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Tuesday Evening Business Brief

January 29, 2013, 6:19 PM

Tuesday Evening Business Brief
  • Drugmaker Pfizer gave the Dow a lift after posting a strong earnings report. That helped push the index closer to 14,000. The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 13,954. The index has advanced seven of the past eight days. The Standard and Poor's 500 gained 7 points to 1,507. The Nasdaq composite fell less than a point to 3,153.
  • Amazon.com says its fourth-quarter net income fell 45 percent, as higher revenue failed to keep pace with increased spending on order fulfillment and digital content. The world's biggest online retailer says it earned $97 million, or 21 cents per share, in the October-December period. That's down from $177 million, or 38 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.
  • A panel of federal health experts is overwhelmingly recommending approval for a long-acting inhaler to treat people suffering from chronic lung disease. The Food and Drug Administration panel voted 15 to one that Boehringer Ingelheim's once-daily inhaler is safe and effective for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a condition that causes bronchitis and emphysema. The disease affects about 24 million people in the U.S. and is most commonly caused by cigarette smoking.
  • A Volkswagen Super Bowl ad that hit the web Monday, featuring a white office worker showing his happiness with a Jamaican accent, is stirring up online controversy. The ad shows a worker from Minnesota trying to cheer up co-workers in an accent often associated with black Jamaicans, because he has been made so happy by his Volkswagen.  Pundits on NBC's The Today Show, a Wall Street Journal blog and elsewhere have questioned whether the ad is offensive.
  • A spokesman for T. Boone Pickens says a grandson of the oil tycoon has died. Neither Pickens' spokesman nor Fort Worth police have said what may have caused the death of the TCU junior, who went by the name Ty. A police spokeswoman says officers responded to a report of a dead person at an off-campus location around 9:30 this morning.

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