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AP Business NewsBrief at 1:02 p.m. EST
[February 05, 2013]

AP Business NewsBrief at 1:02 p.m. EST

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) US sues S&P over pre-crisis mortgage ratingsWASHINGTON (AP) _ The U.S. government says Standard & Poor's knowingly inflated its ratings on risky mortgage investments that helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis. The credit rating agency gave high marks to mortgage-backed securities because it wanted to earn more business from the banks that issued the investments, the Justice Department alleges in charges filed in federal court in Los Angeles .

Key allegations government is making against S&PHere is the basis of the case the U.S. government is making against Standard & Poor's Ratings Services in a 128-page lawsuit: _ THE CHARGE: Dell in $24.4B founder-led deal to go privateSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Slumping personal computer maker Dell is bowing out of the stock market in a $24.4 billion buyout that represents the largest deal of its kind since the Great Recession dried up the financing for such risky maneuvers. The complex agreement announced Tuesday will allow Dell Inc.'s management, including founder Michael Dell, to attempt a company turnaround away from the glare and financial pressures of Wall Street.

New BlackBerry to be released in US in mid-MarchTORONTO (AP) _ A modern BlackBerry with a physical keyboard might not arrive in the U.S. until May or June, a month or two behind other parts of the world, the chief executive of the smartphone maker suggested in an interview. Although Research in Motion Ltd. CEO Thorsten Heins said the exact release date will depend on each wireless provider, he said the physical keyboard version, the BlackBerry Q10, will likely be released eight to 10 weeks after a carrier releases a model with only a touch screen, the BlackBerry Z10. The Z10 is expected in the U.S. in mid-March, so eight to 10 weeks brings the U.S. date for the Q10 to mid-May to early June.


Q&A: The federal charges against Standard & Poor'sWASHINGTON (AP) _ The U.S. government has filed civil charges against Standard & Poor's Ratings Services for improperly giving high ratings to toxic mortgage bonds before the financial crisis. It is the government's first big enforcement action related to a credit rating agency's actions in the lead-up to the 2008 crisis. Ahead of the filing late Monday, S&P had said it expected to be charged but denied any wrongdoing and said any lawsuit would be without merit.

Stocks make U-turn, rising on home prices, EuropeNEW YORK (AP) _ The stock market jumped Tuesday following a surge in U.S. home prices and signs of strength in Europe's economy. Strong earnings reports also helped power the gains. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 107 points to 13,986 as of 11:49 a.m. EST. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 13 to 1,509. The Nasdaq composite was up 29 to 3,160.

Oil rebounds to near $97; pump prices still risingNEW YORK (AP) _ Oil regained some of its loss from the day earlier, while pump prices are now up nearly a quarter since Jan. 1. Benchmark oil for March delivery rose 67 cents to $96.84 a barrel in midday trading Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil dropped by $1.60 to finish at $96.17 a barrel on Monday.

US service firms grew more slowly in JanuaryWASHINGTON (AP) _ Growth at U.S. service companies slowed slightly in January behind weaker new orders and business activity. But hiring improved, a bright sign for the economy. The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that its index of non-manufacturing activity dipped to 55.2 in January. That's down from 55.7 in December, which was the highest level in nearly a year. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

US home prices rose last year by most in 6.5 yearsWASHINGTON (AP) _ U.S. home prices jumped by the most in 6 1/2 years in December, spurred by a low supply of available homes and rising demand. Home prices rose 8.3 percent in December compared with a year earlier, according to a report Tuesday from CoreLogic, a real estate data provider. That is the biggest annual gain since May 2006. Prices rose last year in 46 of 50 states.

Business, unions negotiating guest worker programWASHINGTON (AP) _ Business leaders and labor union officials are delving into high-stakes negotiations over a particularly contentious element of immigration reform _ a guest worker program to ensure future immigrants come here legally. The issue has traditionally divided labor and business. Labor groups have looked askance on bringing in numerous low-wage workers, while that's an outcome businesses have favored.

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

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