Monday Evening Business Brief
October 28, 2013, 6:12 PM
- Stocks have ended the day relatively flat, though the S&P 500 has established another new closing high. The S&P added a little more than two points to close at 1,762.11. The Dow lost a point to 15,569, while the Nasdaq dropped three, finishing at 3940.
- Apple's latest quarterly earnings fell 9 percent. More people bought the company's lower-priced iPhones and iPads, helping Apple boost sales compared with last year. But the average price declined, extending a recent trend that has trimmed Apple's profit margin and depressed its stock price. This marks the third consecutive quarter that Apple's earnings have dropped from the previous year.
- A Delaware judge has approved a settlement of a shareholder lawsuit, clearing the way for Google to split its stock and issue a new class of nonvoting shares. The suit challenged Google's plans designed to ensure that co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin retain control of the company. In his ruling, Chancellor Leo Strine Jr. notes that Google has been "a rather astonishing market success" under Page and Brin's leadership and that the settlement includes important corporate governance protections.
- Samsung is working to make its computerized watch compatible with several of its older phones. The $300 Galaxy Gear watch works with Samsung devices to display message alerts and other information on the wrist. But it had been compatible only with the new Galaxy Note 3 phone in the U.S., which also costs $300. Samsung says its making a software update available for the S III, S4 and Note II in the coming weeks so they'll work with the Gear. The watch also will work with the Galaxy S4 Mini, expected out next month.
- California's gold rush ended long ago, but mercury from those mining activities remains a problem. A study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds mercury-contaminated soil still flows downstream in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada during major floods. The study says the runoff will continue for thousands of years unless something is done to prevent mercury-laden sediment from eroding and ending up in the state's agricultural heartland.
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