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Friday Evening Business Brief

October 19, 2012, 5:34 PM

Friday Evening Business Brief

Poor corporate earnings reports sounded a sour note to end an otherwise strong week of trading. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 200 points today -- its worst day in four months. Disappointing results from three giants of the Dow -- Microsoft, General Electric and McDonald's -- were key, but the broader market fell, too, and with even bigger losses in terms of percentage.

  • A retail trade group says that a revised version of a proposed multibillion-dollar settlement over fees that MasterCard Inc. and Visa Inc. charge merchants fails to protect retailers from abuse by credit card companies. The National Retail Federation issued its remarks after reviewing revised terms of the settlement disclosed in July, which allows stores to charge customers more if they pay with a credit card.
  • Apple farmers in producing states like New York and Michigan have reported production declines as high as 90 percent. First, warm spring weather in the Northeast and Midwest tricked apple trees into budding earlier. Then an untimely frost damaged the delicate blossoms.
  •  The maker of Banana Boat sunscreen is recalling some half-million bottles of spray-on lotion after reports that a handful of people have caught on fire after applying the product and coming in contact with an open flame. Energizer Holdings says it's pulling 23 varieties of UltraMist sunscreen off store shelves.
  • News Corp. says Fox News chief executive Roger Ailes has signed a new four-year contract. The 72-year-old Ailes first joined News Corp. in 1996. He'll continue to oversee Fox News, the Fox Business Network, the Fox TV stations, Twentieth Television and MyNetwork TV. He will also continue to be a senior adviser to CEO Rupert Murdoch.

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