AP Business NewsBrief at 4:05 a.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Solid Jan. hiring would boost hopes for US economyWASHINGTON (AP) _ The January employment report is expected to show Friday that job growth remained steady last month even though Americans began receiving smaller paychecks that could keep the economy sluggish. Economists forecast that the economy added 155,000 jobs in January and that the unemployment rate stayed at 7.8 percent for a third straight month, according to a survey by FactSet.
Asia stock markets up as Dow logs strong JanuaryBANGKOK (AP) _ Asian stock markets were mostly higher Friday as a weak jobs report from the U.S. was tempered by Wall Street's overall sterling performance for January. Japan's Nikkei 225, meanwhile, was once again energized by the yen's continued descent against the dollar. The index rose 0.7 percent to 11,219.20.
Endowment returns flat for universitiesAfter two strong years, college and university endowments lost ground slightly during the fiscal year ending last June 30, with their investments declining 0.3 percent on average, according to a new study. U.S. stock markets have risen around 10 percent since then, and many global markets are also higher, so recent performance is likely stronger.
Gasoline prices get early start on spring surgeNEW YORK (AP) _ Gasoline prices are getting an early start on their annual spring march higher. The average U.S. retail price rose 13 cents over the past two weeks to $3.42 per gallon, and within a few days it will likely set a record for this time of year.
Panasonic, Sharp expect red ink despite yen helpTOKYO (AP) _ Japanese electronics makers Panasonic Corp. and Sharp Corp. both stuck to full year forecasts for massive losses even as results for the latest quarter got a boost from the weaker yen. The two Osaka-based makers are among the Japanese electronics makers battered by price plunges in gadgets and hot competition from more successful rivals such as Apple Inc. and South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co.
Ready to rumble: Super Bowl fans get in the gameNEW YORK (AP) _ You don't have to be a football player to be a part of the action on Super Bowl Sunday. Coca-Cola is asking people to vote for an online match between three groups competing in a desert for a Coke on Game Day. Pepsi and Toyota are using viewers' photos in their ads. Audi let people choose the end of its Super Bowl ad, while Lincoln based its spot on more 6,000 tweets from fans about their road trips.
10 spots to look out for during Super Bowl SundayCelebrities, humor, babies and cute animals will once again rule the commercial breaks on Sunday during Super Bowl XLVII, advertising's biggest showcase, when more than 111 million people are expected to tune in. Marketers have spent millions and pulled out all the stops to `wow' viewers this year. Here are 10 spots they hope will make you skip the bathroom break or beer run for during the big game:
25 dead, 101 hurt in Mexico oil company blastMEXICO CITY (AP) _ An explosion at the office headquarters of Mexico's state-owned oil company killed 25 people and injured 101 on Thursday as it heavily damaged three floors of a building, sending hundreds into the streets and a large plume of smoke over Mexico City's skyline. Rescuers continued to search the rubble for victims trapped in the debris late Thursday with the aid of rescue dogs, trucks with mounted lights and an oil company crane. Interior Minister Miguel Osorio Chong said it was uncertain if there were any people still trapped but that crews would keep searching. Many of the office workers were outside having lunch when the explosion occurred about 3:45 p.m. local time in a basement parking garage next to the iconic, 51-story tower of Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, one of the tallest buildings in Mexico City.
Dutch state nationalizes SNS Reaal NV bankAMSTERDAM (AP) _ The Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has nationalized the long-suffering bank and insurance company SNS Reaal. The bank, the Netherlands fourth-largest, had been given (EURO)750 million ($1 billion) in bailout money in 2008 and its operations remained mostly profitable. But as the value of its real estate assets slid, its balance sheet weakened to the point that it was below legal solvency limits.
China manufacturing growth in January weakBEIJING (AP) _ China's manufacturing activity expanded in January in a new sign of recovery for the world's second-largest economy but growth was weak, two surveys showed Friday. The government-sanctioned China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said its purchasing managers' index stood at 50.4 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate an expansion. Separately, HSBC Corp. said its PMI stood at 52.3 on a similar 100-point scale.
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