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Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

January 31, 2012, 1:20 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief
Stocks have edged modestly lower today. Even so, the market appears to be on track for its best January showing in more than a decade.
  • A new report from the Congressional Budget Office predicts the government will run a $1.1 trillion deficit in the fiscal year ending in September. The new figures also show that last summer's budget and debt pact has barely made a dent in the government's fiscal hole.
  • The federal pension-insurance agency has filed $91 million in liens against American Airlines property in a bid to pressure the company to save its retirement plans instead of dumping the obligations on the agency. The agency says it was forced to file liens when American, which filed for bankruptcy protection in November, paid only $6.5 million of a required contribution of nearly $100 million toward its pension plans last week.
  • Looking to expand Apple stores around the world, Apple has stretched across the ocean to hire the CEO of a British electronics chain to head its successful retail operations. John Browett will become Apple's top retail executive on April 20, reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook.
  • The British government says former Royal Bank of Scotland chief Fred Goodwin, who led the bank into near collapse, has been stripped of knighthood. He joins a group that includes spy Anthony Blunt, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and former Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu, who lost their honors.

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