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Monday Evening Business Brief

January 27, 2014, 5:46 PM

Monday Evening Business Brief

The sell-off continues on Wall Street, though today's losses were not as drastic as last week's. Industrial stocks were among the few winners after heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar reported a surge in earnings for the fourth quarter. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 41 points, to 15,837.88. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell more than eight points to 1,781.56. The Nasdaq composite fell 44 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,083.61.

  • Apple sold a record number of iPhones and iPads during its latest quarter. But the company's fiscal first-quarter earnings look to be a disappointment when measured against Wall Street expectations. Apple sold 51 million iPhones during the three months ending Dec. 28, but analysts had predicted sales of about 55 million. Management's revenue forecast for the current quarter is also below analysts' predictions.
  • Hopes for a turnaround in Royal Bank of Scotland have taken a hit. The nationalized U.K. bank says it set aside an additional $5 billion to cover U.S. legal costs and customer compensation claims in Britain. The British government rescued RBS in 2008 with a $71 billion capital injection after former CEO Fred Goodwin brought the bank to near-collapse with an aggressive global expansion strategy.
  • The Associated Press has learned that the U.S. is funding research to prevent anyone from spying on the National Security Agency's surveillance of Americans' phone records. The Obama administration is considering ending the NSA's storage of phone records, so it is looking for a high-volume, encrypted search technique that would keep phone companies or others from seeing who the U.S. is spying on. The Director of National Intelligence has paid at least five research teams across the country to develop the coded search capability.
  • Quentin Tarantino is suing Gawker. The two-time Oscar winner says the news and gossip website posted a link to his 146-page script for his latest project called "The Hateful Eight." Tarantino's lawsuit accuses Gawker Media of copyright infringement.

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