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Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

January 22, 2014, 1:18 PM

Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks are mixed as investors pore over the latest batch of company earnings reports. IBM dropped after its revenue fell short of what analysts were expecting and luxury goods maker Coach slumped after reporting a lower quarterly profit. Stocks on the rise today include Norfolk Southern and TE Connectivity, which both had strong earnings.

  • Activist investor Carl Icahn says he has purchased $500 million worth of Apple stock in the past couple of weeks to bring his total holdings in the company to more than $3 billion. Icahn disclosed the purchases on his official Twitter account today. He also criticized Apple's board, saying it's doing a "great disservice" to shareholders by not increasing its stock buyback significantly.
  • Target Corp. says it will stop offering health care coverage for its part-time workers on April 1. The discount chain cites new options now available through health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. Target says part-time workers who are currently enrolled in the health care plan and are losing access to coverage will be given a $500 cash payment.
  • A Canadian company has started operating the Texas portion of a proposed cross-border pipeline that has stirred controversy and tension between the United States and Canada. TransCanada says it is delivering oil through the Gulf Coast portion of its proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada's oil sands to Houston-area refineries. The cross-border section requires President Barack Obama's approval.
  • West Virginia regulators have ordered Freedom Industries to disclose everything that spilled when a storage tank leaked and contaminated the water supply for 300,000 people. The company has until 4 p.m. Eastern today to provide the information. A coal-cleaning chemical spilled into the Elk River earlier this month. And now, officials say the tank containing that chemical also held about 400 gallons of another chemical that's believed to be less toxic (polyglycol ethers, or PPH).

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