AP Business NewsBrief at 5:19 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Stocks drop following Fed doubts about stimulusNEW YORK (AP) _ The stock market posted its biggest loss this year on news that Federal Reserve officials suggested the central bank scale back its effort to keep borrowing costs low. Minutes from the Fed's January meeting seemed to catch investors by surprise when they were released at 2 p.m. EST. Several Fed policymakers worried that the bank's program of buying $85 billion of bonds each month could eventually unsettle financial markets or cause the bank to take losses. Even so, most of the Fed officials thought the economy faced fewer risks than in December.
BP civil settlement remains elusive as trial nearsNEW ORLEANS (AP) _ The U.S. Justice Department and the five Gulf coast states affected by a massive oil spill nearly three years ago have indicated they would like to settle their environmental and economic claims with BP PLC ahead of a trial scheduled to start next week. The problem is that they haven't been able to agree on the possible terms of such an agreement. Months of negotiations have failed to resolve lingering differences _ not just with the London-based oil giant, but among themselves.
NY Times to sell Boston GlobeNEW YORK (AP) _ The New York Times Co. says it is selling The Boston Globe and its related assets, in order to focus on its namesake newspaper. The Times said it had hired Evercore Partners to advise it and manage the sales process.
Yahoo redesign aims to make site more invitingSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Yahoo is renovating the main entry into its website in an effort to get people to visit more frequently and stay longer. The long-awaited makeover of Yahoo.com's home page is the most notable change to the website since the Internet company hired Marissa Mayer as its CEO seven months ago. The new look debuted Wednesday in the U.S., although it could take a few more days before everyone starts to see it.
Boeing technical workers planning next moveSEATTLE (AP) _ The union for Boeing's technical workers is planning its next move after they rejected a contract offer, splitting with engineers represented by the same union who approved the deal. The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace notified a federal mediator Wednesday to resume negotiations.
Source: Boeing to propose 787 battery fix to FAAWASHINGTON (AP) _ Boeing has developed a plan that it intends to propose to federal regulators to temporarily fix problems with the 787 Dreamliner's batteries that have kept the planes on the ground for more than a month, a congressional official told The Associated Press on Wednesday. Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner is expected to present the plan to Michael Huerta, head of the Federal Aviation Administration, in a meeting on Friday, the official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly.
Sony PlayStation 4 expected at NY event WednesdayNEW YORK (AP) _ Sony is expected to unveil its next-generation gaming system at a New York event Wednesday evening, a development that would give the struggling electronics company a head start over Microsoft and an Xbox 360 successor. The PlayStation 4 would be Sony Corp.'s first major game console since the PlayStation 3 went on sale in 2006. The unveiling would give Sony the spotlight on video games, at least until Microsoft Corp. unveils the next Xbox in June, as expected, at the E3 video game expo in Los Angeles. Although the Xbox 360 came out a year before PlayStation 3, Microsoft's game machine has been more popular, largely because of its robust online service, Xbox Live, which allows people to play games with others online.
Fed minutes show concerns about bond purchasesWASHINGTON (AP) _ Several Federal Reserve policymakers suggested last month that the Fed might have to scale back its efforts to keep borrowing costs low for the foreseeable future. Minutes of the Fed's Jan. 29-30 policy meeting released Wednesday showed that some officials worried about the Fed's plan to keep buying $85 billion in bonds each month until the job market has improved substantially. They expressed concern that the continued purchases could eventually escalate inflation, unsettle financial markets or cause the Fed to absorb losses once it begins selling its investments.
Google to sell Internet glasses to contest winnersSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Google is giving more people a chance to pay $1,500 for a pair of the Internet-connected glasses that the company is touting as the next breakthrough in mobile computing. The product, dubbed "Google Glass," will be offered to "bold, creative individuals" selected as part of a contest announced Wednesday. Participants must live in the U.S. and submit an application of up to 50 words explaining what they would do with the Google Glass technology. Entries must include the hash tag "ifihadglass" and be submitted through Google Plus or Twitter by next Wednesday. Google did not say how many glasses it will sell this way.
Office Depot agrees to buy OfficeMax in stock dealNEW YORK (AP) _ Office Depot and OfficeMax are being collated. The retailers said Wednesday they have agreed to combine in an all-stock deal worth about $1.2 billion that would transform the office-supply retail sector by helping the No. 2 and No. 3 chains compete against industry behemoth Staples.
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