AP Business NewsBrief at 11:52 a.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) US home sales dip in Dec.; 2012 best in 5 yearsWASHINGTON (AP) _ U.S. sales of previously occupied homes dipped in December from November, in part because of a limited supply of available homes. But for all of 2012, sales rose to their highest level in five years, The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales dipped in December to an annual rate of 4.94 million. That's down from a rate of 4.99 million in November, which was revised lower but was still the highest in three years.
US stocks edge down as DuPont, J&J report earningsU.S. stocks wavered between small gains and losses Tuesday as big companies reported their fourth-quarter financial results. The Dow Jones industrial average fell four points to 13,645 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell two to 1,484. The Nasdaq composite average dropped five to 3,129.
Delta Air Lines clings to $7M profit in 4QMINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Delta Air Lines Inc. said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter profit was nearly wiped out by Superstorm Sandy and special charges. The storm forced airlines to cancel more than 20,000 flights. The impact was bigger at Delta because Sandy also slowed its operations at its new oil refinery near Philadelphia.
Verizon Communications 4Q loss widensNEW YORK (AP) _ Verizon Communications' fourth-quarter loss widened, dragged down by restructuring, pension and Superstorm Sandy costs. The company activated a record number of new devices on its contract-based plans during the period. The parent of the country's biggest wireless carrier lost $4.23 billion, or $1.48 per share, for the period ended Dec. 31. That compares with a loss of $2.02 billion or 71 cents per share, a year ago.
Wal-Mart warns suppliers on stricter measuresBENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is alerting its global suppliers that it will immediately drop them if they subcontract their work to factories that haven't been authorized by the discounter. In a letter sent Tuesday to suppliers of its Wal-Mart stores as well as Sam's Clubs in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom, the company says it will adopt a "zero tolerance" policy on subcontracting without the company's knowledge, effective March. 1.
Spain cheered by high demand for new 10-year bondMADRID (AP) _ Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said exceptional demand for a new Spanish 10-year bond Tuesday showed there was renewed confidence in the country's economy. De Guindos said that by midday demand for the bond had reached (EURO)24 billion ($32 billion) _ something, he told reporters in Brussels, that "has never been seen in the history of the Treasury."
Greek statistics head faces charges over revisionATHENS, Greece (AP) _ Greek prosecutors recommended Tuesday that charges be brought against the head of the statistics agency and two other employees for allegedly inflating the country's 2009 deficit in order to make the economic situation appear worse than it was. The accusation stems from a 2010 revision which showed the deficit at 15.4 percent of the country's annual gross domestic product instead of 13.6 percent.
Neb. governor OKs Keystone XL route through stateLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has approved a new route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline that avoids the state's environmentally sensitive Sandhills region. Heineman sent a letter Tuesday to President Barack Obama confirming that he would allow the controversial project to proceed in his state.
J&J 4Q profit jumps on higher sales, lower chargesNEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) _ Higher sales helped Johnson & Johnson post a much bigger fourth-quarter profit than a year ago, when a slew of charges depressed results. However, the company's 2013 profit forecast, for $5.35 to $5.45 per share, came up short of the average analyst estimate of $5.49.
DuPont reports 4Q earnings droppedDOVER, Del. (AP) _ Chemical and bioscience company DuPont Co. says weakness in its performance chemicals and electronics and communications businesses, coupled with costs associated with growth initiatives, led to a sharp drop in fourth-quarter income. The company on Tuesday reported net income of $111 million, or 12 cents per share, for the last three months of 2012, down 70 percent from $373 million, or 40 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2011.
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