AP Business NewsBrief at 8:28 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Nissan lowers price of electric LeafDETROIT (AP) _ Nissan is lowering the price of its Leaf electric car to try to boost anemic sales. The 2013 Leaf will start at $28,800, which is $6,000 lower than the previous model, company executives said Monday at the Detroit auto show. When combined with the federal electric-vehicle tax credit of $7,500 and other state and local tax incentives, the price could fall as low as $18,800 in California. That would make it comparable to gas-powered and hybrid cars of its size like the Toyota Prius. It would also be far lower than the electric Ford Focus or Chevrolet Volt, which both start around $39,000.
Toyota retakes global auto sales crown from GMDETROIT (AP) _ Toyota has once again dethroned General Motors as the world's top-selling automaker. The Japanese company sold 9.7 million cars and trucks worldwide in 2012, although it's still counting. GM sold 9.29 million.
Bernanke prods Congress to raise debt ceilingWASHINGTON (AP) _ Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday that it's important that Congress raise the nation's borrowing limit before the Treasury runs out of maneuvering room to avoid a potential default on U.S. debt. Bernanke, speaking at the University of Michigan, said the approaching debt limit is one of the "critical fiscal watersheds" for the government in coming weeks.
Stocks little changed on Wall Street; Apple slidesNEW YORK (AP) _ Apple held down the Standard & Poor's 500, pushing it further below the five-year high it reached last week, after the technology giant's stock sank following a report that demand for the iPhone 5 may be weaker than expected. The Dow Jones industrial average edged higher. The Dow rose 18.89 points to 13,507.32 Monday, having fallen as much as 29 points at the start of the day. The S&P 500 fell 1.37 point to 1,470.68. The Nasdaq composite index fell 8.13 points to 3,117.50
Dell's stock soars on report of possible buyoutROUND ROCK, Texas (AP) _ Dell's stock soared 13 percent Monday on a report that the struggling personal computer maker is in talks to take the company private. Citing unidentified people familiar with the situation, Bloomberg News said Dell has discussed a potential sale with at least two firms that specialize in buying companies whose stocks have fallen out of favor. The report didn't name the interested firms.
Apple stock wilts on worries about iPhone demandSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Apple's stock slipped below $500 for the first time in 11 months on Monday as investors reacted to reports signaling the company's latest iPhone is falling further behind a slew of sleek alternatives running Google's Android software. The latest indication that Apple, the world's most valuable company, is seeing sluggish demand for its iPhone 5 emerged in separate stories published Monday in the Japanese newspaper Nikkei and The Wall Street Journal. Both publications cited unnamed people familiar with the situation saying Apple has dramatically reduced its orders for the parts needed to build the newest iPhone because the device isn't selling as well as the company hoped.
CNET reporter quits over CBS interferenceLOS ANGELES (AP) _ Technology reviews by website CNET have long been respected for their thoroughness and integrity, but that reputation has come under scrutiny after a top reporter quit over what he says is editorial interference by its parent company, CBS Corp. The dispute centers on CNET's choice of best gadgets from last week's International CES show in Las Vegas.
Chicago-area RTA: United running 'sham' businessCHICAGO (AP) _ The lawsuit filed against United Airlines, alleging that the company falsely claims to buy jet fuel in a rural Illinois community in order to skirt tens of millions of dollars in sales taxes, hinges on whether a transportation agency can prove the monumental purchasing task couldn't have been done from inside the airline's tiny office 70 miles from Chicago. Throughout the lawsuit _ which alleges the office doesn't have a computer and is only staffed by one part-time employee _ the Regional Transportation Authority's argument boils down to this: United's contention that it is buying fuel in Sycamore is absurd.
Oracle says Java is fixed; feds maintain warningLOS ANGELES (AP) _ Oracle Corp. said Monday it has released a fix for the flaw in its Java software that raised an alarm from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security last week. Even after the patch was issued, the federal agency continued to recommend that users disable Java in their Web browsers. "This and previous Java vulnerabilities have been widely targeted by attackers, and new Java vulnerabilities are likely to be discovered," DHS said Monday in an updated alert published on the website of its Computer Emergency Readiness Team. "To defend against this and future Java vulnerabilities, consider disabling Java in Web browsers until adequate updates are available."
Bitter cold grips West; citrus and lettuce damagedFRESNO, Calif. (AP) _ As an unusual cold spell gripped parts of the West for a fifth day, some California citrus growers reported damage to crops and an agriculture official said national prices on lettuce have started to rise because of lost produce in Arizona. The extreme chill in the West comes as the eastern U.S., from Atlanta to New York City, is seeing spring-like weather.
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