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September 11, 2013 10:55 AM

Wednesday Midday Business Brief

  • Stocks are mixed after an hour of trading on Wall Street as falling Apple shares weigh on the S&P and the Nasdaq. Apple sank 4 percent to $472 in early trading a day after the company unveiled two new iPhone designs. Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange observed a moment of silence shortly before trading began on the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
  • The Commerce Department says U.S. wholesalers increased in their stockpiles only slightly in July as their sales improved at the weakest pace in seven months. Sales rose 0.1 percent in July, the fourth straight gain. Wholesale stockpiles also increased by 0.1 percent, after three months of declines. The tiny gain is adding to worries that the July-September quarter is off to a weak start.
  • Southeastern Asset Management Inc. has disclosed that it has taken a nearly 12 percent stake in News Corp., the owner of The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. Last week, News Corp. announced a deal to sell off 33 smaller publications, including eight dailies. Southeastern is the investment firm that along with activist investor Carl Icahn just dropped their opposition to the proposed buyout of Dell Inc. by company founder Michael Dell.
  • The California city of Richmond is moving ahead with its first-in-the-nation plan to use the government's constitutional power of eminent domain to seize hundreds of underwater mortgages. The City Council has voted 4-3 to set up a Joint Powers Authority to bring more cities into the plan. Under the plan, Richmond would use eminent domain to seize the underwater mortgage. It would then offer the bank fair market value for it and give the homeowner a new loan that would lower monthly payments and improve the owner's chances of staying. Banks have filed lawsuits to stop Richmond from going ahead.
  • A federal judge has ruled that exotic dancers at a New York City strip club are protected by labor laws and entitled to be paid at least a minimum wage. The ruling came in a class-action lawsuit brought by current and former dancers at Rick's Cabaret in midtown Manhattan. The lawsuit charged that the strippers were denied wages and required to pay a variety of fees to the club. The club had argued that the dancers were independent contractors.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks
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