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Thursday Evening Business Brief

January 23, 2014, 6:55 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are broadly lower after a report from China added to growing signs the world's second-largest economy is slowing. Also, earnings and forecasts from several U.S. companies disappointed investors. The Dow dropped 176 points, or 1.1 percent, to close at 16,197 today. The S&P 500 fell 16 points to 1,828. The Nasdaq lost 24 points to 4,218.

  • The price of oil is up for the fourth day in a row. It's partly because an ongoing cold spell in some areas of the U.S. has boosted demand for heating oil. Crude for March delivery rose 59 cents today to close at $97.32 a barrel in New York. At the gas pump, the average retail price of a gallon of regular rose less than a penny to $3.29. That's 3 cents higher than a month ago.

 

  • Microsoft is reporting revenue and earnings for its fiscal second quarter that top expectations. Net income in the quarter through December climbed to $6.56 billion, or 78 cents per share, from $6.38 billion, or 76 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 14 percent to $24.52 billion. Outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer says the company had a "great holiday quarter."

 

  • Billionaire Carl Icahn is adding more Apple stock to his investment portfolio as he tries to persuade the iPhone maker to buy back more of its own shares. Icahn says he invested another $500 million today. Icahn has spent $1 billion on Apple stock in the past few weeks, raising his total holdings to $3.6 billion. That represents a stake of less than 1 percent.
  • Cell-phone chip maker Qualcomm says it's acquired patents once owned by smartphone maker Palm Inc. from Hewlett-Packard for an undisclosed amount. Qualcomm says the purchase covers 1,400 U.S. patents and about 1,000 more foreign patients for the company's mobile computing technology.

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