AP Business NewsBrief at 2:10 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) US economy shrinks 0.1 pct., 1st time in 3 1/2 yearsWASHINGTON (AP) _ The U.S. economy unexpectedly shrank from October through December, the first quarterly drop since 2009 and a reminder of the economy's vulnerability as automatic cuts in government spending loom. The Commerce Department said the economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.1 percent mainly because companies restocked at a slower rate and the government slashed defense spending. Those trends partly reflected uncertainty late last year about the fiscal cliff, which Congress averted in a deal reached Jan. 1.
New BlackBerrys coming to UK, Canada in next weekNEW YORK (AP) _ A new generation of more versatile BlackBerry smartphones is finally about to hit the market after excruciating delays allowed mobile devices made by Apple, Samsung and others to build commanding leads in a market that is redefining society. BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. formally unveiled its long-awaited line-up of revamped smartphones and software Wednesday at simultaneous events held in New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Dubai, Johannesburg, Jakarta and Delhi.
RIM changes name to BlackBerry, unveils 2 phonesNEW YORK (AP) _ 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. RIM redesigned the BlackBerry system to embrace the multimedia, apps and touch-screen experience prevalent today. The question is whether there's time for the once-pioneering BlackBerry to catch up to Apple's trend-setting iPhone and devices running Google's Android system.
Stocks edge lower after economy reportNEW YORK (AP) _ 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. The Dow Jones industrial average fluctuated in the opening half hour of trading before drifting lower and falling 10 points to 13,944 as of 12:44 p.m. EST. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 2 points to 1,506 The Nasdaq composite fell 1 point to 3,152.
Boeing focuses on 787 fix; 4Q profit tops estimateBoeing Co. said Wednesday that its top priority this year is fixing the battery problems that grounded its 787. The company made the pledge while reporting a fourth-quarter profit that topped Wall Street estimates, as rising profits from commercial jets offset a smaller profit from defense work.
Suppliers, grocers turning to DNA testing on meatDUBLIN (AP) _ Ireland's surprise discovery this month of horsemeat traces in factory-produced burgers is boosting business for one trade: Forensics labs that use DNA fingerprinting to tell you what's on your plate. Horsemeat, which costs a fraction of beef, might not be bad for you to eat but it's definitely bad for sales of products that are labeled as beef.
APNewsBreak: EPA moves to ban some rodent poisonsWASHINGTON (AP) _ The Environmental Protection Agency is moving to ban the sale of a dozen rat and mouse poisons sold under the popular D-Con brand in an effort to protect children and pets. The agency said Wednesday it hopes to reduce the thousands of accidental exposures that occur every year from rodent-control products. Children and pets are at risk for exposure because the products typically are placed on floors.
Time cuts around 500 people, 6 pct of workforceNEW YORK (AP) _ 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. The cuts began Wednesday and will affect domestic and international workers.
Chrysler profit jumps on higher salesDETROIT (AP) _ Just three years out of bankruptcy, Chrysler posted a $1.7 billion profit in 2012 and said it expects to earn more than $2 billion this year. Improving U.S. auto sales _ and better products at Chrysler _ were the big reasons for the vast improvement over 2011's profit of $183 million. Chrysler sold 2.2 million cars and trucks worldwide last year, up 18 percent.
Oil little changed as US economy contractsA report that showed the U.S. economy unexpectedly contracted in the fourth quarter cut short oil's first foray above $98 a barrel in four months on Wednesday. Benchmark oil for March delivery was little changed in afternoon trading, down 8 cents to $97.50 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose as high as $98.24 in the morning but fell back after the government said the U.S. economy shrank from October through December, the first quarterly drop since 2009.
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