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January 13, 2015 02:44 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks have reversed course in afternoon trading on Wall Street. The major indexes have turned lower after energy stocks slumped again. Homebuilders dropped after builder KB Home said that demand for homes was weak. The markets had climbed this morning after a survey suggested the rapid pace of hiring in 2014 would continue this year.

  • WASHINGTON (AP) - A survey on small business finds confidence rising to an eight-year high. The National Federation of Independent Business says its monthly index of small business optimism rose in December to its highest level since October 2006. Business owners surveyed by the group also said they were more likely to add jobs than at any point since the recession ended in June 2009.
     
  • WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is renewing his call for Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation. He's expected to discuss his proposals at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Virginia, this afternoon. They include a proposal that encourages companies to share threat information with the government and protects them from potential lawsuits if they do.
     
  • WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. Department of Transportation says about one in five U.S. flights arrived at least 15 minutes late in November. And passengers on four planes sat on the tarmac for more than three hours, a violation of federal rules. Of the 14 airlines that carry the most passengers, 80.6 percent of flights arrived on time. That was better than October's 80.0 percent, but down from 83.5 percent in November 2013. AirTran, now part of Southwest Airlines, topped the ratings with a 90.4 percent on-time rating. Among the four largest airlines, Delta performed best at 86.6 percent.
     
  • NEW YORK (AP) - Americans are cutting back on soft drinks, and they're apparently willing to pay more to do it. With people drinking less soda amid health concerns, Coke and Pepsi are pushing smaller cans and bottles that contain fewer calories. But those cute little cans can cost more than twice as much per ounce. Coca-Cola says that while it may be selling less soda, smaller packs are pushing up revenue. It says sales of Coke's smaller sizes were up 9 percent last year through October.
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