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AP Business NewsBrief at 7:24 p.m. EST
[January 22, 2013]

AP Business NewsBrief at 7:24 p.m. EST

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Can Apple maintain its shine NEW YORK (AP) _ 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.

Google's 4Q earnings rise despite Motorola woesSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Google eked out slightly higher earnings in the fourth quarter, despite a financial drag caused by the Internet search leader's expansion into device manufacturing and a decline in digital ad prices as more people gaze into the smaller screens of smartphones. The results announced Tuesday pleased investors, helping to lift Google's stock by nearly 5 percent in extended trading.

What holds energy tech back The infernal batteryWASHINGTON (AP) _ As 21st century technology strains to become ever faster, cleaner and cheaper, an invention from more than 200 years ago keeps holding it back. It's why electric cars aren't clogging the roads and why Boeing's new ultra-efficient 787 Dreamliners aren't flying high. And chances are you have this little invention next to you right now and probably have cursed it recently: the infernal battery.


US stocks rise as tech, industrial earns roll inStrong earnings reports from big U.S. companies helped push the Dow Jones industrial average to its eighth gain in nine sessions Tuesday. DuPont, Verizon and Travelers Cos., three of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow, closed higher after reporting their financial results for the final quarter of 2012.

Wal-Mart warns suppliers on stricter measuresBENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Wal-Mart Stores Inc. 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 contracting rule, along with other changes to its policy, comes amid increasing calls for better safety oversight after a deadly fire at a Bangladesh factory that supplied clothing to Wal-Mart and other retailers. The fire in late November killed 112 workers at a factory owned by Tazreen Fashions Ltd. Wal-Mart has said the factory wasn't authorized to make its clothes.

US home sales dip in Dec.; 2012 best in 5 yearsWASHINGTON (AP) _ U.S. sales of previously occupied homes dipped in December from November, in part because of a limited supply of available homes. But for all of 2012, sales rose to their highest level in five years. The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales declined in December to an annual rate of 4.94 million. That's down from a rate of 4.99 million in November, which was revised lower but was still the highest in three years.

CSX railroad's 4Q profit slips on weak coal demandOMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Railroad operator CSX Corp. said continued weak coal demand contributed to a 3 percent decline in fourth-quarter net income. The results still beat Wall Street expectations as other sectors improved. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based railroad on Tuesday reported net income of $443 million, or 43 cents per share, in the last three months of 2012. That's down from $457 million, or 43 cents per share, in the previous year's quarter.

Software growth helps IBM boost 4Q earningsNEW YORK (AP) _ Growing software businesses such as Internet-based computing and data analytics helped IBM boost earnings per share for the 40th consecutive quarter _ a full decade _ even as revenue was largely flat. IBM's stock price increased more than 4 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement, as the results seemed to ease investor worries about the uncertain global economy dampening corporate and government spending on technology. The results beat Wall Street's expectations, as is often the case with IBM. The technology bellwether's guidance for 2013 was also stronger than expected.

White House: Obama wouldn't block GOP debt billWASHINGTON (AP) _ The Obama administration says it won't oppose a House Republican proposal to increase the nation's $16.4 trillion borrowing authority for only three months, even though President Barack last week decried such short-term measures as harmful to the economy. The White House Office of Management and Budget issued a statement Tuesday saying the GOP measure "introduces unnecessary complications, needlessly perpetuating uncertainty in the nation's fiscal system." Expiring credits, deductions extended by CongressWASHINGTON (AP) _ 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 several tax credits and deductions that technically expired at the end of 2011 were extended as part of the fiscal cliff legislation that Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law in January.

(c) 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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