey finds sharp rise in German investor optimism as confidence in financial markets grows.

— GREECE-FINANCIAL CRISIS — New pay cuts trigger transport strikes in Greece, protesters defy court order to resume work. AP photos.



WASHINGTON — Taxpayers preparing to file their 2012 returns can breathe a collective sigh of relief. The alternative minimum tax, or AMT, has been patched — permanently — and numerous tax credits and deductions that technically expired at the end of 2011 were extended as part of the fiscal cliff bill that Congress passed on New Year's Day. Taxpayers claiming energy credits, depreciation of property or general business credits will have to wait until late February or March to file while the IRS updates its forms and systems. By Carole Feldman.

AP photos.


—TAXES-BY THE NUMBERS — Key numbers to know when filing your 2012 tax return.


A sampling of Money & Markets modules is below. The full digest for AP's Money & Markets service can be found at markets.ap.org. For questions about Money & Markets content, please contact Trevor Delaney (800-845-8450, ext. 1807). For technical support: Todd Balog (816-654-1096). After 6 p.m., contact the AP Business News desk (800-845-8450, ext. 1680) for content questions; 1-800-3AP-STOX for technical support and 212-621-1905 for graphics help.


Re-election returns

On the first day of trading in President Obama's second term, the Standard & Poor's 500 index remains up almost 120 percent since hitting a bottom on March 9, 2009. But what's the outlook for the year ahead? The November elections maintained the status quo and didn't remove the political gridlock in Washington that's caused so much uncertainly. A look at how the S&P 500 performed during Obama's first term and historically how the market behaves when a president is re-elected.


J&J profit rises sharply

Johnson & Johnson reported a much bigger fourth-quarter profit than a year ago, but management's 2103 forecast fell short of expectations on Wall Street.