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Thursday Evening Business Brief

January 24, 2013, 5:15 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief
  • The Nasdaq is feeling the effects of a sharp drop in Apple's stock after the tech giant predicted weaker sales. The Nasdaq ended the trading day 23 points down. Other indexes were mixed. The S&P 500 was flat at 1,494, briefly crossing above 1,500 for the first time since December 2007. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 46 points at 13,825.
  • The price of oil is up on positive economic news from the U.S. and China.  Benchmark oil gained 72 cents to finish at $95.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. There are signs that oil demand is picking up in China. And in the U.S., the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in five years.
  • Microsoft says its fourth-quarter earnings slipped 4 percent, despite a lift from its latest version of Windows. Revenue in Microsoft's Windows division climbed 24 percent from the previous year. Microsoft earned $6.4 billion, or 76 cents per share, during the final three months of the year. The company's total revenue rose 3 percent from last year to $21.5 billion.
  • Federal investigators say the Boeing 787 battery that caught fire earlier this month in Boston shows evidence of short-circuiting and a chemical reaction known as "thermal runaway," in which an increase in temperature causes progressively hotter temperatures. But it's not clear which came first, the short-circuiting or the thermal runaway. Nor is it clear yet what caused either of them.
  • A plan to put wind turbines off the coast of Maine has key approval from utility regulators, largely clearing the way for development of a floating wind farm 12 miles from shore. The state Public Utilities Commission voted 2-1 today in favor of the proposal. Gov. Paul LePage opposed the project, saying it wouldn't provide enough economic benefit.

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